Ciryl Gane beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik in one dull and defensive-minded matchup, keeping his record perfect since starting the MMA career.
The French fighter reached his fifth win since joining the UFC, eight overall, following a unanimous decision. All three judges scored in his favor, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45.
Tonight’s matchup was far from expected, with both Gane and Rozenstruik being scared of one another’s strength. It is why they haven’t engaged in any long exchange or some clinch, fearing that such an approach might be dangerous.
Instead, we saw Gane controlling the situation with leg kicks to Rozenstruik’s body and legs, while on the other side, Bigi Boy wasn’t involved in this match at all. He would have just 42 significant strikes, compared to 102 Gane threw. His indolence raised a lot of criticism following the bout, with various experts and fans expressing their dissatisfaction due to his lackluster approach.
Gane did win, but his performance wasn’t praised either. Dana White already commented on it negatively, saying that if Gane wants to be a championship contender, he needs to do better. White compared his performance against Rozenstruik to the one against Ngannou.
“Everybody’s talking about Ciryl being this big contender, but look at what Francis Ngannou did to Jairzinho,” White stated. “This was his coming out party and his chance to show the world who he is. He won, but let’s leave it at that. He won.”
Gane didn’t have too many comments on that, but just said that he understands the UFC president, as he wants to make spectacles due to financial reasons.
“He is the boss, and he wants to make money, so you want the guy marketable. The people want the show. They want the big KO. So yes, I don’t finish the fight. I tried, but I don’t do it. I can understand that (criticism), but I’m OK,” Gane answered once, being asked about White’s comments.
Bon Gamin was light on his feet throughout all five rounds, moving around Rozenstruik, who isn’t very good in such situations. Apart from one sequence in the third round, once he managed to put up a few consecutive strikes, Bigi Boy didn’t show anything worth mentioning.
Every main event fight in the next few months:
February 27th- Rozenstruik vs Gane
March 6th- Jan vs Adesayna
March 13th- Edwards vs Belal
March 20th- Brunson vs Holland
March 27th- Ngannou vs Stipe
April 10th- Till vs Vettori
April 17th- Whittaker vs Costa
— FFJ MMA💎 (@fufujan1) February 21, 2021
Meanwhile, Gane was patient and careful, staying away from the rival’s reach, collecting point after point, once again proving his excellent tactical endowment.
Even though this match didn’t fulfill the UFC community’s expectations, Gane will go up in the heavyweight rankings, and improve his status. Right now, the future of the division is still unclear, due to the title match between Stipe Miocic and Frances Ngannou. Many are expecting to see the winner of that match going up against Jon Jones, and that potential blockbuster is something that would determine the course of actions in the division.
If Jones and the new champ hit the octagon, the organization is going to make a title-eliminator. Derrick Lewis’ win over Curtis Blaydes qualified him for one spot in it, while Gane and Alexander Volkov bid for the other.
But if there isn’t a fight between Jones and the champion, Gane will probably meet Volkov or Curtis Blaydes.
Blaydes is a potential rival for Rozenstruik, as well. The Razor’s recent loss was a massive hit for his career, and he now needs to bounce back and post a few wins to get back on track for the opportunity to fight for the title. The same goes for Rozenstruik, who has two losses in the past three contests.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.