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Ciryl Gane explains why Francis Ngannou would’ve been an ‘easier’ opponent for Jon Jones

The former interim UFC heavyweight champion says Jones may be in for a rude awakening when they fight. 

Ciryl Gane at UFC Paris in September.
Ciryl Gane at UFC Paris in September.
Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images

Ciryl Gane says he poses a greater threat to Jon Jones than Francis Ngannou.

The UFC announced that the former champion would return to the Octagon against Gane at UFC 285 after a nearly three-year hiatus. In his first fight, Jones will vie for the UFC heavyweight championship, which is now vacant after Francis Ngannou was released from his current contract.

Prior to his release, Ngannou was considered the greatest threat to Jones, as his size and power were causes for concern in a potential fight. But for Gane, he understands he would need more than those to go against Jones.

“I know I got a good footwork at first, I think I’m a little more well-rounded [than Ngannou],” said Gane at the UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference (video provided by MMA Fighting). “I look a little bit more like Jon Jones. Yes, when you have a big guy that just wants to kill you with one punch, it’s more easier for a guy well-rounded and smart like Jon Jones to to manage the situation.

“But me, I’m not like that,” continued Gane. “I also like to manage the situation, so it’s going to be good.”

As far as what type of fight he expects, Gane says it could be a healthy mix of striking and grappling. Though ‘Bon Gamin’ was outrgrappled by the ‘Predator’ at UFC 270, he is ready if ‘Bones’ decides to employ a similar strategy.

“I think he’s going to stay well-rounded,” said Gane. “I don’t think he’s going to prove something else. I think he just wants to win his fight against me, and I don’t know what is a good way to win against me. Yes, some people like to say to my wrestling game is not good because of the fight with Francis, but this is not the truth. I was not focused on just that. I’m well-rounded, too. I can imagine a fight where we’re going to stay on the feet and maybe we’re going to try some time to go down.”

UFC 285 goes down on Saturday, March 4, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.