Dana White rates Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

Dana White is well aware of the drama surrounding UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s title unification bout against interim titleholder Ciryl Gane. After all, the UFC president has been in the middle of it all by publicly arguing with Ngannou’s manager about his contract situation.

While this has been the center of attention in the build-up to Saturday’s UFC 270 headliner, White doesn’t think it will ultimately impact the quality of the fight.

“Whether you take all the negativity and drama that surrounds the fight, it’s all part of the story and the fight,” White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday. “You have bad blood between these two. They were both from the same camp with the same coach, all that. But in the end, the fight speaks for itself.

Consider a few facts for a moment:

  • Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) is on a five-fight winning streak; Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) remains perfect in his MMA career.
  • Ngannou has a 100% finish rate, earning all 16 career wins by stoppage, including 11 in the UFC.
  • Gane’s seven-fight UFC heavyweight winning streak is the longest active streak in the division.

These are the facts, but there is also what Ngannou and Gane showed everyone. Ngannou has delivered some of the most devastating knockouts in UFC history, while Gane looks so good that White considers him “arguably the greatest striker in the history of the heavyweight division.”

What more could you ask for?

“It’s not like it’s one of those fights where you have a knockout artist against a jiu-jitsu guy, the jiu-jitsu guy has to take him down,” White said. “It’s striker versus striker, raw power versus technique.”

And who would have thought that Ngannou, one of the most feared fighters in UFC history, would be the underdog? According to the latest Tipico Sportsbook line, Ngannou is listed at +120, with Gane considered the favorite at -155.

For White, the surprising betting odds are just another factor that makes Ngannou vs. Gane so great.

“I love fights like this where you have this champion with this type of power, and the interim champion that comes in is actually the absolute favorite to win,” White said, “That’s what makes this special fight. Some people get sucked into the drama and the bad blood, but at the end of the day, this fight will absolutely and positively speak for itself.

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