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Ciryl Gane TKO’s Serghei Spivac; Namajunas drops flyweight debut

It’s amazing how much better Ciryl Gane looks in the Octagon when he’s not fighting Jon Jones.

Gane (12-2) breezed to a second-round TKO over Serghei Spivac (16-4) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday inside Accor Arena in Paris. It was a tactical, trademark performance by Gane in his first appearance since a lackluster showing versus Jones in a heavyweight title fight in March.

“I’m really happy about that, because my last fight was …” Gane said, shrugging. “Today, it was my mission to prove that I’m still here.”

The finish came at the 3-minute, 44-second mark, as Gane landed one shot after another to Spivac’s body and head against the fence. Spivac refused to go down, but he was a sitting target for Gane’s expert accuracy. According to UFC Stats, Gane landed 95 total strikes to just 14 for Spivac.

It was a strikingly different performance than the one Gane gave in March, when Jones, who moved up from light heavyweight and came off a three-year layoff, easily took him to the ground and submitted him via guillotine in just two minutes.

Gane’s takedown defense looked much better versus Spivac on Saturday, and his shot selection on the feet was as impressive as ever.

He landed front kicks to Spivac’s lead leg and decimated him with punches and knees to the body. It marked Gane’s ninth victory in the UFC. His only two losses have come in title fights.

A former interim champ, Gane is still very much in title conversations despite his lopsided loss to Jones. Jones is arranged to defend the heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic in November and has hinted at possible retirement. Waiting in the wings are names that include Sergei Pavlovich, Tom Aspinall and Gane.

In the co-main event, French flyweight contender Manon Fiorot (11-1) added a big name to her title shot resume, as she defeated former strawweight champ Rose Namajunas (11-6) via unanimous decision. Judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Fiorot.

Fiorot worked the jab and right hook to beat Namajunas on the feet, while thwarting all six of Namajunas’s takedown attempts. Fiorot is 6-0 in the UFC and a candidate, along with Erin Blanchfield, for a title shot against the winner of a rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko on Sept. 16.

“That was a former champ,” Fiorot said through an interpreter. “I’m the one who needs to take one of these champs. I deserve the chance to be a champ.”

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