Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane believes he made the right decision to go for a leg lock late in his fight against Francis Ngannou at UFC 270.
Gane got off to a good start against Ngannou at UFC 270, arguably winning the first two rounds with relative ease. But, Ngannou began to find his rhythm with his wrestling in the later rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.
In what was expected to be a striking showcase between Gane and Ngannou, a majority of the fight took place on the ground. This was mostly due in part to Ngannou’s knee injury he suffered leading up to the bout.
In the final round against Ngannou, Gane went for a leg lock submission with just minutes left in the fight. Ngannou was able to move out of it and resume top position.
Some criticized Gane and his team for this strategy, stating that it wasn’t the correct route to pulling off a late win.
During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Gane explained what went into the decision to attempt a late submission on Ngannou.
Ciryl Gane Explains Decision To Try To Leg Lock Francis Ngannou
“No, because I was really sure,” Gane said. “You see, this technique for me, I can do that on everybody that I have in my gym. High-level wrestling, high-level BJJ, and I can do it. I’m really comfortable on this technique, so that’s why I decided to do that, because I know the position was really good for me to go on this technique. I was really good. I was sure to finish the fight, in my mind.
“That’s why no regrets. Just I was a little bit tired, so that’s why I don’t do exactly the good thing, but [makes ‘so close’ gesture with fingers] no, that’s OK.”
Gane earned the heavyweight title shot after defeating Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. He and Ngannou were teammates in the past at MMA Factory in Paris.
It’s unclear when Gane will return to the octagon, but he’s looking to build off of the lessons learned at UFC 270 to work back to the title picture.
Who do you want to see Ciryl Gane fight next?