Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole interviews former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane, who fights Saturday in the main event of UFC Paris against rising contender Tai Tuivasa.
KEVIN IOLE: What is up, everybody? I am Kevin Iole. Welcome to Yahoo Sports. My guest right now is going to be in the main event of UFC Paris on Saturday, going to be a huge fight, the first UFC Fight in France. Of course, I'm talking about the former interim champion, Ciryl Gane. He will be fighting Tai "Bam Bam" Tuivasa on Saturday. So Cyril, what is it like getting ready to fight in the first main event of UFC in France? I'm sure you've got to be excited about that.
CIRYL GANE: I'm really excited. I mean, I'm really excited, and the feeling is more like I'm really happy. I'm really happy to be there, to do this in Paris. I don't know why exactly. I don't know why exactly, but this look like the end of the year, like Christmas that you see you're happy. You don't know why exactly, but this is a little bit special, and this is exactly my feeling.
I'm really happy. I'm really happy also for the fans. I'm really happy also for the French fighter on the card. This makes some opportunity for some guys. You see, my guys, we have [INAUDIBLE] just singing. So I'm really happy for my man. And I hope all of the French fighters are going to win this Saturday.
KEVIN IOLE: Can you tell me what the reception for MMA has been like in France? Bellator had a show there. There have been other MMA there before the UFC has gotten in since MMA has been legalized in France. What is it like there? Are people really excited about MMA? And do you feel like there's going to be a big overflow crowd on Saturday to watch the fights?
CIRYL GANE: Yes. If you look at the ticket, the ticket was like, just in the few minutes. So this has been a lot, and yes, we had Bellator, but RS did a big job, did a big job for the fans. And the people really don't know this sport, RS, this is new league, this is new show. The date just before the date, the September 2, and every month, RS did this. This is look like an indication, so in UFC, I would really [INAUDIBLE] to make-- this is a good word, education, Lopez?
CIRYL GANE: This is an education of the MMA UFC.
- Educate people.
CIRYL GANE: Educate people, exactly, what is the MMA. So we are really lucky to have our health to have this every month, everyone's support.
KEVIN IOLE: Are you seeing more French athletes turn to MMA? Like, when you're in the gym training, do you see more and more athletes going into MMA than they did previously?
CIRYL GANE: Exactly. This is really true. We have a lot of guy from the wrestling, from the judo, and come to do some transition. You have a lot of fighters MMA can come everywhere in Europe and Africa, everywhere. So and because the result of the MMA factory make the judge, you see.
When you look at Francis Ngannou, when you look [INAUDIBLE], when you look this guy, and you just staying with the UFC, this is a dream for every fighter, to have his contract with the UFC, and then the factory, and the management factory can do the job. So this is a good deal for every fighter.
KEVIN IOLE: Now, you're fighting Bam Bam Tuicasa, one of the hardest hitters, one of the most popular fighters in the sport. I saw you did a shoot with him at a photo opportunity. What do you expect out of Tuivasa? Both of you guys knocked out Derrick Lewis, so you know he hits hard if he knocks out Derrick Lewis. What kind of fight do you expect from Tai?
CIRYL GANE: He is a tough guy. He is a tough guy. And like he say, like he likes fighting. He like to lend some big punch. He like to make a pressure. So we can expect that this about him, and like he say, he want to fuck up the body.
So he got to do his best. I'm going to do my best. And we will see, but you can expect a big fight. He is happy to be there. I'm happy also to be in Paris, in my town. And like the people say, a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter, so you can expect this kind of fight. That's not because we [INAUDIBLE] we are not available to do a war.
He is not this kind of fighter. I'm not this kind of fighter. We are just here to do the job, and we know why we do the job. This is for the family, for making the money. So we both have mission.
KEVIN IOLE: Two more questions. One, it's fun to fight at home, and you get all this stuff going on by fighting at home. But you're ranked number one, and he's ranked number three. So the winner of this fight is going to be right back in the title picture. And with Francis injured, who knows what might happen with that. So how do you block out all the extra stuff and focus on just getting the job done knowing what's at stake?
CIRYL GANE: No, I got the [INAUDIBLE] in my career. It was always on my mind step by step. And today, it's Tai Tuivasa in Paris, and that's it. We will see for the future. Of course, I'm thinking about that when you asked e, what is the next for you if you win this Saturday? I'm going to tell you, I was really close to the gold against the champion, the big champion in the [INAUDIBLE] Francis Ngannou.
I was really close to have the belt. You see, so I think I got my chance to go back there. So yeah, tomorrow if I win again Tuivasa, I'm going to be there. So I don't know exactly what's going to happen with [INAUDIBLE] Jones. Is the fight going to be available? If you are not, I'm here. And you understand now, my target is the best for sure.
KEVIN IOLE: Last question. Last question. Sometimes, they say you learn more from a loss than you do from wins, right? Do you feel like that applies to you? Like your fight with Francis, do you feel like after you looked at it and look what happened, that you became a better fighter for that experience?
CIRYL GANE: When you win, you don't have too much question on your head. When you lose, this is different.
KEVIN IOLE: Right.
CIRYL GANE: Why? What I can fix it? You see, so today, this is not because just, OK, I lost my fight, like I'm feeling really bad, so, no. I was really OK about this defeat. But this is a penalty with my eyes on my target. Like, it was on, and I think I must have found a bigger motivation and better motivation.
And this means what I must to do at the training every day is what I'm looking for at the end of the training every day. So this has had a little bit more experience, like on my mind, more maturity.
KEVIN IOLE: Well remember on Saturday in the main event of UFC Paris, you'll see that man, Ciryl Gane going up against Tai Tuivasa in a very important heavyweight fight. Ciryl, wish you the best of luck. Always good to see you and tell Fernand I said hello.
- Thank you.