Ciryl Gane Ready to Fight Francis Ngannou for UFC Heavyweight Title After Volkov Win

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 26: Ciryl Gane of France reacts after his unanimous-decision victory over Alexander Volkov of Russia in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Undefeated Ciryl Gane wants a shot at Francis Ngannou and the UFC heavyweight title following his victory over Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.

According to ESPN's Marc Raimondi, Gane said he is "ready" for a title opportunity before adding: "I think it's OK. Now I'm comfortable with the situation. He has the belt. ... We were born in the same gym with the same coach. Now, for the title, for the belt—I can do this."

On Saturday night, Gane beat Volkov by unanimous decision to improve his career professional record to 9-0, with six of those victories coming in the UFC.

The 31-year-old Frenchman has only been a professional MMA fighter since 2018, but he has already done enough to get himself in the championship discussion.

If Gane vs. Ngannou does happen, it would be a huge step in the development of MMA in France, as both Gane and Ngannou trained under Fernand Lopez at MMA Factory in Paris.

The 34-year-old Ngannou, who is originally from Cameroon, has turned himself into a dominant force in the heavyweight division with a career record of 16-3, including 12 wins by way of knockout.

Ngannou has won five fights in a row, including a knockout victory over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March to become the heavyweight champ.

Gane has beat some impressive names in his own right over his past three outings with victories over Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Volkov.

Per Raimondi, he is only the fifth heavyweight in history to begin his UFC career 6-0. The others are Randy Couture, Cain Velasquez, dos Santos and Ngannou, all of whom went on to become UFC heavyweight champions.

While Gane is undoubtedly a candidate for a title shot, he may have to wait a bit longer before the UFC grants him one.

He is listed at No. 3 in the UFC heavyweight rankings behind Miocic and Derrick Lewis. He will also likely have to contend with No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Jon "Bones" Jones, who is transitioning to the heavyweight division.

While it isn't a guarantee that Gane's next fight will be a title bout, he is one of the fastest-rising stars in the UFC, so it is likely a matter of when rather than if he gets a title shot.