Javier Mendez, the coach of Khabib Nurmagomedov, shared his thoughts about Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane fight at UFC 270.
Later this month in Anaheim, Francis Ngannou will defend his UFC heavyweight title against former teammate Ciryl Gane. These two men are very familiar with each other’s work and while some fans feel like that should give us a good insight into what’s going to happen, you just never know with a division as unpredictable as heavyweight.
Gane knows how much of a challenge lies ahead of him but in equal measure, Francis Ngannou is aware of how technical his opponent is.
Javier Mendez, who has previously coached the likes of Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez in this weight class, has his own thoughts on what could go down.
While speaking to Helen Yee, Javier Mendez said:
“As far as stylistically, the power goes to Ngannou, so anytime he touches you there’s a risk factor for the person who gets hit by that. But Ciryl Gane has great athletic ability and diversity in everything he does. The longer the fight goes, it favours him I believe. The shorter the fight goes favours Ngannou. It’s gonna be a tough fight, I don’t really know exactly who’s gonna win, they’re both great fighters in my opinion and one just has the most power I’ve ever seen out of anybody. The other one, for a big man, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody the size of Gane who has the ability he has. He has incredible ability, and they’re both likeable. Very likeable guys.”
While Ciryl Gane may have a 7-0 record in the UFC, Gane really began to make people sit up and take notice when he secured a nice TKO win over Junior dos Santos in December 2020.
In 2021, he rose to the status of interim heavyweight champion by beating Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Alexander Volkov and Derrick Lewis with a 3-0 run that rivals anything accomplished at heavyweight in the last few years.
Gane has earned his right to be in the big dance, and it’ll be fascinating to see how he handles the pressure of facing the heavyweight champion.