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Morning Report: Ciryl Gane feels Francis Ngannou made correct choice standing ground in ‘war with the UFC’

UFC 270: Ngannou v Gane Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ciryl Gane isn’t surprised to see how things played out between the UFC and the now-former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Ngannou vs. Jon Jones was the obvious mega-fight to make in the land of giants as the all-time great Jones plotted his debut. Unfortunately, Ngannou and the promotion were unable to agree on a new deal that would allow Ngannou more freedom and worthwhile compensation for his position on the roster. Therefore, leading to his departure and Gane filling the spot to face Jones for the vacant title at UFC 285 on March 5 in Las Vegas.

“I think when you’re in the position [where] you want to do the war with the UFC and you stay in your position like he did, I wasn’t surprised by this decision [to let him go],” Gane told MiddleEasy. “For me, I have something — maybe some views. Maybe he wants to stop his career in MMA and just wants to go to make money in boxing. This is a choice and this is not the wrong choice [to] me. That’s a correct [choice].”

The Ngannou contract storyline carried through Gane’s fight with the former champion in Jan. 2022. Of his 12 fights as a pro, Gane’s lone defeat came in that clash with “The Predator” via an intriguing unanimous decision.

Despite the improbability of a rematch ever taking place at this point, Gane isn’t upset about the direction their careers have gone in.

“No, you see, for that, a lot of people told me, ‘Oh, you want revenge for Francis now, no?’ I said no,” Gane laughed. “I just want the belt. So, I’m okay with this defeat. It was not a ridiculous defeat. It was really, really close. So, no, I’m not like that.

“This doesn’t [give] me some pain, you see. I’m okay with that. I’m really okay with that.”

UFC 285 will mark Jones’ first appearance in the octagon since Feb. 2020. At age 35, there are a lot of question marks surrounding what type of “Bones” awaits France’s finest. The fact that Gane gets the opportunity to find out is all he needs to be satisfied in his current standing.

“I’m really excited. Jon Jones ... everybody wants to fight Jon Jones because Jon Jones has a big career,” Gane said. “I’m so happy about that. I just want to say thank you to all of the UFC and thank you to Jon Jones also.

“I’m so excited because my coach told me also that last time he was a champion, I was playing basketball. So, that’s really crazy for me, for a young guy with a young career. I’m feeling lucky.”


Conflict. Dana White responds to Islam Makhachev’s comments about UFC 284 promotion: ‘What does he know about what’s going on?

Plans. Jon Jones explains new contract and physique, has sights set on Stipe Miocic after UFC 285

Commentary. UFC 284 broadcast team features Michael Bisping, Dominick Cruz sitting in for Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier

Numbers. Bellator 290 draws just over 1 million average viewers on CBS

Roundtable. Where does Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski rank among MMA’s best superfights?

Confidence. Johnny Eblen believes he’s ‘a style matchup disaster’ for Alex Pereira: ‘I beat him 10 times out of 10’

Career. Glover Teixeira reflects on final UFC war and the moment he decided it was time to retire: ‘I didn’t have anything planned’


MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Mike Perry.

Embedded 2.

Islam Makhachev hype.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.

How to get a Yair-;like bonus.

Flashback to the bloodiest fight I’ve ever seen.

Volk’s self-breakdown.

Triple C gym demo.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler get you to watch The Ultimate Fighter 31.








Break it down.

Authentic only.


Training pals.

Main event mood.


Should have called me to take his spot, Chael. Be there in 10.


Cowboy’s guns.


Now that’s next-level coaching.

Anywhere, anytime.


Seo Hee Ham (25-8) vs. Itsuki Hirata (6-1); ONE Fight Night 8, March 24

Liang Na (19-6) vs. Brogan Walker (7-3); UFC San Antonio, March 25

Brad Tavares (19-8) vs. Bruno Silva (22-8); UFC Fight Night, April 22


I can only imagine what Scott and Nobu have planned for this year. May the hype intensify.

Thanks for reading!



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