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Morning Report: Joe Rogan heaps praise on Ciryl Gane: ‘He completely changed the standard of heavyweight striking’

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UFC 240: Koch v Stewart Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Earlier this month at UFC 265, Ciryl Gane put on a sterling performance in the main event, outclassing Derrick Lewis to capture an interim heavyweight title with a third-round TKO. Following the win, UFC President Dana White, who had previously been critical of Gane, was quick to praise him and the rest of the MMA world followed suit but no one was more impressed by the new interim champion than longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan who, on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast, lauded Gane in a very major way.

“Ciryl Gane beat the sh*t out of him,” Rogan said. “He shut him out. He shut him out. It was a shutout for, I think he stopped him in the third. Ciryl Gane, who is 6’5”, 247 pounds, moves like a 170-pounder. It’s crazy. He’s bouncing like ‘Wonderboy’ (Stephen Thompson) the entire fight, bouncing, throwing feints. He completely changed the standard of heavyweight striking and I’m not exaggerating.

“I’ve watched it three times. I watched it today, in fact, while I was working out. There’s no question he is the best-moving heavyweight I’ve ever seen. The best-moving. Every time Derrick Lewis goes to set up, to move towards him, Ciryl Gane is nowhere to be found. He lit Derrick Lewis up and every time Derrick Lewis comes to him - his movement in terms of closing the distance is spectacular and I was severely impressed.”

Gane’s emergence as a top heavyweight has happened extremely quickly. A moderately successful Muay Thai fighter, Gane made the transition to MMA in 2018 and made his UFC debut just one year and three fights later. Since then, Gane has picked up seven more wins and an interim title, with victories over some of the top-ranked fighters in the sport. Still, heading into UFC 265, Gane was somewhat of a question mark given his short tenure in the sport and a pair of clear but lackluster wins before that. But against Lewis, Rogan says Gane really showed what he’s capable of.

“He had beaten a lot of really good guys,” Rogan continued. “He beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik, he beat Junior dos Santos, whose best days are behind him but he’s beaten some very, very good fighters. But to watch the way he beat Derrick Lewis, who is a legit one-punch knockout threat, and the technical acumen that he showed, the skill, the technique, the footwork, the movement, the understanding of distance, the ability to control everything that happened inside the octagon, that was spectacular.”

The official stats match Rogan’s assessment of the bout. Lewis landed a total of 16 total significant strikes on Gane, in comparison to Gane’s 98. Perhaps more impressive was that Gane landed 98 strikes of 122 attempts for an outlandish 80% striking percentage. Gane’s dominant performance has now set him up for a title unification bout against current champion and former training partner Francis Ngannou and Rogan says Gane’s performance at UFC 265 has him now thinking that Ngannou could be in for a rough night.

“It changed my opinion of how a fight with him and Francis Ngannou would go down,” Rogan said. “At first I thought Francis Ngannou has the nuclear option with everybody. He has such f*cking power.... Francis has ridiculous power but he doesn’t have the movement that Gane has. The question is, can Francis deal with the movement and maybe threaten him in a way that Derrick Lewis didn’t figure out? That’s what makes the fight so interesting. But the way that guy moves is something special. I’ve watched it pretty carefully and I can’t think of a single heavyweight that I’ve seen move like that. And there’s no flaws in his clinch game, he understands how to avoid the takedown, he understands pummeling, he understands distance and where he’s safe and where he’s not safe, he understands what to look for when he’s pulling out of the clinch to not get hit. It’s really amazing. He’s on a f*cking real high level.”

Though nothing official is set, Ngannou and Gane are anticipated to face each other sometime later this year.


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LISTEN UP

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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Marcelo Golm (8-3) vs. Billy Swanson (4-1); Bellator 265, Aug. 20.

Trevin Jones (13-6) vs. Said Yokub (8-2); UFC Vegas 34, Aug. 21.

Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-8) vs. Alexander Poppeck (12-3); UAE Warriors, Sep. 22.

Christian Lee (15-3) vs. Rae Yoon Ok (15-3); ONE Championship, Sep. 24.

Misha Cirkunov (15-6) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (22-5); UFC Fight Night, Oct. 2.

Alan Patrick (15-3, 1 NC) vs. Mason Jones (10-1, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, Oct. 23.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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Is Joe Rogan right, does Ciryl Gane have the best movement in heavyweight MMA history?

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