The Paris Hall of Bercy has hosted the first UFC tournament in the history of France, and perhaps no one could have asked for a better climax to this successful event. That is, most likely with the exception of the Australian Tuivasa and his fans. Home hero Ciryl Gane was able to end it before the limit with a technical KO in front of a roaring audience. But his victory did not come easily.
Tuivasa entered the cage to the accompaniment of the well-known song Lady Marmalade along with a distinctive whistle to remind him that he was on rather hostile ground. However, he didn’t seem to be bothered by it and danced his way into the Octagon with a smile. Somewhat surprisingly, even Cyril Gane had to hear some of that whistling when boarding. But it was most likely a misunderstanding, because when Bruce Buffer called his name in the cage afterwards, the hall literally went crazy.
The match itself started off rather cautiously and according to the expected script, Gane was able to back away from the Aussie with ease, sending him one lowkick after another, interspersed with occasional kicks to the head and liver. Tuivasa tried to close the distance, but he was not very successful. All this in a unique atmosphere, when the audience began to sing the French anthem Marseillaise.
Probably the most serious threat in this round was about a minute before the end of Ciryl with a good kick to the head, but Tuivasa was only slightly knocked and immediately switched to a counterattack. The opening five minutes went to the Frenchman, but the most interesting thing was still waiting for everyone present.
Even in the second act, Ciryl consistently followed the tactics and only added to the cadence of his directs and kicks. Tuivasa continued to chase him around the Octagon and began landing more calf kicks himself with the clear intention of slowing the Frenchman down as much as possible. But it didn’t seem like it was bringing him any visible success.
But with one minute and forty seconds to go before the second round gong, the Australian managed to catch Gane a bit off guard and chaos ensued. His right hook found its target precisely on Cyril’s chin and he literally flew to the mesh where he landed on his bottom on the ground. For a while, it looked like Tai was indeed going to crash the big French party as he had promised before the fight. But Gane showed resilience, most likely on autopilot, he managed to tie the fight and get to his feet, where he was able to recover. And not only that, shortly after that he shook the Australian with a precise kick to the liver. But he countered with another monstrous right hook and Ciryl found himself in trouble again. The end of the round belonged again to the Frenchman and his body kicks. A crazy minute and forty seconds in which both fighters were several times a step away from the finish!
Both entered the third round to huge cheers, but the damage was a little more noticeable on Tuivas. He seemed increasingly sluggish, the constant kicks to the liver and solar taking their toll. Yet he still remained dangerous and even exchanged smiles with Gan. But the Australian was being hit with a huge amount of punches and it soon became clear that he couldn’t take this for too long.
Three minutes into the round, Gane hit a clean kick to the head that sent Tuivasu dancing, but he was still on his feet and delivering wild blows. But Cyril was able to easily avoid most of them and continued to bombard his opponent. The incredible resilience of the Australian took over only at 4:23 of the third round, when a beautiful and brutal combination started with a clean right hook sent him involuntarily to the ground.
If it was even possible, the whole hall erupted into even louder cheers, Cyril Gane won by TKO. In addition, he also showed that he can withstand blows from someone like Tai Tuivasa. Although he lost, he performed tenaciously and the two of them put on an incredibly attractive spectacle together.
“It Wasn’t My Day But I Came To Fight” said the defeated Aussie as he thanked the fans when the victorious Gane invited him to the microphone after the match. “Bon Gamin” himself then asked for another title match. It’s hard to say if he’ll get it or if he’ll still have to fight, for example, Curtis Blaydes. However, with this fight and his performance, he has a very strong case for why the UFC should pick him.