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Ciryl Gane vs. Serghei Spivac full fight preview | UFC Paris

UFC Fight Night: Sakai v Spivac Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight talents Ciryl Gane and Serghei Spivac will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Sept. 2, 2023) at UFC Paris inside Accor Arena in Paris, France.

It says something about his talent and potential that Gane enters this fight at his all-time low point ... ranked at No. 2 in the world! The former interim champion has lost two of his last three, defeats that exposed some serious weaknesses in his grappling, weaknesses that are likely to be test by “The Polar Bear.” Even so, he’s still a relative newcomer to MMA and already stands as one of the best in the world — don’t count him out just yet. Spivac may not enter the Octagon riding massive ways of hype, but he delivers great results! The Moldovan wrestler has climbed into the Top 10 mostly by finishing his opposition quickly, delivering stoppages even if one-punch knockouts are not his strong suit.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

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Ciryl Gane

Record: 11-2
Key Wins: Tai Tuivasa (UFC Paris), Derrick Lewis (UFC 265), Jairzino Rozenstruik (UFC Vegas 20), Junior dos Santos (UFC 256), Tanner Boser (UFC Fight Night 165), Raphael Pessoa (UFC Fight Night 156)
Key Losses: Francis Ngannou (UFC 270), Jon Jones (UFC 285)
Keys To Victory: Gane is largely a Heavyweight anomaly. I cannot think of anyone else in the history of the division who’s game is so largely based on speed, feints, and distance striking. He’s high-volume but still has good power, and overall, he just may be the division’s best striker.

It’s his wresting and ground defense that will be tested here, however.

Gane’s mistakes against Jones began on the feet. He committed too hard, too early to a left hand, and Jones ducked right under for an easy takedown. He cannot do the same against Spivac, who really excels at dragging foes back down once they’re in his grasp. For at least a round, it has to be all jabs and stab kicks. Straight punches to the chest are also acceptable.

In the likely event that Gane is taken down at some point, hand control is absolutely the key. If he just forces his way up via raw athleticism, Spivac will toss him back to the floor. He must first separate the grip and control one hand on the way up — one of the most fundamental rules in wrestling — otherwise it’s all for naught.

Serghei Spivak

Record: 16-3
Key Wins: Derrick Lewis (UFC Vegas 68), Tai Tuivasa (UFC 243), Aleksei Oleinik (UFC Vegas 29), Augusto Sakai (UFC Vegas 59), Greg Hardy (UFC 272)
Key Losses: Tom Aspinall (UFC Vegas 36), Walt Harris (UFC Fight Night 151), Marcin Tybura (UFC Fight Night 169)
Keys To Victory: Spivac’s “Polar Bear” moniker is appropriate: he really has been mauling people on the floor! He’s a really tricky chain wrestler, and once Spivac has secured an entry, it’s difficult to get free of his grasp. On the floor, he’s a quality finisher, advancing position until a checkmate occurs via strikes or tap out.

The big question for Spivac here really is whether or not he can get a hold of Gane. The Frenchman is fast and evasive, and Spivac will be dealing with a significant speed disadvantage. He doesn’t have the type of explosive shot that will allow him to close distance instantly from across the ring — he has to chew up distance with his stand up first.

Spivac’s nice jab will help keep him in the game, but footwork is more important. Cutting off the cage is especially vital, as is simply pressuring Gane. If Gane is moving backwards, he’ll have a more difficult time kicking, and a poorly timed kick can be caught. Furthermore, Gane tends to swing wildly when his back is to the fence. That would be the perfect time to duck beneath a punch and wrap up with “Bon Gamin.”

Once that happens, Spivac is in his wheelhouse.

Bottom Line

It’s an important fight and fun style clash.

Gane has a lot to prove here. His loss to Jones lasted just two minutes, yet it was positively filled with mistakes, the kind that forced fans to reexamine his whole career! He remains highly ranked, but going out and stomping a grappler would go a long way in proving that Gane simply had a bad night at the office and remains an elite Heavyweight.

As for Spivac, this is a massive opportunity. At just 28 years of age, he could break into title contention with a victory tonight. He’s only getting better, and his style seems built for longevity. In short, a win tonight removes Spivac from dark horse status and elevates him to bonafide Heavyweight title threat.

At UFC Paris, Ciryl Gane and Serghei Spivac will go to war in the main event. Which man earns the victory?

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Paris news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive here. For the updated and finalized “Gane vs. Spivac” fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.

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