‘Wrestling instead of stone fist’ Ngannou defeats Gane and becomes the strongest UFC heavyweight

Frances Ngannou celebrates with the staff after defeating Cyril Ghane to become the unified UFC heavyweight champion. photo = AFPBBNews
Cyril Ghane is dismayed after losing by decision to Francis Ngannou in the UFC heavyweight title fight. photo = AFPBBNews

[이데일리 스타in 이석무 기자] UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (36, Cameroon/France) defeated interim champion Cyril Gahnet (32, France). It also led to victory through wrestling, not punching.

On the morning of the 23rd (Korean time), Ngannou defeated Ghane by unanimous decision (48-47 48-47 49-) in the heavyweight title fight (5th round) of the main event of the mixed martial arts competition ‘UFC 270’ held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, USA on the morning of the 23rd. 46) was pressed.

Nicknamed the ‘monster’, Ngannou ascended the heavyweight throne at UFC 260 last March by defeating then-champion Stipe Miocic (USA) with a second round KO. He became the first heavyweight champion of African descent.

Gane, who debuted in the UFC in 2019, is on a 7-game winning streak. In August, he defeated ‘KO Artist’ Derek Lewis (USA) by TKO and became the interim champion. On this day, a unified title fight was held to combine the two champion belts into one. In the end, Ngannou won and became the true champion of the UFC heavyweight division.

With this victory, Ngannou, who has won 6 straight UFC victories, has a career record of 17 wins and 3 losses. On the other hand, after debuting in mixed martial arts, Gane had 10 wins and 7 consecutive UFC victories, but suffered her first defeat by Ngannu.

As expected of an out-fighting, Gane kept a distance and launched a strategy of hitting and running away with a kick. Ngannu, on the other hand, swung his fists forward at every opportunity. When Ngannu came in, Gane was hurried to avoid back.

However, Ngannou’s stamina dropped noticeably during each clinch fight. Gane effectively arranged his stamina while checking Eun Gan-nu, who was pushing hard. When the first round was over, Ngannu showed signs of exhaustion.

Even in the second round, Gane did not overdo it. While saving the steps, he restrained Ngannu from entering with a kick. Ngannu’s movements were noticeably slower. There was no active preemptive attack like in the first round of the first round.

Ghane, who gained confidence, aimed at his arms and faced Ngannu with a no-guard. If Ngannu saw a gap, he boldly attempted a back kick or leg kick.

In the third round, Ngannu succeeded in a surprise takedown. Just like a pro wrestling technique, he flashed the gane and slammed it down. Then he climbed on top of Gane and threw a pounding punch. Ganesh, who was lying on the floor, turned and changed his posture, and then got up again. Ngannu knocked Gane down again, but the ground didn’t last long.

Gane, who escaped the crisis, counterattacked with a kick. Ngannu grabbed Gane again and connected it with a takedown. Ngannu’s surprise takedown left Ghane helpless. Round 3 was the round that Ngannou definitely took.

In the third round, Gane was more cautious and played the game more carefully. He focused on kicking the leg kick from a distance. He occasionally aimed at Ngannu’s stomach with a back kick.

Ngannou, who continued to allow Gane to take a kick, succeeded in taking down again with two minutes left in the third round. Gane held Ngannu’s arm and held back the pounding punch. Ngannu continued to create an advantageous situation by pressing Ganesh from above. Following the 3rd round, Ngannou’s wrestling game shone in the 4th round.

With both players winning two rounds each, the final five rounds decided the match. Gane, who had been out fighting all the time, launched a preemptive attack in the early 5th round. Instead, he grabbed his leg and succeeded in a takedown. However, Ngannu, who was lying underneath, changed his posture and climbed up.

Gane grabbed Ngannu’s leg and attempted lower body articulation. Ngannu also took a top position after getting out of the submission. Exhausted, Gane could hardly come out of Ngannu’s pressure. Ngannou passed the time while maintaining an advantageous position.

Ngannou continued to fight on the ground until the buzzer sounded at the end of round 5. The moment the buzzer sounded, he raised his arms as if foreshadowing victory and enjoyed the joy. It was a game that clearly signaled that the heyday of Ngannou, who not only punched but also wrestled, had arrived.

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