UFC 270: Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane at Honda Center Anaheim, California, United States
To say that this is an epic heavyweight fight would be an understatement. Not only is this the first champ vs champ fight in the division since Cain Velasquez clashed with Fabricio Werdum in 2015, but there is incredible intrigue over who will win.
Even if you do not take into account the titles, this is in itself an exciting fight between two former teammates. And despite the fact that they come from the same camp, they have very different approaches to their fights.
From a technical standpoint, Ngannou is by no means a great striker. He lifts his chin too high, hits too far, and is not inclined to time his bombs. However, he has simply unsurpassed power even for the heavyweight division. If he hits with his fist, even if it’s a glimpse, then his opponents will most likely be knocked to the ground.
The fact that Ngannou easily ignored Miocic’s takedowns in the rematch shows that he has worked on his weakness. But in the upcoming fight, he probably won’t have to defend against too many leg pass attempts. Gan is an outspoken striker himself, despite two UFC submission victories.
Unlike Ngannou, Gan is not just a powerful punch. The French native is much more technical than his counterpart, preferring to use long range strikes to break his opponent. Gan also hits hard on his own, but he’s not afraid to turn the fight into a scoring contest, like he did in his fight against Rozenstruik.
Basically, the fight should come down to whether or not Ngannou can catch Gan with something heavy at the start of the fight. If the champion fails to do so, then Gan may very well stay in the distance, dictate the pace, and take the opponent into deep waters to be dismantled. In terms of styles, Gan is a terrible opponent for Ngannou, he is a careful and calculating fighter, and four years ago the interim champion outmaneuvered the African in sparring.