Ciryl Gane looks to keep his perfect professional record intact against former champion Junior dos Santos, who has lost his last three. Can dos Santos stop Gane’s progress and turn his fortunes around to stay in the top 10 of the division?
Junior dos Santos (21-7) looks to bounce back from three defeats in a row this weekend as the former UFC heavyweight champion takes on Ciryl Gane. Dos Santos lost by TKO late in round two against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his last bout at UFC 252, his third TKO loss in succession.
Dos Santos was 6-0 on his UFC debut in October 2008 and got an early first-round KO victory against Fabrício Werdum to begin a run of nine straight victories in the promotion, including winning the championship against Cain Velasquez in November 2011 and defending against former champion Frank Mir – both KO/TKO wins.
The champion lost his title when he was dominated in the rematch with Velasquez and could not reclaim it in their trilogy bout, also missing out on the belt when he rematched with Stipe Miocic, having beaten the current champion by unanimous decision in December 2014.
Dos Santos currently has a 15-7 UFC record with “Cigano” claiming ten of these victories by KO/TKO, but the Brazilian has also suffered six of his seven losses in the same manner.
Dos Santos will have a four-inch reach disadvantage against Gane this weekend so will need to be clever and use feints when closing the distance as I believe he will be more comfortable on the feet. If dos Santos was to claim a submission win it would be only the second of his professional career, his sole victory by this method coming in 2006.
Ciryl Gane (6-0) turned professional in August 2018 and won the TKO heavyweight title in his first bout, making his UFC debut just a year later. Now 3-0 in the promotion, this will be the Frenchman’s first fight in the USA.
Four of Gane’s five professional finishes have been in the final minute of the round, although in his last fight nearly a year ago he was forced to go the distance by Tanner Boser, winning by unanimous decision with 30-26 cards across the board. Gane’s other UFC wins have both come by submission meaning that he now has two TKO and three submission victories in his career.
“Bon Gamin” is 30 years old, six years younger than dos Santos, and has much less experience than the former champion. His background in karate, kickboxing, and Muay Thai means he may choose to use his reach advantage to strike with dos Santos before attempting to clinch and move to the ground in an attempt at another submission victory.
Prediction: Gane by submission.
Follow Rob Bartle on Twitter
Other articles by Rob Bartle via his Medium page