Fernand Lopez says Ciryl Gane targeting September return, sees Sergei Pavlovich as good opponent

Fernand Lopez would like to see Ciryl Gane take on the heavyweight division’s hottest contender.

Gane (11-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is coming off a quick submission loss to Jon Jones for the title at UFC 285 in March.

Lopez says Gane is targeting a return in fall and suggests streaking knockout artist Sergei Pavlovich (18-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) as his next opponent. Pavlovich has knocked out his past six opponents in the first round – most recently Curtis Blaydes in the UFC Fight Night 222 headliner.

Scroll to continue with content

“September, (and) Sergei Pavlovich would be a good opponent,” Lopez told Middle Easy on Gane’s targeted return. ”

Although Gane had lost before to Francis Ngannou, he faced an unfamiliar scenario against Jones. The former interim heavyweight champ never got a chance to get going against Jones, who was able to take him down and choke him out in a matter of minutes.

Gane received criticism for his ground game, and Lopez says it’s an area that they will continue to work on.

“He was very affected,” Lopez said. “As soon as the fight ended, he was like, ‘Jeez, I f*cked up. What just happened?’ It happens. No matter, the people who try to criticize you about what was wrong with your wrestling, actually, you know what? Curtis Blaydes is a good wrestler, but the wrestling does not help every time.


“You can train hard. You can train very good on wrestling, but you will always be under a couple guys in the UFC in the wrestling department. You need to complete that game. … We need to do that. We need to train on that so we try to do that right now. We’re just back on board, trying to figure out and train in all the areas of wrestling, grappling and all the departments.”


Tom Aspinall puzzled by Ciryl Gane's performance in loss to Jon Jones: 'He just didn't look right'

Daniel Cormier advises Sergei Pavlovich to be backup for Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic UFC title fight

Curtis Blaydes doesn't expect Ciryl Gane to evolve his grappling game after Jon Jones UFC title loss

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie