At UFC Paris, Ciryl Gane had a commanding performance in a historic card set in France for the first time. His opponent Tai Tuivasa had his moments as well. Particularly in the second round when he brutally struck the Frenchman and knocked him down.
But Gane bounced back and secured the victory with one of the most aggressive striking performances in the heavyweight category. Nevertheless, there were several complaints from the crowd concerning referee Marc Goddard’s apparent disregard for an illegal blow.
One fan wrote: “Hey @marcgoddard_uk can you explain your reasoning on not calling illegal shots to the back of the head. I thought my understanding was those are illegal strikes? In the first Colby/Usman fight Usman landed several of those shots and they weren’t called”
Another observed: “What a win for Ciryl. Masterclass. But funny how yet again Marc Goddard just ignores strikes to the back of the head.”
But MMA Fans online weren’t the only ones that noticed.
On Sunday morning, the former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos criticized Ciryl Gane.
In the last moments, Gane seems to use a right hammer fist to smack Tuivasa in the back of the head. After seeing the blow on tape, cageside commentator Michael Bisping characterized it as hitting “the back of the head..”
Previously, Dos Santos complained about getting struck in the back of the head after losing to Gane at UFC 256 in December 2020. He didn’t like what he saw during the Tuivasa battle recently.
Dos Santos tweeted: “What a dirty fighter this Gane is. Again hitting the back of the head. And now what are those ‘fight experts’ [sic] will say about it?”
It’s important to note that Tuivasa was severely injured before the shot. The strike is still very obvious. Referee Marc Goddard’s shot or even Tuivasa’s appeal after the bout was not mentioned.
After his own bout against Gane, Dos Santos was furious about losing and claimed an illegal elbow to the back of his head caused the TKO.
Cyril Gane previously struck Junior Dos Santos to the back of his head during his finishing sequence on December 12, 2020 pic.twitter.com/0s7EBjoAqg
— calfkicker (@calfkickercom) September 5, 2022
Previously, Dos Santos had tweeted:
“I feel bad that this situation takes away the shine of this victory, but it’s also not OK. (It’s) not right to expect me to take a loss from an illegal blow.”
“I hope you guys agree with me. I know my situation isn’t good in the organization, but that’s not the reason to suddenly stop enforcing rules or stop ensuring my safety inside the cage.”