Ciryl Gane brought Tai Tuivasa’s streak to an end in impressive fashion at UFC Paris. Still, some people, including former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, believe the French star got away with a rather egregious illegal strike.
In the final minute of the third round, Gane landed a beautiful right that rocked Tai Tuivasa. Smelling blood in the water, Gane started to unload strikes. He landed three more shots, but the fourth one got the most attention. Gane delivered a vicious hammer fist to the back of Tuivasa’s head. As stated in the Unified Rules of MMA, strikes to the back of the head or neck are illegal. This prompted some fans to question why the fight wasn’t paused at that point, but fans were not the only ones calling out Gane for the “dirty” shot.
Former Ciryl Gane opponent, Junior dos Santos was quite upset with what Gane appeared to get away with and called out the fighter on Twitter.
“What a dirty fighter this Gane is,” dos Santos wrote on Twitter. “Again hitting the back of the head. And now what are those ‘fight experts’ will say about it?”
Ciryl Gane Was Accused of a Similarly Illegal Strike in 2020
At UFC 256, Junior dos Santos faced Ciryl Gane in what would be the final fight of his UFC career. On that night, Gane landed an elbow that suspiciously looked like a shot to the back of the head. The blow immediately dropped JDS and the referee immediately stepped in. Fans called out Ciryl Gane for what seemed like an obvious illegal strike, but nothing came of the backlash and Gane continued to climb the heavyweight ranks.
With that being the former heavyweight champion’s fourth straight loss, Junior dos Santos was handed his walking papers, something that he was understandably upset with after years of loyal service.
“I reacted with surprise, [and] I was a little bit impressed by the coldness of how they treated the case,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “I know it’s a business, [but] they just don’t care. The history we did in there and everything else, the dedication and how everything have always played out, was totally disregarded.”
JDS also revealed in the interview that the UFC didn’t even contact him directly to inform him of his release. He found out through Dan Lambert, the founder of American Top Team where ‘Cigano’ trains.
“The UFC didn’t even talk to me. For example, [UFC President] Dana White, I haven’t talked to him in years. Not to ask anything or know anything. They didn’t even talk to me. [UFC] texted Dan [Lambert] of American Top Team, and it got to me that their decision was to release me from my contract.”