Ciryl Gane has revealed that he already knew before his fight with Alexander Volkov that a win would lead him to an interim title shot.
“We knew already because just before the fight (with Volkov), UFC sent a message to Fernand Lopez (Gane’s trainer), a message like, ‘Yes, this is the semifinal, so do your job, and we’ll see after that,’” Gane told MMAjunkie.
“I think it was an interim title shot, yes. But I’m not sure because they didn’t text with me. It was Lopez, and Lopez told me, ‘Man, do your job, and after the fight you’re going to be happy.’”
It’s an interesting twist in the tale as for everybody else the swift announcement of Gane getting a title shot against Derrick Lewis following his decision win against Volkov last weekend came as a complete surprise, catching even heayweight champion Francis Ngannou and his manager off-guard.
However, Gane took it all in his stride and made sure he did what he needed to do against Volkov in order to ensure his title opportunity at UFC 265.
“It was good because it’s good news, but I was really focused on the fight and no more pressure,” Gane said. “I just said, ‘Man, Ok, this is good news but I have to do the job before that, so stay focused on your job, on the fight against Volkov and after we’ll see.’ I was really focused, no pressure.”