For the third time in his past four fights, Ciryl Gane will be fighting for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Gane (11-1), a former UFC interim Heavyweight champion, will take on Jon Jones (26-1-1) for the vacant title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 4. ESPN+ PPV will handle the main card broadcast at 10 p.m. ET. Gane is a +140 underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Gane won the UFC interim Heavyweight championship when he beat Derrick Lewis by a third-round TKO at UFC 265 in Houston, Texas on August 7, 2021. He lost a unification bout with “regular” UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou by unanimous decision at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California on January 22, 2022. The French Muay Thai specialist would return to his home country of France for his fight against heavy-handed Australian Tai Tuivasa. Gane was a heavy -550 favorite.
Tuivasa (14-3), came into the fight with five straight victories —all by knockout and he was on the hunt for another quick finish, stalking Gane but failing to land anything of note. Meanwhile, Gane is comfortably poking at Tuivasa with a jab and occasionally stepping in with harder offense. Tuivasa throws his first big haymaker and misses, giving Gane a chance for more counter shots to end the round.
Gane went to work on the body in the second round, landing some stiff kicks and punches that were clearly hurting Tuivasa. Despite that, the Australian continued to push forward and lands a big right that clearly got Gane’s attention. It’s a fun game of violent chess as Gane manages to get in and out of the pocket before Tuivasa can really hurt him. As the round winds down, Tuivasa absolutely rocked Gane with an overhand right. Gane looked stunned but got out of the round.
In the third round, Tuivasa is focused more on kicking Gane’s lead leg. Gane, however, is measuring his shots and lands a kick to the side that looked like it took Tuivasa’s breath away. Still, the Australian is tough and takes that as a sign to share throwing haymakers. Gane with a head kick, but Tuivasa comes back with a monster right hand. Tuivasa tries to move in but Gane goes back to the kicks to the body and this time they are wearing Tuivasa down. Gane backs Tuivasa to the fence and unloads with strikes that put Tuivasas down. A couple of hammer fists from Gane and Tuivasa gets knocked out.
Gane celebrates the win in front of his home crowd and calls out several top heavyweights including Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones. On Saturday, Gane will get his wish.