Ciryl Gane happy to go from sparring partner of hardman Francis Ngannou to opponent, should he beat Jair Rozenstruik

Ciryl Gane happy to go from sparring partner of hardman Francis Ngannou to opponent, should he beat Jair Rozenstruik
Ciryl Gane.Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
  • UFC prospect Ciryl Gane and heavy-hitter Francis Ngannou used to be sparring partners.
  • But Gane is unfazed if they will one day become opponents, despite Ngannou's knockout prowess.
  • Gane fights in the UFC on Saturday and welcomes all-comers in his quest for success.

Ciryl Gane is happy to go from Francis Ngannou's sparring partner to his opponent.

UFC prospect-come-contender Gane, an unbeaten mixed martial artist from Paris, fights Jair Rozenstruik on Saturday at the behind-closed-doors UFC Fight Night 186 event inside the Apex, Las Vegas.

A well-rounded fighter, Gane is regarded as the division's future and told Insider this week that he's proud that the industry, media, and fans hold him in such high esteem despite only competing for three years.

Should he beat Rozenstruik, Gane would edge closer to a big fight, or an outright title shot and could be matched against Ngannou, Derrick Lewis, or the champion Stipe Miocic.

Ngannou is his former training partner at the MMA Factory in France.


"We did some sparring when I arrived in MMA Factory three years ago," Gane told Insider. "He just returned for the camp for the fight versus Alistair Overeem, we sparred, and it was great for me to test myself against guys like him.

"It was really great," said Gane. "I was impressed with the power, as his shots have a whip on them. You learn a lot with this kind of guy."

On the prospect of fighting Ngannou, reputed to be the hardest-hitting heavyweight in UFC history, in the future, Gane said: "It would be a shame, but it has to be like that sometimes because that's life, and this is a sport."

But first, Gane has to overcome Rozenstruik. "He's really tough, with highly-rated striking," he said of the American Top Team striker. "But his ground-game is not really good. His weakness is wrestling.

"We are focused on my strengths," Gane said, adding that even though he last competed in December, the two months between fights was still ample time to build a winning strategy.


"One month to two months is enough to make a gameplan - and we have the right gameplan."