In his first UFC main event, Ciryl Gane pitched a shutout while winning every round against Jairzinho Rozenstruik to remain undefeated in his career. Despite the overwhelming dominance he displayed, the 30-year-old French heavyweight didn’t exactly set the world on fire with a largely technical performance that didn’t feature a single knockdown over 25 minutes.
Gane won a clear-cut unanimous decision over Rozenstruik in the main event of Saturday’s UFC card, with all three judges scoring the bout 50-45 in favor of the Frenchman. He was content to stay at distance and outstrike Rozenstruik with his jab and low kicks from the outside, while also mixing in a few takedowns and submission attempts to rack up points. Though it was overall a masterful performance by him, the lack of a finish and aggressiveness to hurt Rozenstruik frustrated some of the fans who were watching and led to Gane being criticized by UFC president Dana White, as well.
UFC president Dana White not happy with Gane’s performance
UFC President Dana White admittedly wanted to see a little bit more out of him, especially with an opportunity to draw attention to himself in a headlining fight.
“Everybody’s talking about Ciryl being this big contender, but look what Francis [Ngannou] did to Jairzinho,” White told Yahoo Sports reporter Kevin Iole after UFC Vegas 20 ended while referencing Ngannou’s devastating 20-second knockout over Rozenstruik from this past May.
“This was [Ciryl Gane’s] coming out party and his chance to show the world who he is. He won, but let’s leave it at that, he won.”
While that kind of criticism is never what a fighter wants to hear after arguably the biggest win of their career, Gane took it in stride. He certainly knows why White would want to see a more entertaining fight with a highlight-reel finish, but he still feels satisfied because he got the win, and that’s ultimately what matters most.
“I can understand that – he is the boss and he wants to make money, so he wants a guy [who’s] bankable,” Gane said at the UFC Vegas 20 post-fight press conference. “We know, people want the show, want the big KO.
“Yes, I don’t finish the fight. I tried, but I don’t do it. So I can understand that, but I’m OK.”
“I remember that I tried to finish the fight,” Gane explained. “I didn’t but I tried to finish the fight and yes, we managed the fight very well so yes I’m happy. I think did it well. I managed the fight on the feet. I tried to go down, I go down and I did the takedown. I think I manage well the fight on the feet.”
“I was not happy but [my head coach] said ‘you did very well, you won five rounds of a fight.’ So I’m happy. I think I proved something. I can go five rounds and I can manage five rounds. I’m comfortable with five rounds.”
Taking to his social media following UFC Vegas 20, Gane said that while he didn’t have the showing that he wanted to, “Bon Gamin” said he had a “great performance overall.”
“Great performance overall, not the show that I wanted to give to you guys but we come back to Paris with the win. I will do my very best to do better next time. . Thank you all for this amazing support”
With the win, Gane will undoubtedly find himself moving into the top-five rankings at heavyweight with only a couple of potential options ahead of him before competing for a UFC title.
In his mind, Gane feels like he’s ready right now to challenge for the championship, and he’ll be keeping a close eye on the upcoming rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 on March 27.
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