Born on April 12th, 1990 in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, Ciryl Gane is a professional mixed martial artist competing in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Gane is ranked #7 in the world. Prior to his MMA career, Gane was a professional Muay Thai fighter in France where he won the AFMT Muay Thai National Title. Following a defense of the Académie Française de Muay Thaï National Title, Gane made the transition to mixed martial arts. After compiling a perfect 3-0 record, which saw him win the TKO Heavyweight Championship in Canada and defend it twice, Gane was subsequently signed to the UFC in the summer of 2019. On August 10th, 2019 Ciryl Gane made his UFC debut as he defeated Raphael Pessoa via first round submission at UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs Carmouche 2 in Montevideo, Uruguay. As of this writing, Gane is 4-0 in the UFC and faces credentialed kickboxer Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in the main event at UFC Vegas 20: Rozenstruik vs Gane.
- Professional Record: 7-0 (3 KO/TKO’s, 3 Submissions, 1 Decisions)
- Height: 6’5″
- Reach: 81″
- Weight: 247.5 lbs
- Age: 30
- Nickname: Bon Gamin
- Current training camp: MMA Factory
- Fighting Style: High-Level Striker
- Recent fights: Junior dos Santos (W TKO R2), Tanner Boser (W UD), Don’Tayle Mayes (W Sub R3), Raphael Pessoar (W Sub R1)
- Performance of the Night (versus Don’Tayle Mayes)
- Undefeated in the UFC
Previous Career Accomplishments:
- TKO Heavyweight Champion
- AFMT Muay Thai National title
Upcoming fight versus Jairzinho Rozenstruik:
Ciryl Gane doesn’t just possess some of the best standup skills in all of the UFC heavyweight division, he also has the stats to back it up. When you talk about beautiful numbers, you talk about the fact that Ciryl Gane lands 5.61 strikes per minute while only absorbing 1.95. You mention that Ciryl Gane hits at a 54% clip and defends 73% of the strikes thrown against him. Its even more impressive that Gane defends at that rate while fighting with his hands down. In a sense, Gane is playing with fire by emulating a smaller mans game in the big boys weight class. Against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Gane will need to be fully locked in for the duration of the fight, because big bombs are coming his way. One lapse of judgement, and Rozenstruik can end a fight in the blink of an eye.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik isn’t some slouch in the striking realm at all. In fact, the Suriname native holds a professional kickboxing record of 76 wins and 8 losses. Thats some serious experience and nothing to scoff at. As far as the stats are concerned, “Bigi Boy” lands less than Gane at slightly over 4 strikes per minute while absorbing a little over 3. Rozenstruk has knocked out 10 of his 11 victims in mixed martial arts competition. And the resume ain’t too shabby either. Andrei Arlovski. Alistair Overeem. Junior Dos Santos. Rozenstruik has knocked out the who’s who to earn his #4 spot in the division. All pleasantries aside, one metric that is particularly concerning is Rozenstruik’s 36% striking defense. In other words, Jairzinho Rozenstruik is most likely going to eat a lot of clean shots in this fight versus Ciryl Gane.
In addition to Gane’s beautiful striking arsenal, he also possesses finishing ability on the mat as well. In Gane’s UFC debut versus Raphael Pessoa, “Bon Gamin” effortlessly dragged his Brazilian foe to the mat and finished him with an arm triangle choke in the first round. The very next fight versus Don’Tayle Mayes, Gane put on an absolute clinic outstriking Mayes 50 to 14 on head strikes and 30 to 5 on body strikes. To add insult to injury, after thoroughly dominating his opponent for every second of the fight, Gane decided to drop back for a heel hook with less than 20 seconds left in the fight, and successfully got the tap. When was the last time you saw a heavyweight fighter with a decorated striking background winning fights via heel hook? I’m going to guess never. Enter Ciryl Gane.
Size & youth
Young for heavyweight standards, the 30-year-old Gane is much more polished than his seemingly green 7-0 mixed martial arts record indicates. The fighter referred to as “Bon Gamin,” which translates to “good kid” in French, blends in his Muay Thai background with physical tools that are rarely matched. The Frenchman stands 6 foot 5 with an 82-inch reach and weighed in at a trim and ready 247 pounds for his most recent bout against Junior dos Santos. Gane also has a competent ground game to round out his diverse arsenal of weapons. In this matchup versus Rozenstruik, Gane will hold a 3-inch reach advantage. Also, despite Rozenstruik being listed at 6’4”, I believe that is an error and he is closer to 5’11” or 6’0”. Look for Gane to look significantly taller than Rozenstruik, which is important when referring to strikers that effectively use their length.
One of the most unique aspects of Gane’s game is his footwork and movement for a heavyweight. Gane effortlessly switches stances, patiently picks his shots, and even shows off moments of athletic brilliance when he jumps sky-high with his flying knees. It is hard to believe that Ciryl Gane is only 7-0 in his mixed martial arts campaign. Gane fights more like he’s 15-0. Either this guy is a one-in-a-lifetime prodigy, or someones lying to us about his record.. Or both. All eyes will be watching to see what Ciryl Gane can do as the level of competition steadily increases in a division where all it takes is one punch to end anyones night.
The odds currently have Ciryl Gane a moderate favorite at -250 with the comeback on the underdog Jairzinho Rozenstruik at +210. If you believe that Gane is truly the future of the division, two dollars and fifty cents isn’t a bad deal at the betting window. That being said, if you’re not buying the kool-aid and want to keep the bookie honest, they’re giving you over 2 to 1 odds on the #4 ranked heavyweight on planet earth. I personally think the hype is real on Ciryl Gane and barring getting caught, he is winning this fight. The biggest criticism for Rozenstruik has been his knack for falling behind on the scorecards in fights. And not just the epic comeback in the Overeem fight. Even that first round versus Junior Albini where Rozenstruik got dominated on the mat, and to his credit stayed calm, minimized the damage, eventually got back up to his feet and knocked Albini into next week. While fight fans will always love a good comeback because it makes for epic television and memorable highlights, the chances of that happening here seem highly unlikely. Jairzinho Rozenstruik cannot afford to give Ciryl Gane an inch, because “Bon Gamin” will take a mile.
Recent win versus Junior dos Santos
France’s Ciryl Gane was only 6 fights deep into his mixed martial arts career when he met former champion Junior dos Santos (21-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC) at UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno. Going into the fight, Gane had previously shown the signs of a future top 10 fighter, but had never defeated anyone ranked in the top 15 to solidify that claim.
Junior “Cigano” dos Santos is not just any other fighter. “Cigano” is widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. The man that MMA fans simply refer to as “JDS” has not only accomplished every fighter’s ultimate goal of winning the UFC belt, but defended it too. We’re talking about a guy who holds victories over Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Shane Carwin and Derrick Lewis amongst others in his illustrious career. I am also willing to wager that Junior dos Santos will be a UFC Hall of Fame inductee before “the fat lady sings.”
Gane versus dos Santos was a classic example of the new generation versus the old. Cigano had the experience edge, faced a much higher level of competition in the past, but the fight game is a cruel one, and father time finally caught up to the great Junior dos Santos. The durability of JDS was tested once again as “Cigano” crumbled to a devastating elbow in the 2nd round. Dos Santos has now been knocked out in his last 4 fights in a row.
Ciryl Gane not only achieved his first knockout win inside the octagon versus the legend dos Santos, but also moved into the top 10 of the UFC heavyweight rankings. As a result, Ciryl Gane’s upcoming fight versus Jairzinho Rozenstruik is the next logical step up the ladder for the Frenchman.
Controversy in JDS fight
Immediately following Ciryl Gane’s 2nd round knockout victory over former champion Junior dos Santos, “Cigano” protested the result and claimed that the fight ending blow landed on the back of the head. A few days after the fight, dos Santos took to instagram to voice his opinion on the stoppage. Dos Santos’ frustration is understandable considering he’s on the downside of his career and sometimes fighters have a tough time accepting they are no longer performing on the level they once did. In this specific case, the elbow landed by Ciryl Gane was perfectly legal, and there is literally zero chance his win gets overturned to a no contest. Ciryl Gane defeated Junior dos Santos fair and square.
Where does Ciryl Gane train?
Ciryl Gane trains at the MMA Factory in Paris, France under head coach Fernand Lopez. One could absolutely consider Fernand Lopez a trailblazer in French mixed martial arts, as he is the most prominent combat coach in the country’s history. Lopez is not only responsible for turning Ciryl Gane into the monster he is today, but is also the man that discovered Francis Ngannou. It is pretty undeniable that Fernand Lopez has a strong eye for talent, and to take it a step further, knows how to develop his pupils into world class competitors in a region not known for producing top fighters.
Ciryl Gane and Francis Ngannou
Ciryl Gane is a former training partner of #1 UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. The two originally met at the MMA Factory in Paris, France under coach Fernand Lopez, where they came up together at the beginning of their careers. The two don’t practice together as much as they used to due to Ngannou currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Gane and Ngannou are no longer training partners, they remain friends and are complimentary towards each other in interviews. Fans have often wondered if Gane and Ngannou will one day meet inside the octagon if the opportunity presents itself. Only time will tell.
The New Wave at Heavyweight
The UFC heavyweight division is looking the best it has in years. There was a point in time when fans were starting to get worried about a potential lack of young, up and coming prospects in the weight class. In 2021, that is no longer a problem. The modern-day heavyweight division, which includes the “Baddest Man on the Planet,” reigning champion Stipe Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) and #1 contender Francis Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC), has an influx of promising UFC hopefuls on the rise.
The names that come to mind when speaking about the new wave at heavyweight are without a doubt France’s Ciryl Gane, England’s Tom Aspinall (10-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC), America’s Chris Daukaus (11-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Moldova’s Alexander Romanov (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), and Ukraine’s Sergey Spivak (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC). It will be interesting to see if at least one of the fighters on that list becomes a UFC world champion.