Ngannou will fight Gane on Jan. 22 on the UFC’s first pay-per-view card of 2022. To prepare for Gane’s unique skillset on the feet, he recently brought in Glory Kickboxing champion Rico Verhoeven to develop his repertoire.
Xtreme Couture head coach Eric Nicksick revealed the partnership on his social media.
Verhoeven was supposed to face one of Ngannou’s former UFC opponents, Alistair Overeem in his latest Glory heavyweight title defense. However, Overeem withdrew from the bout due to injury and Verhoeven ended up defeating Jamal Ben Saddick in their trilogy.
Francis Ngannou Is Looking To Stop Ciryl Gane’s Meteoric Rise
Ngannou faces a former training partner in Gane after the two briefly were in the same gym together at MMA Factory in Paris, France. Gane and Ngannou both ended up finding success in the UFC’s heavyweight division, with Gane winning seven straight in the promotion and Ngannou knocking out Stipe Miocic for the title.
Gane has an unusually quick movement for a heavyweight. In his most recent win over Derrick Lewis for the interim title, he overwhelmed Lewis on the feet and earned the third-round TKO.
Ngannou will make his first title defense against Gane at UFC 270 and is looking to earn another highlight win to his impressive heavyweight run. He has shown improvements in his overall game since first signing with the UFC and will need to make adjustments to deal with Gane’s striking prowess.
What is your prediction for Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane?