UFC heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane has described his feelings ahead of the MMA leader’s first visit to France.
After a long process to get mixed martial arts legalized on French shores, the UFC has the green light to stage events in the European nation, and it’ll do so in the capital city’s Accor Arena later today.
In the headliner, Paris resident Gane will compete in front of a home crowd for the first time in his professional MMA career. In the Frenchman’s way of a memorable moment alongside his compatriots will be Australian powerhouse Tai Tuivasa.
As well as the implications that the bout will have on the title picture, with “Bam Bam” looking to reel in his biggest catch to date and “Bon Gamin” hoping to begin his journey towards a second crack at undisputed gold, the September 3 event will also be a huge one for Gane on a personal level.
Gane: “This Is History”
During a recent interview with MMA Underground’s John Morgan, Gane discussed how he’s feeling ahead of a momentous occasion for his country’s mixed martial arts scene.
After expressing his joy, not just for himself, but for French fans and his fellow local fighters, the former interim UFC champion acknowledged his role in history by featuring in a highlighted spot on the promotion’s first France-held card.
“Really happy. The feeling is happiness,” Gane said. “Like I like to say, the end of the years, like Christmas, you see, this couple days (before), you are really happy, the celebration, you don’t know why, but you’re happy. This is my feeling. I’m really happy. Maybe the (lack of) jet lag. There is no jet lag (this time), so this has helped me to be a little more less lazy.
“So, yes, I am happy; happy for the fans, happy for the French fighters to shine in front of their audience, family, and friends. This is history. It will have my name on the first event in Paris, for our country,” Gane added.
Despite the huge occasions for him and his nation, Gane isn’t letting the moment get the better of him. The #1-ranked heavyweight contender insisted that he isn’t feeling overwhelming pressure and is solely focused on the task at hand.
“Not really pressure. I’m gonna do my job. People are waiting for my win. So, I’m gonna do the job and that’s it,” Gane stated. “Yes, I want to make some fun for the fans, I want to make the show, but first, my mission is to go back home with the win.”
And the challenge ahead of him is one that he’s faced before. At UFC 265 last August, Gane stifled the power of Derrick Lewis, putting on a perfect display in the art of ‘hit and don’t be hit’ en route to a TKO win.
Having shown a similar ability against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, as well as in a wrestling-heavy loss to Francis Ngannou earlier this year, Gane will no doubt fancy his chances of avoiding Tuivasa’s heavy shots and preventing the Aussie from bringing his famed shoeys to a fresh audience.
How do you think the UFC Paris headliner will play out?