Ciryl Gane is coming off the biggest victory of his career last weekend, defeating Alexander Volkov in a dominant unanimous decision win inside the octagon.
Gane will now be looking towards an interim title shot on August 7th at UFC 265 vs fellow top contender Derrick Lewis in Lewis’s hometown of Houston, Texas.
While Gane was interviewed by MMA Junkie this week, he spilled the beans on a previously offered interim title bout saying, “We knew already because just before the fight (with Volkov), UFC sent a message to Fernand Lopez (Gane’s trainer), a message like, ‘Yes, this is the semifinal, so do your job, and we’ll see after that.”
“I think it was an interim title shot, yes. But I’m not sure because they didn’t text with me. It was Lopez, and Lopez told me, ‘Man, do your job, and after the fight you’re going to be happy.’”
The sudden booking of the interim title bout surprised many fans, analysts and fighters especially with Ngannou’s team coming out saying they were offered and accepted the title fight for September.
Gane, a teammate of Ngannou’s was ultimately pleased with the interim bout.
“It was good because it’s good news, but I was really focused on the fight and no more pressure,” Gane said. “I just said, ‘Man, Ok, this is good news but I have to do the job before that, so stay focused on your job, on the fight against Volkov and after we’ll see.’ I was really focused, no pressure.”
Overall, this situation has been an interesting and controversial one. Why didn’t the UFC just make this a number one contender’s bout? An answer only few may know.
How do you feel about Ciryl Gane vs Derrick Lewis being for an interim title? Who wins?