Friday, February 8th, French heavyweight prospect Cyril Gane will be in action in Canada, where he will be looking to continue his undefeated streak against fellow prospect Raphael Pessoa. He will be defending the TKO Heavyweight Championship in the main event, as Gane looks to cash in on a UFC contract. Gane represents the MMA Factory, the premiere MMA camp in France. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Striking: Gane comes from a muay Thai kickboxing background and he has taken many fights in that respective combat sport. He’s seen success there, too. His footwork is good and he moves well for a man of his size (about 240 pounds, give or take). That makes him hard to catch for slower, more lumbering heavyweights. In fact, speed in general is just an advantage he enjoys over many heavyweights, who tend to me more plodding. He moves in and out with combos very effectively, scoring his damage and getting out of harms way before his opponent can react accordingly. He’s also diverse; he likes to throws knees in the clinch and from in close. In fact, his knees may be one of his best weapons (see Adam Dyzcka fight).
Power: Gane has a big frame at 6’5″, and with his long arms and impressive size, Gane generates massive power, whether he’s in his bread-and-butter striking game or mixing it up with a power takedown. You can see when he strikes, it comes with knockout power each time. He uses his massive legs to step into everything he throws with explosiveness. Even though he’s not a ground fighter, he will occasionally throw in a power double leg to catch his opponent off guard and drill him into the mat. That type of power is uncanny and is a massive weapon when it comes to harming and finishing opponents. And, because he doesn’t get tired quickly, his power is equally dangerous as the fight drags on to the second and third round.
Defensive Grappling: Being a muay Thai specialist, it’s obvious that Gane has some things to fix up on the mat. Though he’s shown to have some offensive wrestling, it’s his defensive grappling that he will need to work on. That will include his sprawl and his defensive wrestling, as well as his work from the bottom if taken down. So, he needs to work on getting off his back and submission defense. If he can tighten those up and round that off, Gane is going to be very, very dangerous.
Top-15 UFC Heavyweight: The UFC heavyweight division is pretty shallow, so if you have talent, cardio, power, athleticism and other intangibles, you will be on a beeline to success. Gane has the natural gifts and the skills to be successful. Now, he just needs to continue to add experience and win big fights, as he’s just 2-0. One of those two wins, though, was over a top prospect in the aforementioned Dyczka. If he can beat fellow undefeated prospect Raphael Pessoa this weekend, a guy certainly on the UFC’s radar, it will be hard to not ink Gane to a contract. The guy could be a top-15, if not a top-10 heavyweight. He’s just 28, so he has a very bright future.