Dana White is often cagey about talking about future fights before they’re signed and sealed, but the UFC president couldn’t help himself after watching Ciryl Gane’s victory over Derrick Lewis at UFC 265.
Gane’s third-round stoppage of “The Black Beast” saw the Frenchman capture the interim heavyweight title to set up a mouth-watering title unification clash against Francis Ngannou.
It’s a bout packed with intrigue, both from a stylistic point of view and a backstory perspective, with the pair former teammates and training partners at the MMA Factory gym in Paris, France.
After Ngannou was dominated by Stipe Miocic in his first UFC heavyweight title tilt, Ngannou left the French gym and headed to Las Vegas, where he has trained at Xtreme Couture ever since.
He went on to capture the undisputed title, and it now looks like his first title defence will come against a familiar foe, with Gane now in possession of the interim belt.
It’s a matchup that clearly has White buzzing with excitement, as he grinned his way through the UFC 265 post-fight press conference on Saturday night.
“It’s badass,” he enthused.
“What I love is when we were going into this fight, I was telling everybody, and it’s absolutely true.
You have two of the best possible heavyweights in the world fighting each other.
“You have the guy who beat Francis Ngannou, right? And a guy who is undefeated with the whole backstory that you just said, right?
“This fight got a lot of heat. It created a lot of interest. Ciryl Gane goes out tonight. He looks incredible.”
Gane’s clinical performance, picking Lewis apart from range before finishing him with strikes, means a heavyweight title unification bout between two French-speaking fighters is next, and White said the timing couldn’t have been better.
“We’ve been working a long time on getting France,” White explained.
“France is open now and we just got a TV deal in France. Here we are.
“What you always want to do when you either build fighters or build fights or put on fights is you want to have the best possible guys fighting each other that you possibly can.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. You couldn’t write it. You couldn’t script it. F*****g Vince (McMahon, WWE CEO) couldn’t have wrote a better script for this whole thing. It’s beautiful.”