UFC Paris results: Ciryl Gane stops Tai Tuivasa in thrilling main event on historic night for French MMA

·3 min read
Paris’ own Ciryl Gane (right) beat Tai Tuivasa via third-round knockout (UFCEurope via Twitter)
Paris’ own Ciryl Gane (right) beat Tai Tuivasa via third-round knockout (UFCEurope via Twitter)

Ciryl Gane capped off a historic night for French mixed martial arts by sending his fellow Parisians into raptures on Saturday, knocking out Tai Tuivasa in the main event of the UFC’s first ever trip to the City of Light.

Gane showed off his technical abilities – almost unrivalled in the heavyweight division – in the first round, but had to survive a heavy knockdown from Tuivasa in an enthralling second frame to earn a crucial win.

It was in the third round that Gane broke down the Australian with body kicks that set up kicks and punches to the head of Tuivasa, a flurry of which put away the tourist to spark ecstasy in the Accor Arena.

The result saw 31-year-old Gane, who has only been competing in MMA for four years, bounce back from the sole defeat of his professional career so far – a decision loss to former teammate Francis Ngannou in January.

The Frenchman’s defeat by heavyweight champion Ngannou saw Gane fail to unify the belts, having entered that bout as interim title holder.

No 1 contender Gane moved a step closer to another title shot here, however, impressing with both his dynamism and heart as he overcame a game Tuivasa, who is ranked third in the division.

In the co-main event, Robert Whittaker similarly bounced back from a title-fight defeat, outpointing Marvin Vettori with a clinical performance in the pair’s middleweight showdown.

Former 185lbs champion Whittaker lost the gold to Israel Adesanya via knockout in 2019 and was narrowly outpointed by the reigning title holder this February. The Australian was at his best on Saturday, though, as he dissected Italian Vettori, who similarly has twice lost to Adesanya.

Vettori was outpointed by Adesanya on the “Last Stylebender”’s rise up the rankings, and he also fell to the Nigerian-born New Zealander in a title bout last year – again losing via decision. Vettori responded well to outpoint Paulo Costa last October but could not get past Whittaker in Paris, exhibiting his usual toughness and forward pressure but unable to answer his opponent’s eclectic offence and slick defence.

Full results

Main card

Ciryl Gane def. Tai Tuivasa via third-round KO (punches, 4:23)

Robert Whittaker def. Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Nassourdine Imavov def. Jaoqin Buckley via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Roman Kopylov def. Alessio di Chirico via third-round KO (punches, 1:09)

William Gomis def. Jarno Errens via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29)

Nathaniel Wood def. Charles Jourdain via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Prelims

Abus Magomedov def. Dustin Stoltzfus via first-round TKO (front kick, punches; 0:19)

Nasrat Haqparast def. John Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Fares Ziam def. Michal Figlak via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 39-28)

Benoit Saint-Denis def. Gabriel Miranda via second-round TKO (punches, 0:16)

Cristian Quinonez def. Khalid Taha via first-round TKO (punches, 3:15)

Stephanie Egger def. Ailin Perez via second-round submission (rear naked choke, 4:54)