This past weekend in the headliner of UFC Paris, we saw a pivotal matchup in the heavyweight division. Former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane (11-1) took on Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa (15-4) in a highly anticipated matchup.
Gane was fighting in front of his home country while Tuivasa was riding a huge wave of momentum entering the fight. In the first round, we saw what I was expecting. Gane staying light on his feet while landing the better shots on Tuivasa. Tuivasa was struggling with the range a bit.
Gane really started to attack Tuivasa’s body as the fight entered the second round. Then Tuivasa rocked and dropped Gane. For a moment, it looked like Bam Bam was going to get another knockout win. However, Gane survived and the fight went on.
In the third round, Gane really poured it on. He started brutalizing the body of Tuivasa and hurt him multiple times with kicks up the middle. Then, after a Tuivasa combination, Gane landed a flush uppercut counter that rocked Tuivasa bad. A few follow up shots finally put him down and Gane got the massive win at UFC Paris.
What’s next after UFC Paris?
Ciryl Gane made it very clear what he wants next after his knockout win. He wants another shot at the heavyweight title and honestly, it’s hard to deny the man. However, the title picture is very cloudy at the moment. For starters, we don’t even know if Francis Ngannou will fight in the UFC again.
He’s recovering from knee surgery and he’s hinted that he might bolt for boxing. Then you have Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic. Jones is looked at as the next challenger for Ngannou, but if Ngannou isn’t ready to fight, Jones would get a shot with Miocic for the interim title.
So where does that leave Gane? Well, if Ngannou and Jones end up fighting which is highly unlikely to be next, I would pair Gane with Miocic. However, I see the UFC booking Jones – Miocic for the end of the year with Ngannou still on the mend.
So what will the UFC do with Gane? Well, from a rankings perspective, Curtis Blaydes makes a lot of sense. If the promotion can convince Gane to take that fight, it’s probably the way to go.