In just two minutes, Ciryl Gane’s dream of becoming the first French UFC champion in history faded away in the arms of Jon Jones, winner by submission in the first round of their mixed martial arts bout on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The disillusion is as immense as the strangulation was unstoppable and also, certainly, a little offered on a platter to the experienced American. The latter did not ask so much for his return, successful after three years of absence.
“I’m pissed at myself. I was given this chance to fight, I had little time to prepare, but with my team we worked a lot for this moment. And I didn’t have the right reflexes during the fight. Everything is disappointing. I’m really angry, “said Gane, annoyed behind his eternal smile.
It is barely after 124 seconds spent in the octagon that he has indeed folded.
He had struck first, somewhat awkwardly with a kick that landed in the area of his opponent’s genitals, who winced in pain. The Vendéen, who had waved a tricolor on his way to the octagon a few moments earlier, collected “USA! USA!” from the excited crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.
– “Shit…” –
All under the eyes of MMA star Conor McGregor and actor Jake Gyllenhall, who “fought” in the octagon earlier today for the needs of “Road House”, remake of a film 1980s action movie starring Patrick Swayze. The day before, he had already hosted the weigh-in, stepping on the scale himself, shirtless and very sharp.
Then Gane got tricked into being taken down by Jones, one of whose great strengths is his wrestling skills. And the American did not fail to end it, forcing “Good kid” to ask the referee to stop the fight.
“He tried to submit me, but I was comfortable because he couldn’t apply a good guillotine. But I was afraid of a decision by the referee and my coach told me not to not stay in this position, which is bad. So I tried to move, but he readjusted at that moment, he caught me and he finished me. Shit…”, explained Gane.
“I was convinced that if I brought Gane to the ground, it would be quite easy for me. You never know with the foot-fist. You can take a hit…”, commented Jones.
Gane, 32, concedes his second defeat in 13 fights. And if for his first attempt to climb to the top of MMA, thirteen months earlier, he had been defeated by not much by Cameroonian Francis Ngannou, who has since decided to leave the octagon for boxing, this time there was no photo.
– “This defeat hurts” –
“It’s a real defeat, my first real defeat. The one against Francis was not indisputable. This one really hurts. But it’s already behind me, I have to move on and I’ll go straight back to the room,” he said.
His executioner, who took twenty pounds to climb in the queen category without losing a gram of his technique, returns to the light at 35, after having rather displayed his dark side in recent years, with a record mixing drugs, drunk driving, domestic violence and doping.
“I’ve been working for this achievement for a while. There were a lot of haters who thought I’d never come back…I’ve been true to my ambition,” Jones said.
His victory, which was not the most difficult of his career, is the 28th in 29 fights. As for his only defeat, it resulted from a disqualification in 2009, against Mark Hamill, whom he largely dominated.
So much so that, contrary to what his track record indicates, Jones still considers himself “undefeated in the cage”. And his show of force can only comfort the many observers who consider him the greatest fighter of all time.