Ciryl Gane: The First French UFC Champion?

Ciryl Gane: The First French UFC Champion?


Ciryl Gane: The First French UFC Champion?


On December 12th, 2020, Ciryl Gane extended his unbeaten professional record with a win over the former heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos. To date, the 30-year-old has claimed victories in each of his four UFC contests, but his stoppage of the Brazilian would have made the 265-pound division stand up and take notice. In the company’s history, no French fighter has held a UFC belt. However, there’s nothing to say that Gane can’t be the first, and here’s why.

Oct 26, 2019; Singapore, SINGAPORE; Ciryl Ganes (red gloves) fights Don’Tale Mayes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

Surpassing All Expectations in His Young Career

Perhaps what’s most impressive about Gane is that he’s only recently broken into professional MMA. Initially, the six-foot-four competitor began as a Muay Thai fighter, when he won and once defended the AFMT National 201-pound title. Two months after his final on-record Muay Thai fight, Bon Gamin made his MMA debut against Bobby Sullivan at TKO Fight Night 1, and he finished the contest with a first-round submission.

Just over one year later, Gane made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs Carmouche 2, and quickly defeated Raphael Pessoa. At the time of writing, the Frenchman’s professional stoppage rate sits at an impressive 86 percent, with his only decision coming against Tanner Boser in December 2019, as per Sherdog.


Although Francis Ngannou fights out of France, Gane is the division’s most promising French-born competitor. Prior to Bon Gamin’s victory over Dos Santos, he labelled The Predator as “one of the best out there” and added that he would only fight his fellow countryman for the title. However, he may have to wait for his shot at the belt, with TalkSPORT suggesting that the UFC are targeting a rematch between Ngannou and Stipe Miocic in March 2020, with the winner then facing Jon Jones.

The Potential to Grow MMA in France

Ultimately, the reason for Gane not expressing a burning desire to face The Predator relates to the fact that the pair both worked under Fernand Lopez at the MMA Factory in Paris. Following France’s decision to recognise MMA as a sport back in January 2020, it opens the door for the UFC to broaden their horizons and hold events in the country over the coming years. Together, Gane and Ngannou can grow the UFC’s French audience base, particularly when you factor in their knockout power.


Although the UFC hasn’t finalised any plans to hold an event in France, the 30-year-old has previously expressed his desire to headline the promotion’s first card within the country. Following his win over Dos Santos, Gane’s stock is at an all-time high, and thus the chances of him achieving his goal are more probable than ever before.

Furthermore, because of the ever-growing nature of the UFC, its place at many sports betting operators means that French viewers – and other global fans – will be able to follow Gane’s top-level career. At Mr Green, prospective bettors can bet on numerous events and markets, including MMA. Not only that, but such wagers can be placed in various ways. For example, through the platform’s live betting function, bettors can call on their quick-thinking to make informed decisions on real-time events, such as future Bon Gamin contests.

A Champion in Waiting

At present, Gane’s opening four bouts in the UFC have yet to showcase any weaknesses. His ground game is dangerous, and he also possesses fight-ending power on the feet. While he may have to wait to get his shot at the 265-pound belt, he’s certainly on the path to glory.

More Sports


I’m trying to negotiate the dichotomy between being completely annoyed watching this team, and being sad that in two more weeks, we might not (…)

More MMA