Undefeated French heavyweight Ciryl Gane defeated Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 to capture the interim heavyweight title, and described his title-winning performance a “masterclass.”
Gane, who went into the bout as the betting favourite, despite going into Lewis’ home town of Houston, Texas, produced a near-flawless performance to finish “The Black Beast” inside three rounds to win the belt and become the first French fighter to win a UFC title.
And, speaking after his victory, the 31-year-old recapped his performance during his post-fight press conference.
“It was a (masterclass),” Gane told reporters backstage at Toyota Center. “It was that. He touched me maybe one time (or) two times. He gave me a poke (in my) eyes. My vision was blurring for all of the fight. It was not easy to manage this, but yes, I think it was a masterclass, yeah.”
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Gane said competing in the atmosphere of a heavyweight title fight in front of a packed house was “awesome,” but he didn’t let the occasion affect his performance as he delivered a punch-perfect performance to defeat Lewis while managing to avoid taking any clean shots from the noted knockout artist during the fight.
“The feeling was exactly what we expected – exactly what we expected. That’s why he never touched me. He never touched me.
“Every time, maybe 10 times, it was the right hand. He never touched me 100 percent, because we worked on it, because we expected it. We did it well.”
Gane’s win sets up a fight with his former teammate and training partner, Francis Ngannou, who left the MMA Factory gym after his first shot at the UFC title before eventually going on to win the belt.
And Gane made sure he heaped praise on his coach at the MMA Factory in Paris, Fernand Lopez.
“I’m really thankful. I’m really happy. I’m really proud,” he said.
“This is not exactly for me. This is for my coach, Fernand Lopez. Everybody knows the story with Francis. He was really close to having the belt, and unfortunately (Francis) moved to Vegas.
“This is also for MMA Factory, my gym. This is also for the fans in my country and my family.”