6:42 PM ET
Marc Raimondi ESPN Staff Writer
PARIS — The City of Love becomes the City of Fighting Saturday , native son Ciryl Gane put an exclamation point on the historic event.
Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Gane eliminated Tai Tuivasa UFC Paris at 4:23 of the third round of the epic Main Event, the promotion’s first card in France. MMA was not banned in the country until early 2020. The fighter representing France won 5-0 at the Accor Arena in front of a raucous, raucous sold-out crowd.
Fans chanted and sang the French national anthem as the main event began. Tuivasa eliminated Gane in the second round. After a round, when Gane finishes Tuivasa, the crowd starts bouncing, jumping, dancing, and yelling.
“No one on the planet expected this from the French fans,” Guyon said in a post-match interview. “But bro, look at this. I’m so happy.”
Came in, ESPN’s Gane was No. 2 in the world, and Tuivasa was No. 5 at heavyweight. Earlier this year, Gane lost the title match against former teammate Francis Ngannou.
“I want a belt,” Gane said. “That’s what I want. I want that belt.”
Gane started fighting Tuivasa’s body and legs, kicking to try to weaken the enormous power in Tuivasa’s hands . This strategy worked well until Tuvasa caught Guy with a right uppercut in the second round and threw him to the canvas. Gane was clearly injured and Tuivasa raced to the finish, but Gane survived.
After a few seconds, Gane is able to fight back with a critical hit that damages Tuivasa’s body. Gane followed with a few punches, but Tuivasa ate them before he fell. Gane put his knee on his body, poked and inserted his knee into the bowel. Then, a header near the end of the round.
The crowd gave Gane and Tuivasa a standing ovation at the start of the third round after the wild second. The third did not disappoint either. Gane delivered several hard jabs, a body kick and then a head kick. He followed, kicking head-on, while Tuvasa, bleeding from multiple cuts to his face, weathered the storm again. Gane delivered two hard front kicks to the body before shaking Tuivasa in with a counter-right right. One Gane left Tuivasa as the crowd degummed.
“He knocked me out,” Gane said. “He put the lights out. I had to be a fighter and that’s what I did. I came back stronger and won.”
Guyon (11-1) ) fell in a thrilling title fight with Ngannou at UFC 270 in January. A native of La Roche-sur-Yon, France, he went 8-1 in the UFC five times. Gane, 32, is an elite athlete with a Muay Thai background. Many felt he represented the next generation of competitive MMA heavyweights.
Tuvasa (14-4) broke a five-game winning streak. The Australian-born slugger has not made a decision in his last seven games. Tuvassa, 29, lost three straight bouts between 2018 and 2019 and looked like he would be eliminated by the UFC, but he has made significant strides in his game and is now a legitimate top-five heavyweight.
“It’s not my day, but I’m here to fight,” Tuvasa said. “[Gane] is a warrior. Hello, bro.”