UFC 285 - Ciryl Gane feels Less Pressure against Jon Jones compared to Francis Ngannou

Ciryl Gane will have a second chance to claim the UFC’s heavyweight title when he fights Jon Jones at UFC 285, but the 32-year-old says the moment feels less intimidating than when he previously challenged Francis Ngannou.

“Bon Gamin” claimed the UFC”s interim heavyweight title in 2021 when he stopped Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC 265. That win extended Gane’s undefeated record to 10-0, and it set up a chance for him to try and unify the heavyweight titles by taking on Ngannou at UFC 270.

That fight played out in a way that virtually no one expected, as an injured Ngannou utilized an as-yet-unseen wrestling game to earn a unanimous decision over the French striker. The result was a frustrating one for Gane, and Ngannou’s recent exit from the UFC means there’s no guarantee that he’ll ever get the opportunity to avenge what is currently the only loss of his MMA career.

Experience The Difference For Ciryl Gane Between Francis Ngannou And Jon Jones Fights

“Bon Gamin” will be taking on one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport at UFC 285, but at the event’s media day Gane indicated that he feels less pressure compared to the previous time he fought for the heavyweight title.

Francis Ngannou & Ciryl Gane
Ngannou relied on wrestling to defend his title against Gane at UFC 270. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“It’s gonna be different fight, it’s gonna be a really different fight,” Gane said. “The feeling is a little bit the same, with less pressure. It was my first experience against Francis with all of this media, all long week. It’s different, it’s different. Now I look like a little bit more [experienced]. I will feel good, we feel good. We fight, we did a great camp. And we chilling – we are not in the hotel, we are in the big house with all of my coaches, all of my partner and family.”

Gane rebounded from his loss to Ngannou by stopping Tai Tuivasa in a Fight of the Night performance last September, but Jones will have been out of action for more than three years by the time he steps into the cage at UFC 285.

The UFC’s former light heavyweight champion last appeared in an unconvincing title defense against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, and “Bones” hadn’t looked particularly sharp in his fights immediately before that one either. The 35-year-old has spent the last few years teasing a move up to heavyweight, and at UFC 285 he’ll have the chance to add a second title to his already impressive list of accolades.

The heavyweight title fight between Gane and Jones will cap off a tremendous UFC 285 main card, which also includes a women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso in the co-main event.

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