Ciryl Gane is a rising star in the world of mixed martial arts. The French heavyweight has taken the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) by storm with his impressive skills and charismatic personality.
In this article, we will explore the life and career of Ciryl Gane, from his humble beginnings in Muay Thai to his meteoric rise to stardom and his future plans and challenges as a UFC heavyweight fighter.
Early Life and Background
Ciryl Gane was born on April 12, 1990, in La Roche-sur-Yon, France. He grew up in a sports-loving family and played soccer and basketball as a child. He also developed an interest in martial arts and watched movies featuring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. He was inspired by their agility and grace and wanted to learn how to fight like them.
He started training in Muay Thai at age 22 under Fernand Lopez at MMA Factory Paris. He had no prior experience in combat sports but quickly showed his natural talent and athleticism. He learned the basics of striking, clinching, and kicking from Lopez, who also introduced him to MMA. Gane fell in love with Muay Thai and decided to pursue it as a career.
He had a successful amateur and professional career in Muay Thai, winning the AFMT Muay Thai Heavyweight Championship in 2016 and going undefeated. He amassed a record of 13-0 with seven knockouts in Muay Thai before making his transition to MMA.
Transition to MMA
Ciryl Gane made his MMA debut in August 2018 at TKO Fight Night 1 in Montreal, Canada. He faced Bobby Sullivan in a heavyweight title fight and dominated the fight from start to finish. He used his superior striking and footwork to keep Sullivan at bay and landed several hard punches and kicks. He also displayed his grappling skills and took Sullivan down with ease. He finished the fight in the first round with a front choke submission.
Gane impressed many observers with his performances and caught the attention of UFC president Dana White. White was looking for new talent in the heavyweight division and saw potential in Gane. He offered him a contract to join the UFC, which Gane accepted without hesitation.
Gane made his UFC debut in August 2019 at UFC Fight Night 156 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He faced Raphael Pessoa Nunes, a Brazilian fighter with a 9-0 record. Gane once again showcased his skills and versatility and controlled the fight from start to finish. He outstruck Nunes on the feet and took him down several times. He also showed his submission prowess and locked in an arm-triangle choke in the first round to earn his first UFC victory.
Rise to stardom
Ciryl Gane continued his impressive run in the UFC with four more victories over tough opponents. He defeated Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Alexander Volkov. He showed his striking accuracy, speed, agility, and endurance in these fights, as well as his ability to adapt to different styles and situations.
In July 2021, Gane was offered a chance to fight for the interim UFC heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis, who was ranked number two in the division. The fight was scheduled for August 7 at UFC 265 in Houston, Texas. The interim title was created because the undisputed champion Francis Ngannou was unable to defend his belt due to contractual issues.
Gane accepted the opportunity and prepared for the biggest challenge of his career. He faced Lewis in front of a hostile crowd that cheered for their hometown hero. However, Gane was unfazed by the pressure and put on a masterful performance. He dominated Lewis with his superior striking, footwork, and clinch work. He landed 98 significant strikes compared to Lewis’ 16 and avoided any damage from Lewis’ powerful punches. He finished Lewis with a flurry of punches and elbows in the third round and became the new interim UFC heavyweight champion.
Gane made history as the first French fighter to win a UFC title and received praise from fans, media, and fellow fighters for his performance. He also set up a potential title unification bout against Ngannou, who is his former teammate at MMA Factory Paris.
The fight took place on January 22, 2022, at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California. It was a highly anticipated clash of two elite heavyweights with different strengths and weaknesses. Ngannou was known for his devastating power and knockout ability, while Gane was known for his technical striking and movement. The fight turned out to be a close and competitive affair that went all five rounds.
Ngannou surprised many observers by using his wrestling and grappling skills to neutralize Gane’s striking advantage. He took Gane down several times throughout the fight and controlled him on the ground with his strength and size. He also landed some hard shots on Gane’s face that caused swelling around his eyes. Gane tried to keep Ngannou at bay with his jab and kicks but struggled to find his rhythm or land any significant damage on Ngannou. He also had trouble getting back up from Ngannou’s takedowns or escaping from Ngannou’s clinch.
After five rounds of action, Ngannou emerged victorious by unanimous decision with scores of 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47. He retained his undisputed UFC heavyweight title and handed Gane his first professional loss. He also proved that he had improved his overall game since joining Extreme Couture gym under coach Eric Nicksick.
Gane showed respect and sportsmanship after the fight and congratulated Ngannou on his win. He also expressed his disappointment and frustration with his performance but vowed to come back stronger and learn from his mistakes.
Gane later bounced back from his loss with a knockout win over Tai Tuivasa at UFC Paris on March 19, 2022. He finished Tuivasa in the third round with punches. He showed his striking prowess and versatility once again and cemented his position as the top heavyweight contender.
A second chance
The next stage of Ciryl Gane’s MMA career was a highly-anticipated heavyweight showdown with Jon Jones at UFC 285.
Gane was to face Jones, arguably the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC, in his heavyweight debut. The fight would be for the highest of stakes as the vacant heavyweight title would be on the line after Francis Ngannou had left the UFC.
But it was a night that Gane will want to quickly forget as he was submitted by Jones in the first round by guillotine choke. Gane was unable to showcase his striking skills against Jones and was quickly taken down and outclassed on the mat.
Following the fight, Gane congratulated Jones on his victory and said he would come back stronger. However, his pathway to the title is now more difficult than ever before.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has Ciryl Gane lost a fight?
Ciryl Gane has two losses on his fight record. Gane lost his UFC Heavyweight Championship bout with Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 in January 2022. He also lost another UFC Heavyweight Championship bout against Jon Jones at UFC 285 in March 2023.
Who did Ciryl Gane lose to?
Ciryl Gane was defeated by Francis Ngannou in a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout at UFC 270. Ngannou surprisingly smothered Gane with his newfound grappling ability and went on to win a unanimous decision.
In 2023, Jon Jones dominated Ciryl Gane in a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout. Jones took Gane down and submitted him with a guillotine choke in just over two minutes.
How long has Ciryl Gane been in the UFC?
Ciryl Gane entered the UFC in August 2019 and defeated Raphael Pessoa by first-round arm-triangle choke at a UFC Fight Night event in Montevideo, Uruguay.
What is Ciryl Gane’s UFC record?
Ciryl Gane is now 11-2 as a professional mixed martial artist and now has an 8-2 record in the UFC.