The heavyweight showreel is over for another month after back-to-back main events for the big boys and this time it was Ciryl Gane who came away with his name in the win column.
The Frenchman extended his record to 8-0 with a dominant yet unspectacular win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik, jabbing his way to a unanimous 50-45 decision win which saw no knockdowns in the 25 minutes it ran.
The pressure was on Rozenstruik coming into the fight, having only lost once in his career in a 20 second knockout to Francis Ngannou at UFC 249 in April 2020. He was the big hitter of the two and had stated he “needed to put him [Gane] down” in the build up to the bout. Instead, he was gun shy throughout and after the fight described it as the worst performance of his career.
Gane was hardly spectacular himself, earning the win but not many plaudits aside from that. The consensus G.O.A.T Jon Jones chimed in during the fight ahead of his upcoming move to heavyweight, criticising the performance of both fighters.
Jones took to social media to voice his thoughts saying, “these boys better get used to pushing the pace, all this standing around ain’t gonna fly when daddy comes home.”
Jones is expected to be the challenger for the heavyweight title against the winner of the Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou fight at UFC 260 next month, but Gane threw his name into the hat should something happen to that main event in the build up.
“I think the people like a man like me. Young, a little experience but I manage it very well. I’m undefeated. I think I’m only one undefeated in the rankings. So yes, I think I’m legit.
“So I want to say to everybody, yes, if for the [title fight] next month, if someone is injured, I’m here. No problem.“
While he probably didn’t earn many new fans with the win over Rozenstruik due to the unspectacular nature of it, credit should be given to him. He is now 8-0 in his career and 5-0 in the UFC, meaning he has the longest win streak of anyone in the heavyweight division.
A title shot is probably premature, but the victory should see him enter the top five of the rankings and could potentially set up a fight against Alexander Volkov to see who could take on the winner of the eventual fight between Jones and the winner of Miocic/Ngannou.
He showed he could go five rounds against a top ranked heavyweight and nullify their attacks, but as he climbs the rankings those fighters are less and less likely to be as punch-shy as Rozenstruik was and he will be need to show that he can deal with that also.