Gane faced Tuivasa in the main event of UFC Paris this past Saturday, and while Gane was ultimately able to win the fight, he had had to work through some serious adversity to do so. In the second round, Tuivasa dropped Gane with a right hand that nearly turned the lights off for the Frenchman, and “Bon Gamin” admits he was in serious trouble.
“The feeling was just, because I didn’t see anything, talking about his punch, that’s why I fell down, and I think the ground woke me up,” Gane told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “When my ass touched the ground I said, ‘Oh, what happening?’ And I understood and reacted directly, that he caught me so I go ahead on his legs to grab and stand up, and after that, I took a rest — maybe three, four seconds — and moved away and it was OK, but he touched me for real.
“He’s really dangerous. You see sometimes you have some guys, you can’t explain, but he has something in his hands, just like that. When the guy touches you, you go down. That’s it. Incredible.”
During his UFC career, Gane has faced some of the biggest punchers in heavyweight history, including Francis Ngannou, Derrick Lewis, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Junior Dos Santos. Even still, he has high praise for Tuivasa, saying he’s never felt that kind of power before.
“No [I’ve never felt power like that before],” Gane said. “When you look at the punch, it really doesn’t look hard, powerful. But when he touches you, he touches you for real. That’s why I say, I don’t know exactly. I can’t explain, but he has something in his hands and this is the first time I’ve felt this.”
Despite how much trouble he was in during the second round though, Gane found a way to battle back, hurting Tuivasa in the second round before finishing the fight in the third round.
“I was always in, even this experience when I go down, I was in, I was focused,” Gane said. “And the last round, it was, ‘OK man, you run on me, so I’ve got not choice but to do the real war now.’ Normally I like to do the ‘Bon Gamin’ style, move away, but at this moment, it was not possible, so that’s why I faked to go away and I went in with the knee, boom, attacked him. I give him the middle knee, uppercut...it was a great fight. It was cool.”
Not only was the fight great, according to Gane, it was the best win of his career thus far, including his interim heavyweight title victory over Derrick Lewis.
“100 percent, the feeling was really different,” Gane said when asked if this was the biggest win of his career. “At the beginning of the fight it was ‘Ciryl! Ciryl! Ciryl!’ The feeling was really crazy. This was making me really happy. I don’t know if I can explain exactly the feeling, but when I finish the fight, my reaction was just I want to see everyone scream. Everyone was really happy, so I just walked [around] the cage, maybe two or three [times], just looking at the fans like, ‘Wow, you are really crazy.’ So it was a big moment.”
With the win, Gane moves to 8-1 in his UFC career, and the former interim champion is now targeting a fight with Jon Jones or another title shot.