Ciryl Gane’s performance vs. Tai Tuivasa is proof that UFC heavyweights have reached their peak
There is just about a shame of wealth in the UFC’s heavyweight division at this moment. The main thing that is keeping it down is that large numbers of them are harmed and incapable to battle.
Ciryl Gane was the latest heavyweight to show his stuff, winning a Fight of the battle by stoppingsa at 4:23 of the third round in the five-round main event of UFC Paris hugely partisan sell-out crowd at Accor Arena.
Gane looks like the prototype of what a modern heavyweight should be. At 6-foot-4, nearly 250 pounds, he’s got the perfect build: Thick and powerful, but not so big it limits his agility. He’s speedy and quick and has footwork on a standard with folks who gauge 80 or 100 pounds less.
He showed that in the finishing sequence Saturday. After pummeling Tuivasa’s body with kicks to the midsection all night, Gane again landed two powerful kicks to the body. As Tuivasa finally had enough and bent over, wincing in pain, Gane showed his athleticism and great footwork.
After landing the second kick, he quickly shifted his feet and landed a blazing right cross that ended any question that Tuivasa may miraculously survive. It was the kind of footwork one routinely sees from lightweight boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko and not the kind to expect from a hulking, powerful, 250-pound heavyweight.
There are any number of lucrative and entertaining fights available for Gane now. A rematch with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is probably chief among them. Ngannou used his wrestling when he was fighting on an injured knee in Anaheim, California, at UFC 270 on Jan. 22 at the Honda Center to win a unanimous decision.
Eric Nicksick, Ngannou’s coach, told Yahoo Sports on Saturday that the most likely timeframe for Ngannou’s return to action is in the first quarter next year. Gane said Saturday he fears he has a broken right hand.
The great Jon Jones is moving up from light heavyweight to heavyweight and is now ready to fight. Former champion Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought since losing to Ngannou in Las Vegas on March 27, 2021, but the UFC has discussed a Jones-Miocic match. A Gane match with either of them would be amazing.