Next month will mark two years since Jon Jones competed inside of a cage and Ciryl Gane says that he would be more than happy to welcome him back.
The unbeaten Gane challenges Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title in Anaheim, California this weekend and, presuming that he wins that one, has affixed a target to the back of the most successful light heavyweight champion in the history of the sport.
“This will be a pleasure if I win against Francis, yes I want to fight against Jon Jones,” said Gane to the media, including The Mac Life, in California on Wednesday. “This is the next one.”
Much of the two years that Jones has spent outside of the cage has been consumed by talk of his eventual heavyweight debut, the central thesis he cited as the reason for abandoning his championship career at 205-pounds. Since then, outside-of-the-cage incidents have consumed Jones but Gane says he is more interested in the stylistic battle than the baggage attached to Jones.
“A lot of people talk about that already because we are maybe the more well-rounded guys in this division and a lot of people talk about a technical fight. It will probably be a good matchup. Yes, if it’s possible, we’re going to do this,” he said.
As for the challenge awaiting him this weekend, Gane is under no illusions.
“This is not just only the power against the technique,” Gane said. “It’s not only the power he has. He has a fight IQ also. He is technical. I am more technical than him and I have power, also. This is not exactly the power against the technique but we will see.”
“This is a new era in the UFC,” Gane added. “You have guys like Tom Aspinall, another new guy in this division, we are a little bit different. I think we understand something more and that’s why it’s going to be different. It’s not a disrespect for [Alistair] Overeem or Jairzinho [Rozenstruik], these are excellent fighters, too but this is really different.”