Ciryl Gane Branded as ‘Dirty Fighter’ After Wild UFC Paris Knockout

Ciryl Gane & Tai Tuivasa

Getty Ciryl Gane & Tai Tuivasa

Former interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane earned an electric knockout win at UFC Paris on Saturday, however his former opponent Junior dos Santos wasn’t celebrating the Frenchman’s triumph.

Instead, the ex-UFC heavyweight champion called Gane a “dirty fighter,” claiming there was a similarity between his loss to Gane and Tai Tuivasa’s this weekend.

During the third round, “Bon Gamin” cracked Tuivasa with a right hand that rocked Tuivasa. Gane then followed the strike up with several more until “Bam Bam” fell to his back. The referee stepped in and Gane was crowned the victor via KO.

Well, dos Santos tweeted after the contest that one of the strikes Gane landed was to the back of Tuivasa’s head, which would be an illegal strike. Sharing a clip of the strike in question, JDS tweeted: “What a dirty fighter this Gane is. Again hitting the back of the head. Nad now what are those ‘fight experts’ will say about it? @ufc @danawhite.”

See the clip below via the embedded tweet:

JDS Claims That Gane Defeated Him With an Illegal Elbow in 2020

Gane and JDS competed in December 2020 at UFC 256 and Bon Gamin took out the Brazilian via second-round TKO. However, dos Santos has long said that he was defeated because Gane landed an elbow to the back of his head.

In an interview with MMA Fighting after the loss, dos Santos said that he wouldn’t accept the loss to Gane as legitimate.

“It’s also absurd that they expect me to accept this result as a normal result, like a fair result,” dos Santos said. “It wasn’t. It wasn’t a fair result. I’m a fair guy and I play in a fair way, and always have, and I think… You can’t expect people to be fair to you just because you’re fair to them. I don’t know.”

Not everyone agrees with JDS, however. Some have pointed to JDS turning his head while Gane was throwing the elbow, which in turn exposed the back of the former heavyweight king’s head to the strike.

His defeat to Gane would be dos Santos’ last fight inside the Octagon. He was cut from the UFC a few months later. He’s’ competed once since then, battling Yorgan De Castro in May at Eagle FC 47. Although the former UFC champion outstruck De Castro for most of the bout, his shoulder popped out at the beginning of the third frame and the match was stopped by the referee.

Dos Santos lost the fight via shoulder injury, which was his fifth TKO defeat in a row.

Gane Wouldn’t Shy Away From an Interim Title Fight Next

Gane’s win over Bam Bam got him back onto the winning track. The French fighter’s bout prior was against Francis Ngannou when he was the interim champion. They fought to unify the heavyweight strap in January at Ngannou won the fight via unanimous decision.

When speaking at the post-fight press conference in Paris, Gane said that he would be fine fighting for an interim title while the top of the division is sorted out. Ngannou is currently sidelined recovering from knee surgery, and with Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut looming, Gane would likely have to fight and win one more time before receiving a second bout with “The Predator.”

“No, (I don’t mind) because I understand the UFC needs to manage this situation,” Gane said via MMA Junkie. “It’s not easy. He has big injuries and big surgeries, so I can understand. If I don’t want to wait a long time, then yes, I’m OK with an interim title. This would put me on the first line for the belt here.”

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