Former interim heavyweight champion and top heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane and No. 3 ranked Tai Tuivasa headlined Saturday’s UFC Paris fight card in France.
Gane connected first with a leg kick and employed the use of leg kicks early in the opening round. Tuivasa inched forward but had difficulty getting inside of boxing range. Gane peppered Tuivasa with jabs and kicks while Tuivasa looked to land that fight-ending shot.
They exchanged leg kicks to start the second frame. Gane continued to land his jab. Tuivasa connected with a counter left hand, but Gane was able to absorb it. Just under two minutes remaining in the round, Tuivasa landed a right hand that sent Gane to the canvas. Gane quickly got back to his feet. Tuivasa looked for a finish but Gane landed a kick to the body that hurt Tuivasa. As Gane closed the distance, Tuivasa connected with a right hand. Gane went back to using his jab in the closing seconds. It was an action-packed round.
They met in the center of the cage at the start of the third round. The two exchanged kicks to the body. Gane targeted the body of Tuivasa more often. A front kick to the body hurt Tuivasa. Gane went high and landed a clean kick the jaw of Tuivasa. Tuivasa fired back with a winging right hand. Gane’s jab continued to find a home, but Tuivasa continued to press forward. Gane connected with a series of front kicks to the body. Tuivasa pressed forward and Gane landed a counter right hand that staggered Tuivasa. A few follow-up shots later the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
With the win Gane improved his record to 11-1 and solidified himself as the top contender in the heavyweight division. After the win, Gane called for a rematch against champion Francis Ngannou.
“I want that belt,” Gane said.
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