Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane surprised a lot of people with his recent revelation that he only trains when he has a fight scheduled.
“Unfortunately, I’m lazy,” said Gane in an interview with French outlet La Sueur. “That’s the truth. I only train when a fight is announced. I have a lot of media obligations. Professional opportunities outside of the sport. You can’t say no to all these things. I also have to give time to my family, rest well.”
Gane also revealed that he has ‘barely trained’ since his previous appearance at UFC Paris, where he earned a third-round KO of Tai Tuivasa this past September. With his next appearance around the corner, those revelations have some concerned for Gane, who faces one of the greatest fighters of all time in Jon Jones at UFC 285 in March.
However, his coach Fernand Lopez says though that used to be true, Gane has changed his ways. He claims the adjustment came after Gane’s first professional loss—a unanimous decision to Francis Ngannou—and now, his pupil spends more time in the gym.
“That’s how Ciryl used to be,” Lopez told Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie. “Before, Ciryl was the kind of guy that will train only if he have a fight announced, and since the loss that he had, that was a very good thing that happened, is that Ciryl just changed his mindset, and Ciryl started to train even when we don’t have a date. When we arrived in Vegas, we didn’t know that we’d have a fight. But Ciryl brought a guy there, one of the best grapplers in France, to be around so we can keep training.
“Ciryl now knows that the evolution is coming when you don’t have a date, so you can improve, so you can learn, so you can add some tools,” continued Gane. “But whenever you have a date, you cannot think about evolution anymore. You’re thinking about the fight, how to beat this guy in front of you. So when they give you the name Jon Jones, everything drops at the development. Now you focus on how to beat the fighter. Before that was Ciryl, but now, I don’t complain with Ciryl.”
Jones responded to Gane, saying he ‘smells a trap,’ but is still ‘training his ass off’ for their fight. The former UFC light heavyweight champion returns after a three-year hiatus following his unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in 2020.
UFC 285 goes down on Sat., March 4, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)