This is the UFC 256 live blog for Junior Dos Santos vs. Ciryl Gane, a heavyweight main card bout on Saturday’s fight card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Dos Santos, the former heavyweight champion, is in dire need of a win after three straight losses, all by way of TKO. In Gane he gets a hungry up-and-comer who’s undefeated in six pro bouts including three inside the octagon.
Check out the UFC 256 live blog below.
Round 1: Jerin Valel is the third man in the cage for this main card opener. The two meet in the center of the cage to start things off and the first minute is mostly a feeling out process. There’s a brief clinch with Gane pushing JDS to the fence but they separate without anything happening. Back a range, Gane is keeping a steady pace with kicks to the legs and head. As per usual, JDS is looking to box. Now JDS is trying to cut the cage but can’t quite find the shot he’s looking for. Gane circles and now he’s on the attack. Gane still working those kicks, especially when dos Santos is pressuring. JDS is swinging HEAT but Gane is eye everything very well. A stray low kick from Gane lands to the nether region and the action is paused.
When things restart, Gane is gong back to work with kicks and he’s giving JDS a lot of looks with those. Junior is consenting to stand at kicking range too much and Gane is pulling away. That being said, neither man has hurt the other so that’s something. Junior catches a kick and briefly looks for a takedown but Gane limp-legs out quickly. This is really turned into a kickboxing lesson from Gane. He’s picking his shots beautifully and slipping most of what is coming back. But as I type that, Junior lands his best punch of the fight, a huge right hand that gets Gane’s attention. Now JDS is coming forward and bombing on Gane but Gane has his wits about him and keeps moving to space. The bell sounds without further incident.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Gane.
Round 2: In his corner, JDS’s team tells him to start mixing in takedowns and that’s good advice. On the feet he’s getting picked apart and as round two starts, that trend continues. Dos Santos is really struggling to land anything now, as Gane’s defense is superb. He’s parrying, moving, and sticking shots on JDS. Junior continues to come forward though and halfway through the round, Gane lands a heavy low kick that has hurt the lead leg of JDS severely. Junior is walking gingerly now and that’s only going to make things worse for him. Oh, Gane lands a big jab that has dos Santos in trouble! JDS is now in full retreat. JDS is against the fence and Gane lands a big elbow right behind the ear that collapses dos Santos to the mat. Gane follows him down and lands some other shots but Valel intervenes and stops the fight.
Afterwards, dos Santos is livid about the stoppage, saying the elbow was to the back of the head. On the replay, it’s close but definitely seems legal and ultimately, it didn’t matter. JDS was done either way. Great performance from Gane.
Official Decision: Ciryl Gane defeats Junior dos Santos by TKO at 2:34 of Round 2.