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Fernand Lopez on potential Ciryl Gane vs. Derrick Lewis fight: 'We will not be playing safe'

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 3/5/2021 Farah Hannoun,John Morgan
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Coach Fernand Lopez vows that more aggression will come from UFC heavyweight Ciryl Gane in his next outing.

Gane (8-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who scored a lopsided unanimous decision win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in last week’s UFC Fight Night 186 headliner, cracked the top five in the official heavyweight rankings, but he failed to impress UFC president Dana White.

The French prospect outpointed Rozenstruik in a tactical affair, throwing almost double the amount of strikes as “Bigi Boy,” who was content to sit back and counter for 25 minutes.

With heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic defending his title against Francis Ngannou at UFC 260, there aren’t too many available fighters ranked ahead of Gane. Although Lopez stands by Gane’s “anyone, anywhere” mantra, one name that was thrown his way is Derrick Lewis, who they’re certainly open for.

Lewis (24-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) possesses a similar power-punching counter style as Rozenstruik, which could make a fight with Gane look very similar. But Lopez assures that if Gane does fight Lewis, he will ramp things up.

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“If we go against Derrick Lewis, we will not be playing safe,” Lopez told MMA Junkie. “We’re going there to take the chance. At this point, if the daddy says that he wants people to be bleeding, let’s go for bleeding. To be honest with you, people, they don’t know really the mentality of Ciryl Gane, because they call him ‘Good Kid,’ this and that.

“This kid loves to fight. He really loves to bang, so at this point, I can just give the strategy right now. If we go with Derrick, we don’t have a choice, otherwise we’ll have another boring fight. So if we go there, we just bite down the mouthpiece and sit there and bang and see what happens.”

Gane turned pro less than three years ago but is ready to make a title run. After beating Rozenstruik, “Bon Gamin” said he’s ready to fill in as a reserve for the upcoming title fight between Miocic and Ngannou later this month if necessary, as he aims for an active 2021.


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