Ciryl Gane sent the fans packed into the Accor Arena in Paris home happy on Saturday night after the hometown hero scored a third-round knockout of a game Tai Tuivasa in the UFC’s debut event in France.
Gane survived some trouble when he was knocked to the mat for the first time in his UFC career but the thunder-fisted Australian Tuivasa but successfully rebounded to finish his foe after he connected with a flurry of strikes after some prolonged punishment to Tuivasa’s midsection.
The win rebounded Gane successfully from the first defeat of his combat sports career across both mixed martial arts and Muay Thai when he was outpointed by UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou earlier this year, and while Gane says he wants to cross paths with ‘The Predator’ once again, there is also someone else whom he would like to welcome to the heavyweight ranks.
“To have Jon Jones in this division is going to put some more light, the division is going to shine a little bit more and more,” Gane said on the UFC’s post-fight show of the former light heavyweight champion who is expected to make his heavyweight debut in the coming months.
“That’s why I’m so happy to have this guy in this division. I don’t know what’s going to happen exactly. People talk about Stipe ] against Jones, but I’m here. I’m here. I don’t have a good answer — maybe Jon Jones for the hype, for the money.”
At minimum, Gane says he wants his next fight to be for an interim title while Ngannou continues to heal from knee surgery but says that he would also be happy with Miocic — but when prompted about a potential fight with Curtis Blaydes, Gane wasn’t quite so intrigued.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be an interim title,” Gane said. “I don’t know when [Ngannou is] going to come back to the division. I don’t know when he wants to fight. I don’t know exactly. Like I said any time, anywhere, but now I’m looking for the belt. I understand the UFC needs to manage this situation. [Ngannou] has a big injury, a big surgery so I understand if I’m going to be waiting for a long time, yes, I’m OK with an interim title. This would put me on the line for the belt.
“I think maybe Stipe or Jones [will be my next fight],” Gane said. “I’m sorry, bro, if I have a choice, it’s not going to be Blaydes. This is not smart.”