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Boom! Three years into MMA journey, Ciryl Gane thrilled by UFC Fight Night 186 headliner


LAS VEGAS – Ciryl Gane is soaking in every moment of fight week ahead of his UFC Fight Night 186 headliner.

Saturday’s main event is Gane’s first with the promotion, and it took him just four appearances to situate himself in a top-billed opportunity. He’s here – and he’s enjoying it.

“I’m really excited,” Gane told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at a pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “And you know what? To have my face on the poster, that’s really crazy. I’m really happy.”

Gane’s comfortability on the big stage might derive from his familiarity being the “inexperienced” fighter in his scenario. It’s only been three years since Gane (7-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) began his MMA journey. Seven fights later, he’s fighting a fellow top contender, Rozenstruik (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), knocking on the doorstep of a title shot. “Big steps up” are all he knows.

“I have only three years in MMA. Before that, I had only three years in muay Thai. Every time in my career, my step was like that: boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” Gane said. “You see, my last fight, (I got) Junior Dos Santos – boom. After Junior Dos Santos, (I got) No. 3 Jairzinho – boom. Every time in my career, it’s always like that. So no, I’m OK with that.”

Both Gane and Rozenstruik enter UFC Fight Night 186 off of second-round TKO wins over former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. Though he doesn’t watch much fight tape, Gane thinks his performance against JDS was a step above Rozenstruik’s.

When the two meet in the cage Saturday, Rozenstruik thinks he’ll be a step ahead there, as well. A win could enter the winner into the title conversation at the top of a log-jammed UFC heavyweight division.

“There are a lot of people in this division already,” Gane said. “Yes, that’s a shame. If I win this weekend, I think this fight is going to put me in the discussion.”

UFC Fight Night 186 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event streams on ESPN+.



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