UFC 285 saw Ciryl Gane come up against his most formidable opponent yet, Jon Jones. The fight didn’t go as planned, and Gane suffered his second UFC career loss. Jon Jones is perhaps the most formidable fighter on the planet, and maybe of all time, and in just two minutes and four seconds, Jones had submitted Gane by guillotine choke.
While the MMA odds may not have been in Gane’s favor this time around, his career is still something to be proud of, and this loss does not mean he is finished by any means. There are several things he needs to do in order to put things right in the aftermath of 285. Here are five key areas Ciryl Gane needs to address in order to reach the very top once again.
One of the only upsides for Gane in the loss against Jon Jones is how quickly it came about. No damage was sustained during the fight, as Gane was submitted within two minutes by a guillotine choke. He does not have to serve any form of suspension as he didn’t receive any damage.
With no injuries occurring, it means that Gane should be trying everything within his power to erase the memory of such a clinical defeat. The rebound that Cain Velasquez made was outstanding against Antonio Silva after he had been defeated by Junior dos Santos. If Gane could replicate something like that, it would do a lot for his career and his confidence.
As previously stated, Gane has only lost twice in his professional fighting career, and both of those losses have come down to his lack of defensive prowess when it comes to grappling. When fighting former teammate Francis Ngannou, Gane wasn’t able to do much in terms of defense when it came down to wrestling, something quite surprising with the dominant part of Ngannou’s game being striking-based.
In both of his losses, Gane failed due to his decision-making. When fighting Ngannou, his defensive choice was a heel hook, which ultimately let Ngannou regain the top position and come away victorious.
When fighting against Jon Jones, Gane neglected to focus on his hands while the guillotine choke was being set up. Both of these actions displayed the unfamiliarity that Gane has with grappling exchanges. The only way he can improve is by dedicating some time to focus on these areas of his fighting game, as they have been seen by many to be clear weaknesses that can definitely be exploited.
In spite of Fernand Lopez’s efforts to engage in damage control, Ciryl Gane’s statement indicated that the Frenchman has been training consistently since his loss to Francis Ngannou. However, in late February, Gane described himself as being lazy.
As a fighter, he revealed that he does not train until he has an upcoming fight because he has numerous obligations, whether they involve his family or the media. He added that he has barely trained since defeating Tai Tuivasa, which is somewhat troubling for his camp and supporters.
In the world of mixed martial arts, things are always changing. Gane’s apparent lack of training could put him at risk of being overtaken by divisional rivals who train more frequently. His lack of preparation will leave him vulnerable to new techniques, approaches, and game plans. Even if he does not have a fight scheduled, he should train more frequently.
Fight lower-ranked competitors
Even though he has suffered a loss, Ciryl Gane still remains a high-level heavyweight fighter in the UFC. During his UFC career, he has secured 11 wins from his 13 fights, with two losses. The bad thing about those two losses is that they occurred during his last three fights. A trend seen in a lot of fighting sports is the difficulties that undefeated fighters have bouncing back after they have eventually lost a fight.
Gane is sure to need a bit of a confidence boost now that he has suffered two losses with only one win in between. Losing confidence in their own fighting abilities is a common issue with fighters after they have suffered a defeat. The perfect example of this would be Charles Oliveira after losing on numerous occasions.
The fact that Gane has only won one of his last three bouts is less than desirable. By training more frequently, he is likely to pick up new skills and test them out on lower-ranked opponents to help regain his confidence.
Fight in Paris
Rumors have stated that the UFC could return to France for an event later this year. If the organization does decide to make this trip, they will, of course, need a compelling headliner to top the card. When it comes to MMA, there is no French name bigger than Ciryl Gane. He is guaranteed a warm reception on home soil, especially with his previous accolade of being the former interim heavyweight champion.
Barring any negative press and fan sentiment that may occur, a bout in Paris should go a long way toward helping Gane rebuild himself as a heavyweight UFC star. If a triumphant return to Paris were to happen this year, it would surely go a long way toward helping to redirect his career.
Although 2023 hasn’t begun in the best way possible for Gane, in the latter months of the year, the heavyweight specialist could still make a quick turnaround in fortunes, helped even further by a main event on French soil.