Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Ciryl Gane
has only been a professional mixed martial artist for less than
three years.

Such thinking might have tempered expectations at UFC Fight Night
186, when the Frenchman cruised to a forgettable five-round verdict
against Jairzinho
in Saturday’s heavyweight headliner at the UFC Apex
in Las Vegas. It wasn’t the type of performance that will propel
Gane to the top of the division, but it was nonetheless significant
for an athlete who is still learning and progressing.

“This guy is really dangerous, he is really tough, he has big
knockout power, so we have to manage the fight with this guy,
manage the distance and be focused, be careful,” Gane said. “We did
it, we did it well and we did more. We made pressure against the
cage, we did maybe two, three takedowns, maybe more. I tried to
finish the fight. I try, I try, but yes it was a good fight.”

It was also Gane’s first time going a full 25 minutes in the cage,
an important step for any championship hopeful. Now the 30-year-old
MMA Factory representative says he’ll be ready to headline more UFC
cards in the future.

“I can make a fight in five rounds. I can manage maybe one of the
most dangerous guys of this division and I did it very well, I
think,” Gane said. “I’m ready for every test, if you are going to
put me in the headliner like you say, I’m here. I have maybe a
little experience, but I feel comfortable, so if you need me, I’m
your man.”

Regardless of the criticism that surrounded his latest effort, Gane
believes he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the very
best of the heavyweight division.

“I’m legit,” Gane said. “I’m undefeated and I’m the only one
undefeated in this division in the rankings. I think I’m legit. I
want to say it to everybody: In the next months, if you have a
place, if someone has an injury, I’m here. I’m here, man.”

Gane entered UFC Fight Night 186 with big plans that hinged on
defeating Rozenstruik. After taking care of business in the
Octagon, “Bon Gamin” has his sights set on championship

“I talked with my coach and he said if I win this weekend, I’m
going to go after the belt,” Gane said. “It doesn’t matter who or
how – we’re going to go after the belt now.”