With a raucous crowd on his side at Accor Arena, Gane engaged in an incredible back-and-forth war with Tai Tuivasa that delivered in every possible way. After he was nearly finished in the second round, Gane came back to punish Tuivasa to the body with a series of kicks that set up a devastating combination of punches that finally put a stop to the fight.
As Tuivasa crumbled to the canvas, referee Marc Goddard rescued him from further harm as the end came at 4:23 in the third round with Gane rising to celebrate the moment with the Paris crowd.
“Honestly Tai hit me so hard, he knocked me out,” Gane said afterward. “He put the lights out, I fell down, but I had to be a warrior. I got up and that’s what I did. I came back even stronger and I got the win.”
In his first fight back since coming up short in his bid to become undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Gane was fast on his feet as he blasted Tuivasa with a variety of kicks, including several hard shots to the legs and then going to the body. While he was eating those strikes, Tuivasa continued marching forward as he looked to close the distance to unleash the sledgehammers attached to the end of his arms.
Gane showed fast footwork to stay out of range from Tuivasa’s monstrous punches. He then countering with a quick lead jab that started to connect in succession. That same jab continued to pay dividends moving into the second round, though he had to be careful when Tuivasa finally got close enough to launch a hook at his head.
That’s exactly the moment when Tuivasa cracked Gane with a huge shot that dropped the French heavyweight to the canvas. Tuivasa went for the kill, unloading punches, but Gane weathered the storm before getting back to his feet.
From there, Tuivasa chased the finish, but Gane made him pay for the aggression with a series of body kicks that nearly folded “Bam Bam” in half. The kicks did so much damage, but Tuivasa remained dangerous as he continued launching bombs at Gane any time he had a second to unleash his punches.
Following an insane five minutes, Gane and Tuivasa attempted to top that with a wild third round that saw both fighters throw caution to the wind again. Gane was still the more technical fighter as he kept stabbing Tuivasa to the body with kicks, but the Australian refused to go down.
As he made a valiant attempt at a comeback, Tuivasa rushed forward with another series of haymakers. This time, however, he was met with a devastating counter right hand from Gane. The punch landed clean as Tuivasa’s head spun, and that was the beginning of the end.
Gane unleashed several more shots until Tuivasa couldn’t take anymore as he fell to the ground in a heap. It was an unbelievable ending to an all-time great heavyweight war.
Following the win to get him back on track after falling to Francis Ngannou in January, Gane was all smiles while proving yet again that he remains a constant threat to the UFC heavyweight title.
“No matter who [is next], I go back to the belt, please,” Gane shouted. “I want the belt. That’s all I want.”