UFC 265: Dana White changes his mind on Ciryl Gane after dominant win over Derrick Lewis

  • Tom Ward
Dana White was blown away by Ciryl Gane's dominant performance against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 on Saturday

Dana White was so blown away by Ciryl Gane’s total domination of Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 on Saturday that he almost forgot to give him a $50,000 ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus as a reward.

Gane (10-0) outlanded Lewis in their five-round main event on Saturday night in Houston.  

The French UFC star got the better of ‘The Black Beast’ as the much-hyped event lived up to its pre-fight billing. 

The 31-year-old landed 98/122 power punches (80 per cent). Lewis meanwhile landed a measly 16/37 power punches (43 per cent). 

And in total Gane landed 112/136 (82 per cent), while in total Lewis also landed 16/37 (43 per cent), according to UFCSTATS.

However, when White first read out the names of the POTN bonus winners, ‘Bon Gamin’ was surprisingly absent from the list. 

When it was put to him that Gane also deserved a bonus after beating Lewis in his own backyard, White told reporters: “He did have a great performance, that’s true, how come we didn’t talk about that in there?

“That was Sean, that’s right, yeah f— it, Ciryl gets 50,000 dollars too, there you go. 

“That’s true, Ciryl Gane should absolutely get the ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus as well.”

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The UFC president had publicly criticised Gane for playing it safe following his back-to-back decision wins over Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik but he had no complaints with his one-sided domination over Lewis.

“I got asked that during press day, and apparently one of the guys was saying I had said that he was a boring fighter, I don’t ever remember saying that, I don’t ever remember calling him boring,” he replied.

“Listen, if I said it, I’ll own it, but I think that, you know, this guy has a style – he’s a big, powerful, badass heavyweight who moves like a middleweight.

“You saw tonight what he was able to do to Derrick Lewis, he completely shut him down.

“Punch stats, I don’t know the specific, you know, numbers, but it was in the hundreds, and Derrick was like three.   

“I mean, he completely shut it down, put on a clinic, looked good doing it, made it look easy against a guy who can turn the lights out with one punch. This kid’s super talented.

“Listen, when you start getting sucked in to listening to people talk about, ‘Oh, you’re boring’, and you’re this and that, you’ve got to tune that s— out and fight your style and fight the way you want to fight, and that’s what he did tonight.” 

Ciryl Gane stops Derrick Lewis with punches in the third round

White also admits he was impressed with the way in which Gane handled the ‘pressure’ of fighting in enemy territory, adding that he ‘couldn’t have shined any more than he did tonight’.

“The other thing that impressed me with him is I was curious to see how he would stand up to the pressure of his first big main event, the crowd, it’s definitely different,” he added.

“And you’re in his backyard, you’re in his home town, so the guy couldn’t have shined any more than he did tonight.” 

Read more: UFC 265: Ciryl Gane speaks about his rivalry with Francis Ngannou after beating Derrick Lewis

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