Ciryl Gane (aka “Bon Gamin”, meaning: “Good Kid” for never exhibiting disrespect to any opponent outside of the cage) is a 10-0, Heavyweight MMA fighter born April 12th, 1990 in La Roche-sur-Yon, France.
The now 31 year-old, is the former AFMT (French Academy of Muay Thai) Champion, the former TKO Heavyweight Champion in MMA, and the current Interim Heavyweight Champion in the UFC, shooting to the top of heavyweight MMA in the blink of an eye!
Gane’s martial arts journey began in Muay Thai when a classmate at his work-study program invited him to try a session. Having competed in football, basketball, rugby, and athletics, he was already a physical specimen. So when the coach saw the Frenchman in action on his first day, he assumed he had prior training.
In Muay Thai, Gane ploughed through his competition, amassing a perfect 13-0 record including 9 TKO finishes, and captured the AFMT national title in his professional Muay Thai debut in 2016.
After training and competing in Muay Thai for 3 years, “Bon Gamin” transitioned to MMA to begin a new challenge and, once again, proved to be a natural.
His MMA debut came in August, 2018 for the TKO heavyweight championship in Quebec, Canada. Despite there being an estimated 40,000 MMA practitioners in France at the time, it was illegal to compete. Therefore Gane’s impressive debut and 2 title defences that followed had to take place outside of his native France.
At only 3-0, the Frenchman was signed to the UFC with a surge of excitement behind him where he debuted in August, 2019 against the also undefeated, debuting prospect, Raphael Pessoa.
Going from strength to strength, Gane’s most recent triumph against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 has aligned him for a title unification bout against former MMA Factory teammate and current, undisputed Heavyweight Champ, Francis Ngannou.
Will Ciryl’s agility and speed be enough to topple the man mountain’s one-punch knockout power? The MMA world waits with baited breath to see whether “Bon Gamin”, with only 4 years of MMA training under his belt, can capture gold at UFC 270 on January 22nd, 2022…
So now you have the neat backstory, on “Bon Gamin”, let’s dive right into Ciryl Gane’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Alexander Volkov – UFC FN 190 (June 26, 2021)
This main event fight marked Gane’s toughest test to date at this moment in his career. Beating the former Bellator and M-1 champion, and UFC veteran in Volkov would make a real statement in his title contention.
Round 1 saw Gane surprisingly out-landed in the striking department. The two exchanged leg kicks before Volkov made some adjustments; whenever Gane stepped into boxing range, Volkov would fire off a leg kick to deter “Bon Gamin”. However, the kicks would have little effect as Gane still found ways through, landing a slick jab, cross, hook combination towards the end of the round.
In round 2, Gane dominated the centre, finding a home for his sharp jab, and bouncing out of range before Volkov could counter. As Cyril landed a knee to the body, Volkov replied with a left-right hook combination, prompting a huge overhand right from Gane. The fight began to look as though it might turn into more of a slugfest.
In round 3, Gane increased his output, switching stances and jabbing his way into range to land in the pocket. The highlight of the round was a body straight and left hook upstairs from Gane.
He then used a Ketchel Shift to transition from southpaw to orthodox, close the distance, and fire a vicious uppercut up the centre. The round ended with more brisk jabs from Gane, bouncing in and out of range.
Round 4 saw a more aggressive Volkov who was likely aware he was losing the bout. He came out swinging but Gane returned the pressure, clinching his opponent against the cage. As they separated, Volkov landed a sharp uppercut then countered a looping lead overhand with another uppercut, and a jab. Gane shot in for a single leg but Volkov defended well and shook off Gane’s subsequent clinch attempts.
In round 5, Gane finished strongly, ducking under a counter jab to fire off a flurry of hooks. “Bon Gamin” threw a thunderous body kick that Volkov blocked with his forearm. Gane waded into range to land another clinical uppercut, bobbing and weaving back out of range.
Towards the end of the round, Gane shot a seemingly half-hearted double leg attempt but used it to disguise another uppercut on his way back up. He knew he likely couldn’t get the takedown but used it to provoke his opponent’s defensive frailties.
Ciryl Gane won the fight by unanimous decision and climbed to 9-0, giving him the longest, active winning streak in the UFC’s heavyweight division (6). In his post-fight interview, he insisted that he was ready for a title shot and went on to compete for the interim title just 2 months later.
4. Vs. Roggers Souza – TKO 48 (May 24, 2019)
Gane came into his second TKO title defence at only 2-0, whilst Souza boasted an 8-1 professional record with the Jungle Fight heavyweight title already on his resume. With both fighters having a 100% finish rate in MMA leading up to this fight, it was sure to be an exciting matchup.
Round 1 began with Gane light on his feet, popping his jab out and managing range to prevent Souza from landing.
Gane landed a massive overhand right as he stayed in the pocket to land a short right hook flush on Souza, before quickly getting back out of range and returning to his jab.
Another killer combination of a jab-cross wobbled Souza, allowing Gane to step in to land a hard straight right. Ducking under a punch, he came back upstairs to club Souza with another right hand.
Gane ducked under a lazy right cross and countered with a brutal uppercut, sending Souza to the canvas. He followed up by stacking Souza’s guard to land ground and pound. However, Souza executed a tripod sweep off his back to send Ciryl back.
Gane kept hold of his opponent’s right leg, raising it up to prevent Souza from advancing into top position. “Bon Gamin” used this control to pass to side control and land sharp elbows.
After, Souza turtles up, Gane lets go of the position, inviting his opponent back to his feet. When they restart, Gane launches two consecutive overhands and another huge uppercut to sit Souza back down.
Gane followed up with more ground and pound upon his already defeated opponent before the referee stepped in, making it a TKO victory for Gane at 4 minutes, 26 seconds of round 1.
Following this third professional fight, and his second successful TKO title defence, Ciryl Gane was able to sign with the UFC.
3. Vs. Junior Dos Santos – UFC 256 (Dec. 12, 2020)
Gane came into this fight a heavy favourite with only a 6-0 record whereas Junior Dos Santos arrived with a 21-8 record, and a wealth of experience in the cage.
Round 1 saw Gane open with a commitment to kicking at range rather than engaging with Dos Santos’ boxing or grappling. Dos Santos looked for an ankle pick early in the round but was denied, finding himself under a front headlock against the cage. On separation, Gane returned to his kicks, feinting with his hands to set them up.
The round continued with Gane throwing mostly single shots rather than piecing combinations together.
Gane threw a knee to the body but Dos Santos looked to chain wrestle onto a single leg. Gane backed up and turned out of his opponent’s clutches, returning with a hard body kick.
Towards the end of the round, Gane waded in with a short left hand to Santos’ body but took a left hook for his troubles, stumbling backwards. Dos Santos followed up with an overhand, but Gane was quick to circle out and retake the centre of the cage.
In round 2, Gane stayed consistent with his kicking game, opening with two strong leg kicks, feinting to get in range, and adding another.
Gane tried to engage in clinch work, backing Dos Santos up against the cage but took a clubbing right hand on the way in. They engaged in hand fighting before Dos Santos shook Gane off.
After coupled-up body and leg kicks from Gane, Dos Santos swung a lead overhand but overextended himself. In reply, Gane fired off an outside leg kick to the back of his opponent’s thigh.
Gane then stuns Dos Santos with a sharp jab, backing him up against the cage in a clinch. With Dos Santos turning his back and not claiming any wrist control on Gane, “Bon Gamin” threw a savage elbow to the side of his opponent’s head, sending him hurtling to the canvas.
Gane landed a couple of follow-up shots before the referee had seen enough, calling the fight and a TKO victory for Gane at 2 minutes, 34 seconds of round 2.
This calculated striking masterclass brought Ciryl up to 7-0, thereby maintaining his unbeaten record.
2. Vs. Don’Tale Mayes – UFC FN 162 (Oct. 26, 2019)
Gane came into his second UFC bout as a moderate favourite with a 4-0 record.
Round 1 began as the fight intended to go on. Both fighters liked to switch between stances and throw a variety of striking offence.
When Gane would throw a body kick, Mayes would reply with a spinning back fist. Gane managed to fire off a body kick followed by a winging right hook, sending Mayes back against the cage, but his follow-up strikes couldn’t find the finish.
Towards the end of the round, Gane unleashed a flurry of strikes after a left hook landed on Mayes’ eye. Two elbows, a jab-cross combo, and a flying knee landed flush, before a right hand sat Mayes down. Gane followed up with ground and pound but the round ended with Mayes battered on the canvas.
Round 2 was more of the same: a barrage of kicks from Gane and the instant spinning back fist replies from Mayes. However, Gane started to find confidence in his head movement, ducking under multiple overhands to enter boxing range and land his own strikes.
Towards the end of the round, Gane ducked under a lead overhand and landed a perfectly timed double leg that landed him in guard.
Mayes attempted an armbar but Gane pulled his arm out early and smash passed his way through to north south. From here, Mayes turtled and grabbed onto a single leg but Gane was wise to it, sprawling hard on the takedown attempt.
“Bon Gamin” circled to the back with Mayes maintaining wrist control in order to stand, but the round ended with Gane dragging Mayes back down to the canvas.
In round 3, Gane doubled down on his ferocious body kicks, with even the commentators recoiling at the sound of the impact! Finally, Gane found success as a body kick boomed through the arena, causing Mayes to keel over and back up to the fence where Gane would clinch him.
Mayes was smart to place one hand on the floor though, preventing Gane from throwing knees to the head, but as soon as he lifted his hand, Ciryl was quick to switch from knees to the legs and body, to going straight for the head.
Gane dragged Mayes to the ground, landing in guard. He quickly stacked his opponent and, with 20 seconds on the clock, sat back for an outside heel hook.
Mayes was quick to tap to the submission making it a Gane win at 4 minutes, 46 seconds of round 3.
For this thrilling demonstration of combat, Gane deservedly received a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus as he rose to 5-0.
1. Vs. Derrick Lewis – UFC 265 (Aug. 7, 2021)
This fight marked Gane’s shot at the interim heavyweight title in Derrick Lewis’ backyard of Houston, Texas.
Round 1 began with Gane on the front foot, chopping at Lewis’ legs as he circled the outside of the cage.
After very little offence from Lewis with a minute remaining in the round, he rushed forward off a short, stabbing kick to the lead knee from Gane. Lewis swarmed Gane up against the fence, launching an overhand right to catch “Bon Gamin” retreating, but Gane was wise to turn away and circle back to the centre.
Gane landed a body kick before Lewis replied with a head kick that was blocked. With Lewis wading in, Gane slipped a right cross and replied with a right hand of his own along with a heavy leg kick.
In round 2, Lewis rushed forward off the same kick again, this time getting a body lock. However, Gane was quick to dig in underhooks and shuck his opponent off.
The two traded clinch positions against the cage, with Gane landing more knees to the body and legs.
Towards the end of the round, they opened up with Gane lunging into range to clinch Lewis up against the cage then land an elbow on the break. They each swung for each other – Lewis with an overhand and Gane with a counter right hook – but both missed.
By round 3, Gane had taken control. Leg kick after leg kick landed, stunting Lewis’ movement. Ciryl pressured his opponent backwards, landing a jab, uppercut, and cross combination. Then Gane followed up with big left hooks and an uppercut from the clinch. “Bon Gamin” sensed the finish coming soon…
Gane began to slice through Lewis’ guard with a flurry of hooks and uppercuts before a head kick landed for the Frenchman.
His opponent tried to counter with his own right hand, but Gane slipped and planted his own jab on the fading Lewis who tried to counter again but dropped to his knees, covering up.
Gane pursued him, landing multiple ground strikes before the referee stepped in, making it a TKO victory at 4 minutes, 11 seconds of round 3.
For his energetic and flawless performance, Gane was awarded a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus and was crowned the Interim Heavyweight Champion.