Dana White may not have been at the UFC Vegas 20: Gane vs. Rosenstruik post-fight press conference, but he made his opinions on the main event known through Yahoo! Sports reporter, Kevin Iole.
As the victorious Ciryl Gane sat up on the podium to answer press questions, Iole went ahead and read a not so complimentary text he’d received from UFC’s head honcho.
“‘Everybody’s talking about Ciryl being this big contender, but look what Francis [Ngannou] did to Jairzinho,’” Iole relayed to Gane. “This was Gane’s coming out party and his chance to show the world who he is. He won, but let’s leave it at that, he won.’”
It’s a funny moment, because at first the French-speaking Gane thought the text was a compliment, and it took his coach and translator let him know he was getting slagged. Even then, Gane made a funny face and seemed to shrug off the criticism.
“I can understand that,” Gane said. “He is the boss and he wants to make money, so he wants a guy that is bankable. We know, people want the show, they want the big KO. Yes, I don’t finish the fight. I tried, but I don’t do it. So I can understand that. But I’m okay.”
Much of the heat on the fight being a dud seems to be falling on Gane’s opponent, Jairzinho Rosenstruik, who simply refused to engage much at all. Gane took advantage of Rosenstruik’s inactivity by edging him round after round for 50-45 scorecards across the board.
“I remember that I tried to finish the fight,” Gane said. “I didn’t, but I tried to finish the fight and yes, we managed the fight very well so yes I’m happy. I think I did it well. I managed the fight on the feet. I tried to go down, I go down and I did the takedown. I think I manage well the fight on the feet.
“I was not really happy, but my coach said, ‘You did very well, you won five rounds of a fight,’” he continued. “So I’m happy. I think I proved something. I can go five rounds and I can manage five rounds. I’m really comfortable with five rounds.”
While that performance isn’t going to earn Gane a title shot, it never was in the first place. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is set to fight Ngannou at the end of March. And then the general assumption is Jon Jones will get his immediate title shot next.
That pretty much locks up the title for 2021, so Gane will have another opportunity to impress the fans and the big boss down the line before any decisions are made about a title shot.