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UFC 256 results: Ciryl Gane blasts Junior dos Santos with brutal elbow strike to earn second-round stoppage

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UFC 256: Dos Santos v Gane Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Ciryl Gane picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC 256 as he kicked off the pay-per-view broadcast with a brutal knockout against former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

It was a technical masterpiece on the feet for Gane, who showcased a strong kickboxing attack throughout the fight before setting up the finish with a nasty jab that rattled dos Santos and put him on wobbly legs. Once he realized the Brazilian was hurt, Gane seized on the opening and launched a huge elbow strike that blasted dos Santos and put him down on the canvas as the referee rushed into stop the fight.

The official time for the TKO came at 2:40 into the second round.

“I’m really happy to do that great,” Gane said after moving to 7-0 in his career. “We will see for the future.”

The heavyweights were sharp on the feet with dos Santos establishing a well-timed jab to the body while Gane was blasting away with a series of powerful kicks. Gane’s ability to switch stances was giving dos Santos some trouble as he continued to mix up his combinations with kicks targeting the head, body and legs.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening round, dos Santos started swinging for the fences and he caught Gane with a clubbing right hand that definitely got the Frenchman’s attention.

While that was a good moment for the former heavyweight champion, Gane continued to control the distance, which just allowed him to pick and choose his shots while dos Santos was always reacting to his opponent.

The patience on the feet for Gane truly paid off when he threw the jab that caught dos Santos off guard, which then led to the finishing sequence a few seconds later.

There was a little bit of controversy about the ending as dos Santos complained that Gane’s elbow strike actually connected with the back of his head. Replays weren’t definitive but it appeared that the damage done came from Gane hitting dos Santos just behind and below his ear, which is a legal strike.

The outcome remained the same with Gane earning the TKO victory as he will now rocket into the top 10 rankings after defeating a former champion in dos Santos in just his fourth fight in the UFC.