Ciryl Gane was ready to face the music following the most humbling loss of his career.
At the UFC 285 post-fight press conference, Gane was the second fighter to appear and he answered questions from the media about his devastating setback at the hands of Jon Jones in Saturday’s main event.
Jones needed a little more than two minutes to take Gane down and finish him with a guillotine choke to capture a UFC heavyweight championship that was vacated in the wake of Francis Ngannou’s recent departure from the promotion. Speaking on the loss, Gane made no excuses.
“Disappointed, of course,” Gane said. “But the biggest feeling is angry about myself. Really angry. Because yes, we accepted this fight, it was not short-notice, but the time was not too long, but we worked a lot, we spent a lot of time. We trained with my sparring partners, so I’m really angry about myself because I spent a lot of time with my partners, my coaches, my family, and it [wasn’t reflected] during the fight. So I’m really angry.”
Gane entered the fight coming off of a knockout win over Tai Tuivasa in his home country of France, but failed to provide much resistance to Jones, who was returning from a three-year hiatus from competition. The submission loss also marked the first time Gane failed to go the distance in his career.
Asked what was most disappointing about his UFC 285 main event performance, Gane couldn’t pinpoint one area.
“Everything,” Gane said. “All of that. My striking at first, my entrance. I’m going to talk about my entrance to the game, my start. … We didn’t look good and after that, we had opportunities because we twisted, I don’t know exactly how we did that. But we go in the clinch, we go back on the ground, he tried to hug my back. I defended my back, face to face, he tried to sweep me, I was comfortable because he doesn’t have a good guillotine and I know that, but I was afraid about the referee.
“I remember my coach saying, ‘Don’t stay in this position. This is a bad position,’ during the training. So I tried to move and [Jones] read that exactly at the same way that I moved and he f****** me up. S***.”
With Ngannou out of the picture, Gane was chosen to be Jones’ first heavyweight opponent and he didn’t feel that the longtime light heavyweight king was at any sort of physical disadvantage.
“It was a short feeling, but he’s a real heavyweight, for sure,” Gane said.
Jones’ performance brought Gane’s grappling limitations back to the forefront, a weakness that Ngannou also exploited when he defeated Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022.
When Gane goes back to the lab, his first priority will be to shore up his ground game.
“This is a real loss,” Gane said. “This is the first real loss I have. The loss to Francis wasn’t a big loss for me. I learned, but it was not too big. But this one is a real loss. So now this is the past and I must go forward to see the future and I’m going to go straight back to the gym.”
“The first thing is I’m going to go back straight to the gym and I’m going to work on my ground game,” he continued. “Yes, he’s a really high-level wrestler in the ground game, but we worked a lot, but I don’t have good reflexes. So I’m really angry at myself, so yeah, I’m going to work on it.”