Ciryl Gane isn’t overly concerned about what Jon Jones’ will offer in their Heavyweight title fight at UFC 285 on March 5, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight will act as Jones’ first time in action since Feb. 2020 when he earned a controversial unanimous decision nod over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 (watch highlights). Originally, the expectation was for Jones to be welcomed to the Heavyweight ranks against the now-former champion, Francis Ngannou. Gane instead got the call after negotiations broke down between Ngannou and “The Predator,” and Gane finds himself sitting cozy ahead of the massive opportunity.
“I’m in my shape, I’m good, my feeling is so good,” Gane told MiddleEasy. “I got no pressure. The people think I’ve got pressure because it’s the G.O.A.T., he’s the best, because of that … But for me, the feeling is just that I’m so lucky. I’m so happy to do that. I’m going to jump in the cage, I’m going to do what I like to do, we’re gonna fight with the smart guy, it’s gonna be a great game.”
Gane has only lost once in his 12-fight career with that pitfall coming against Ngannou in Jan. 2022 (watch highlights). In the fight, Ngannou’s grappling came as the surprise key to his victory. Fans and pundits alike believe Gane’s apparent exposure in that element may be what leads to Jones’ claiming of the vacant crown.
Ultimately, the Frenchman isn’t worried.
“He’s really well rounded, me too,” Gane said. “I think he has a better wrestling game, of course. He’s better on the ground, but I think I got some strengths better than him. That’s why it’s gonna be a real game. He’s going to try to impose his style, I’m going to try to impose mine. He has a good fight IQ, me too.
“We’re not afraid about that,” he added of Jones’ wrestling. “A lot of people talked about the wrestling game of Francis, but it was more the power. We did some mistakes against Francis, so that’s why after this fight we did really great work at the gym and now we are really confident of that.”