Ciryl Gane is losing no time. A giant month after his victory over Alexander Volkov, final Saturday in Las Vegas, the French fighter will return to the UFC cage on August 7 in Houston in opposition to Derrick Lewis (who might be on his land) for the interim champion’s belt heavy ones. A primary for French MMA in the prestigious group. “Bon Gamin” confided in RMC Sport after the announcement of this shock… which is able to happen a few days earlier than the start of his second daughter, a timing which stresses a little the mild large with the legendary leisure.
Ciryl, your first MMA combat was on August 2, 2018. Three years later, on August 7, 2021, you’ll combat for the UFC interim heavyweight belt. What was your first feeling whenever you heard this information?
I spotted steadily. In truth, we knew he needed to combat in opposition to Alexander Volkov. However, it did not add stress to me as a result of I used to be very centered on this combat. I wasn’t already viewing the belt or something, I stayed centered on my mission and on the thought of doing a good efficiency as a result of we knew very properly that it was a big check. Little by little, after the combat, I questioned if it was going to be accomplished or not. We have been nonetheless ready for it to be official, as a result of till you signed a contract or issues like that, you do not know. We acquired the affirmation once we landed in France. I’m very glad. Again, it is tremendous bizarre, tremendous bizarre to say to myself: “I just started, how come?”
Before Volkov, your MMA Factory coach Fernand Lopez informed us that there have been issues in the pipes for those who gained. Was that it?
We discovered the day we took off from France and landed in the United States. Basically, we have been informed: “There is a way that the winner of the fight between Volkov and you could be put on a title fight on August 7th”. Did that put extra stress on me? No. In my head, it is prefer it does not match into the equation. Frankly, I guarantee you I have never even considered it. Lopez informed me about it but I’m informed that in any case, we needed to win this combat already, so there was no level in speaking about it straight away. I used to be extra in the mode: “Come on, let’s do a good performance, we concentrate well, we do what we want to do and we’ll see then”.
You might be again in the cage a month and ten days after these 5 rounds in opposition to Volkov, for a high-stakes combat. Does this brief timing fear you and do you come out of the shock in opposition to the Russian with illnesses that must be handled by then?
I solely have superficial little issues, as we might see in the picture after my combat. Nothing to report besides for small bruises as a result of he kicked properly (kicks, editor’s notice) in the first spherical, and a little bit in the face but it is actually nothing. And this brief delay between the two fights does not fear me in any respect. On the opposite. I keep in the juice, in the continuity of the preparation, it is nickel.
You informed us that you just have been anticipating your second daughter in August. The timing stays good to attend the start regardless of this combat of August 7?
Normally, if there is no such thing as a unhealthy shock, sure as a result of it’s for the finish of August. Fingers crossed. I’m telling you the fact: I’m a little stressed. For as soon as, I can say I’m a little stressed out about one thing, but it has nothing to do with the combat. (Laughs.) It’s one thing that will damage me, that will upset me. But how do you say no to a belt?
Did this example enter your considering earlier than accepting this combat?
Of course. I took a very long time to validate. We talked about it with Madame for a entire day. Because good… It’s all stunning, that is what occurs to me, it is my job, but I’m not in a rush, I needn’t hurry. So I assumed to myself: is it actually value risking lacking the arrival of my second daughter, one thing I’d be remiss for all my life? We talked about it collectively and we simply preserve our fingers crossed that luck is with me as soon as once more for this one as a result of it is life earlier than the job, at all times. As Madame is pregnant, we’re not going to go too far upfront to the United States since you by no means know so I need to go away as quickly as attainable. We might be leaving at the finish of July and even on August 1st. Not earlier than.
With such timing between your two fights, are you already late in the health club to coach or do you are taking some restoration time earlier than getting again to it?
The jet lag means I am unable to practice and leaves me at residence for a bit. I did little push-ups immediately, I wished to maintain some juice and see what my physique offers. The room, we’ll resume on Monday. There’s a method it is Friday, to see. In any case, sure, we’ll resume shortly. It’s not a week that can change something as a result of I’m simply popping out of virtually three months of preparation, I’m nonetheless in it.
Fernand Lopez is used to offering you with a first “gameplan” as quickly as your future opponent. Has he ever accomplished this for Lewis and may you inform us what’s in it?
He’s used to doing one thing in writing, in PDF, but he hasn’t despatched it to me but. I suppose we will be on a comparable profile to the combat in opposition to Jairzinho Rozenstruik. We know very properly that there’s just one hazard, it’s his well-known proper. There might be extra particulars but mainly the gameplan goes to be: contact and not be touched. It’s not going to be like in opposition to Volkov, the place we stayed so long as attainable in the field. It’s actually going to be touched with out being touched. And do Ciryl Gane, a masterclass.
In thirty-two fights, Derrick Lewis was solely capable of determine six instances. We know its devastating energy. Do you count on this combat to not go in spite of everything 5 rounds?
In any case, I need to end it. I need to take the belt with an exclamation mark, let it take a lot of hits. It will be that combating profile the place he is so overwhelmed that he can find yourself giving up a bit, as a result of he is the kind like that. I need to overwhelm him with a lot of hits.
This is the first time that a Frenchman will combat for a UFC belt. Do you understand that you’re making a mark on the historical past of your self-discipline in your nation?
Yes, but that does not put any stress on me. I do not know, it is bizarre… I’m simply tremendous glad to have this chance. I’m very conscious that we’re on the verge of reaching a new stage in my life, in my profession and in the world of MMA, of writing one thing loopy. I actually need to write the story but guarantee you it does not put stress. It hurts me, in reality.
Just glad to be there, then?
Absolutely. Besides, it is a month away so I do not even have time to consider something. Here we go and I hope it would.
If you win this interim belt, there is no such thing as a extra debate: you may be the challenger to champion Francis Ngannou, with whom you shared sparring periods when he was nonetheless at the MMA Factory. Are you beginning to inform your self that this combat about which you’ve got been informed for a very long time is absolutely not very distant?
Yes. Anyway, since he took my belt, I’ve it in my head. And at the identical time, I knew it. When I began, I keep in mind it, it was all about that. The questions all revolved round a attainable combat between the two of us. And I at all times replied: “If it has to happen, it will happen, but I would rather it happen when he gets the belt.” It’s like I do know it’ll prove like this, like I’m already visualizing the state of affairs. I knew Francis had the potential to be champion, that he was going to get there, and that if I acquired behind, it was sure to be a combat in opposition to him. It is not a shock, then. It’s been a very long time since I’ve realized and been conscious of the state of affairs.
When you combat for a belt in the UFC, you progress into one other monetary class, which frequently begins round $ 250,000 to $ 300,000 a combat. Can you affirm that that is a nice monetary change for you?
Exactly! And it is good. I’m not providing you with the actual sum, but we’re throughout that. This can also be what I envy. It grows on this stage and it feels good. It additionally rewards my efforts.
After the combat was introduced, many criticized the UFC for what they’re doing to Francis Ngannou, champion for barely three months but who sees an interim title combat manage as a result of he refused to return to the league. cage in August to take the time to organize properly after having celebrated his coronation. Do you agree with this evaluation?
Ah sure. It’s sure. When Fernand informed me about that, I instantly stated: they abuse, why are they doing that? In my head it was: what the hell occurred between them? I requested myself questions and I informed myself that issues will need to have gone badly between them once more. It’s a loopy factor, it does not occur. But afterwards, who am I to say no? I am unable to refuse. No one would have refused.
Do you assume this can additional strengthen Francis’ resolve and make him much more harmful the subsequent time he fights, in opposition to you if all goes properly in opposition to Lewis?
In fact, I had nothing to do with it and Francis is aware of it very properly. Will it strengthen his dedication? I do not know. Anyway, Francis, he’s at all times “deter” when he prepares a combat. This is the motive he refused to combat in August. He at all times needs to do issues proper and there he was not prepared.
Gane-Ngannou in Bercy at the finish of 2021 or the starting of 2022, in the metropolis the place you have been each “born” at MMA for the first UFC occasion in France, if the well being state of affairs permits it, you may already think about it in a nook of your head? The factor would have mouthful …
It could be a bomb, actually. Did they inform me about it at the UFC? Not in any respect. I actually do not know if it’ll occur. I feel the combat in opposition to Volkov was a good check. They purposely introduced ahead the timetable to adapt it to the European market. I did not have the fallout, I do not know if it labored properly both at the French stage or at the worldwide stage. You must see that. It could be good for the French. But if that does not occur, that is okay. If it’s attainable, they may. But if issues worsen in France by way of well being at the begin of the college yr …