Ciryl Gane demands ANOTHER title shot???
In a rather puzzling interview delivered on the MMA hour with Ariel Helwani, UFC Heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane has stated that he is not willing to fight fellow contender Tom Aspinall and likely any other fighters aside from the Englishman.
In what seems like a fairly reasonable statement at face value, Gane stated “This [fight] doesn’t make sense for me” and “I just want to go to the belt. I am No.1 contender and he is No.4. It doesn’t make sense.” When asked by Helwani whether he wished to fight the winner of Jones vs Miocic, Gane confirmed this stating “Yes, if it is possible”.
While of course every fighter wants to fight for the belt and a number one contender will always rather have a title shot than possibly lose their ranking to someone ranked below them, this is not always possible. Especially in the case of Gane. After delivering what was an admittedly extremely impressive performance against number 7-ranked Sergey Spivak, Gane has found himself at the top of the Heavyweight rankings once again.
Yet before the victory against Spivak, Gane was defeated twice in a row by Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones respectively, both times for the UFC Heavyweight championship. The match up against Jon Jones in particular garnered heavy criticism towards Gane who was immediately taken down and submitted less than 2 minutes into the fight.
While the performance against Spivak was excellent, after two subpar performances in back to back title fights before, is Gane really deserving of a third shot at the belt so soon removed from one of the worst showings ever seen in a title bout?
Alongside Gane’s lacklustre performances in title fights, there has been a rise of two young contenders in particular who have been making waves in the Heavyweight division who are both thought to be looking for a title fight sooner rather than later. The first of these is Sergei Pavlovich.
The Russian is the current Knockout King and is riding a 6 fight-winning streak in the division with each win ending by a first-round KO. The second is Englishman Tom Aspinall, Aspinall was the most talked about prospect in the sport last year before badly damaging his knee in a fight with Curtis Blaydes. Out of action for a year, he returned earlier this summer and looked better than ever delivering a spectacular performance against number 10-ranked Marcin Tybura. Undefeated in the UFC aside from the Blaydes fight, Aspinall looks to be one of the most complete martial artists the division has ever seen and many fans and pundits alike believe that he is on track to become the next Heavyweight champion of the world.
Essentially, the Heavyweight rankings tell the story. The Champion Jon Jones is scheduled to take on former champion Stipe Miocic in November. Miocic is currently ranked #3. This leaves #1 ranked Ciryl Gane, #2 ranked Sergei Pavlovich and #4 ranked Aspinall to compete it out with one another for a shot at the winner of Jones vs Miocic.
When looking at recent results, run of form and performances there is actually a real case for Gane to be dropped from the discussion entirely. Despite sitting at #1 in the rankings. He possesses no win streak and has in fact come up short at two attempts for the title, if the UFC were to give Gane another shot so soon it would create a real risk of causing stagnation for the division. Ultimately the best option for Gane himself would be to fight either Aspinall or Pavlovich as fans could easily turn against the Frenchman if he was simply handed another title shot whereas a win against either of those two would certainly earn him another shot at gold.