Ciryl Gane is hoping to re-enter the title picture by beating Tai Tuivasa.
Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC), a former interim UFC heavyweight champion, headlines the UFC’s debut show in Paris when he takes on Tuivasa (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at Accor Arena on Sept. 3.
“Bon Gamin” is coming off a title-unification loss to champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 in January. But with Ngannou currently injured and an interim title involving Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic potentially in play, Gane intends to make himself part of the conversation.
“I think if I win against Tuivasa, I think it’s gonna be a fight for the interim title against the winner of the next fight for the interim title,” Gane told MMA Junkie. “So this (loss to Ngannou) put me a little bit back, but this put me more challenge, so I’m OK. I’m a competitor, so I like that. That’s OK because some people say but you just lost like that (signals close fight) with Francis, you must have a revenge for the big belt and I said, ‘No, I’m OK with that.’
“It’s really complicated at the moment with this division. There are a lot of people in the top five and I think for the UFC to manage that it’s a little bit complicated so I can understand the UFC’s plan and I’m OK with that. ”
When Gane returns in September, it will have been almost eight months since he last competed. While he’s not bothered by the much-needed rest, he intends on making a quick turnaround if he gets past Tuivasa.
“If in September I win against Tuivasa, if it’s possible I’m going to push,” Gane said. “I don’t want to wait a lot of time. So I don’t know when the fight is going to happen between Jones and Stipe, but if I win against Tuivasa, I want to do a fight early after this fight for the interim title. ”
Gane was in control of his fight against Ngannou, until the champion used his wrestling to turn the fight around. With the fight being a close decision loss, Gane admits he initially was eager to run things back with his former training partner Ngannou. However, his goal now it’s all about becoming a champion, regardless of the path he has to take.
“No, I’m OK,” Gane said on not fighting Ngannou again. “There were a few months where it was a little bit like, ‘No, I want Francis.’ But I just want the belt now. This is my goal. I just want to go to the top and it doesn’t matter if it’s Blaydes, Stipe or Jones or Francis. ”