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Junior dos Santos rips ‘dirty fighter’ Ciryl Gane: ‘Again hitting the back of the head’

Junior dos Santos called out Ciryl Gane following his UFC Paris win over Tai Tuivasa for hitting his opponent with a punch to the back of the head.

UFC 256: Dos Santos v Gane Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Junior dos Santos is still upset about how his final UFC fight against Ciryl Gane went down back in Dec. 2020.

dos Santos fell to Gane in the second round of their UFC 256 fight, with “Bon Gamin” hitting “Cigano” with a monster elbow that dropped the former Heavyweight champion. According to dos Santos — and many others who watched the replay several dozen times — the finishing blow looked suspiciously like an illegal shot to the back of the head.

Now, JDS says Gane is up to his old tricks again at UFC Paris, where the French fighter defeated Tai Tuivasa via third round knockout (watch highlights here).

“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?”

The video dos Santos shared shows Gane throwing a wild hammer fist, which clearly bounces off the back of Tuivasa’s head. Gane would go on to finish the fight with his follow-up punch.

As laid out in the Unified Rules of MMA, strikes to the back of the head or neck are quite illegal. But, just like many other illegal moves in MMA, they tend to happen a lot without any meaningful action from the referee. Many referees seem to make a distinction between a strike that hits the back of the head during a flurry or scramble and a fighter purposefully attacking the back of the head on the ground.

That leads to incidents like Gane beating dos Santos with an unacknowledged iffy elbow, and now Gane hitting Tuivasa on the back of the head during their bout.

dos Santos has his reasons for being bitter about his loss. It was his fourth defeat in a row, resulting in the promotion releasing him from the roster. It’s clear “Cigano” was unhappy about being tossed by UFC after 12 years with the promotion. And going out on a questionable finish was apparently just salt in the wound.

After a 1.5-year break from competing, dos Santos returned at an Eagle FC event in May 2022, losing a fight against Yorgan De Castro after his shoulder spontaneously dislocated on him in the third round (watch it). While Eagle FC head honcho, Khabib Nurmagomedov, was clearly hoping to set up a JDS vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight, the stoppage loss via injury scuttled those plans.


For complete UFC Paris: “Gane vs. Tuivasa” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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