HOUSTON — Ciryl Gane is a residing, respiration illustration of the evolution of blended martial arts. He is a poised, easy and tactical heavyweight who strikes like a person two to 3 weight courses under him. He was born in France, a spot that simply legalized the game of MMA final 12 months.
Gane has solely been coaching for 3 years. However Saturday evening he gained UFC gold, stopping Derrick Lewis through TKO at 4 minutes, 11 seconds of the third spherical to win the UFC interim heavyweight title.
Gane will doubtless struggle heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou subsequent to unify the title. Gane and Ngannou are former coaching companions at MMA Manufacturing facility in Paris.
“This isn’t only for me,” Gane mentioned in his postfight interview. “That is for my coach from MMA Manufacturing facility, for my pals, for my household. For my nation. I am very joyful.”
ESPN had Lewis and Gane ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, on this planet at heavyweight coming in. Gane is the primary French-born fighter to ever win a UFC title.
“The struggle will occur,” Gane mentioned of a battle between him and Ngannou. “Let’s go. Simply let’s go.”
The end got here when Gane had Lewis trapped in opposition to the cage. He landed a leg kick, a kick to the physique and punching mixture that harm Lewis badly. Lewis lined up, survived the onslaught and fired again. However then Gane let free with one other large mixture, touchdown with numerous methods, and Lewis couldn’t escape. He lined up, went to his knees and turtled up. Referee Dan Miragliotta had no alternative however to name the bout.
The athletic, 6-foot-4 Gane was dominant all through. He stored Lewis at bay, utilizing his size and superior kicking sport. Lewis seemingly might by no means get shut sufficient to land an enormous shot, his specialty. Gane blended it up properly offensively and stored Lewis guessing. The struggle — and the end — left the group dissatisfied. Lewis is a Houston resident and the cardboard was constructed round him as a star right here.
Gane outlanded Lewis 98-16 in important strikes and 112-16 in complete strikes.
Gane (10-0) is without doubt one of the most promising up-and-coming fighters in the entire UFC. Gane, 31, now sports activities a 7-0 document within the UFC. “Bon Gamin” most lately beat Alexander Volkov through unanimous choice in what was a one-sided efficiency in June. Gane is the sixth UFC heavyweight to win a title whereas undefeated.
Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) has essentially the most KO/TKO victories in UFC heavyweight historical past (12). That mark additionally places him in a three-way tie for essentially the most knockouts in any division within the UFC ever, together with Vitor Belfort and Matt Brown. Lewis, 36, was coming off a second-round knockout win over Curtis Blaydes in February.