This saturday, the UFC Heavyweight division enters the future. But why? That’s because Ciryl Gane is going to make his debut in the world’s biggest MMA promotion!
But who is that Ciryl Gane guy? The one we call “Bon Gamin” was born in 1990 in Vincennes, close to Paris. He trains at the MMA Factory under renowned coach Fernand Lopez along with the Lapilus brothers and many more. But Ciryl is not like everybody! Standing from his enormous 6’5″ frame he commands respect the second you see him. He’s at the same time the most imposing guy in the room but also the sweetest. When Ciryl enters a room, he makes sure to present himself and shake everybody’s hand. When you know him, he looks like anything but a killing machine. But when you lock him up in a cage, he’s a nightmare for his opponents. Never you will have seen a 245lbs man who looks like he’s 300 but moves like he’s 155 max!
First time I heard about Ciryl, it’s was through Ken Wong from La voix des guerriers. Ken is particularly knowledgeable when it comes to kickboxing and Muay Thai in Europe. It’s even him who first showed Gane to TKO president Stephane Patry who later signed him to make his UFC debut in Canada. Ken was talking about a giant Frenchman who was undeafeted in 12 Muay Thai bouts and that won against some of the best strikers in Europe.
I had to see it for myself! So I went online and listened to many of Gane’s striking fights and, in fact, the talent was evident. However, he looked like a typical Muay Thai guy who only went forward or backwards without much lateral movement. If only you knew the surprise I had when I saw him in action for the first time in the TKO cage…
On August 2 2018, on the TKO Fight Night 1 card, Ciryl Gane was fighting for the vacant TKO Heavyweight title in his first pro MMA bout. He was facing the solid Bobby Sullivan who was fresh from a first round Uppercut KO against Blake Nash. “Bloody Bobby” had became a fan favorite after his 2017 Canadian Fight of the Year against Adam Dyczka. Nobody really understood why a 0-0 fighter was fighting for the belt but let me tell you that everybody found out quick enough!
We saw that night a completely different fighter than in his Muay Thai fights. He was litteraly dancing in the cage, he was way bigger and faster than his opponent. He even allowed himself to take Sullivan down and submit him with a Guillotine to become the champion in only 1:42.
Following that, Ciryl had to defend his title against the man who was considered as the best Heavyweight fighter in Canada and TKO’s “Uncrowned Heavyweight Champion:” Adam Dyczka. “Kung Fu Panda” was undefeated in 8 MMA bouts with a 7-0-0-1 record where every fight ended in a knockout (even the no-contest). That wasn’t going to be an easy task for Gane, right?
False! Ciryl Gane arrived in Quebec City for TKO 44 and gave us one of the performances we have ever seen in the history of the TKO promotion. He defeated incredibly tough Adam Dyczka by TKO with 3 seconds left in the 2nd round in a complete domination. There is not a punch, kick, elbow or knee that exists that Ciryl didn’t land on Dyczka that night. The Heavyweight from Granby refused to stay down but he wasn’t able to touch Gane either. To add to the legend, we later learned that Gane suffered a collapsed lung in that fight.
That means the guy defeated the number 1 Heavyweight in the country with only one lung in a fight that wasn’t competitive at all. It’s at that exact point that the Quebec crowd understood that we were dealing with a talent that is unlike everything we have seen before.
And it’s not like we haven’t seen top level talent in TKO yet. Whether we talk about the Marc-Andre Barriault’s and Charles Jourdain’s of this world. Or even first generation guys like Mark Hominick, Sam Stout, Patrick Cote and David Loiseau (just to name a few). Even the best MMA fighter in the history of the sport, Georges St-Pierre, fought for TKO and even him, according to me, does not have Gane’s natural talent.
Does that automatically mean that Ciryl will become the greatest MMA fighter ever? No, many things can happen and we can’t deny GSP’s incredible work ethic who became the best without being the most talented. But does Ciryl Gane have everything he requires to become the greatest? Absolutely! He’s enormous, explosive, fast, very technical, super well trained, and like GSP, he also has a great work ethic.
After his last fight against Roggers Souza at TKO 48 (Another complete domination if you evey wondered), he even said to me that he was mainly working on his wrestling and BJJ in the gym. He already understood that his striking level is unheard of and he already knows what he needs to improve to someday become the best.
Ciryl Gane will fight on the UFC Uruguay card this saturday against Raphael Pessoa. He knows the Brazilian quite well as they were scheduled to fight in the main event of the TKO 46 card before Pessoa got injured. His UFC debut will take place almost a year day-for-day after his pro MMA debut. In 3 fights only, he showed everybody he was one of the finest prospects the sport has ever seen, but also someone who could be in the conversation for a title shot in a year from now.
This saturday on the UFC Uruguay card, the UFC Heavyweight division enters the future and the future is named Ciryl Gane.