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Former champion says Australia’s Tai Tuivasa was a victim of foul play in thrilling UFC loss to Ciryl Gane

Former UFC World Heavyweight Champion says Aussie Tai Tuivasa was the victim of FOUL PLAY in thrilling loss to Ciryl Gane: ‘What a dirty fighter he is’

  • Former Champion Junior Dos Santos claims an illegal punch from Ciryl Gane in HW fight
  • Tuivasa’s blow to the back of the head came in the last few seconds
  • Dos Santos also believes he was also hit by an illegal shot in his fight with Gane

Australia’s UFC fighter Tai Tuivasa was sensationally KO’d by France’s Ciryl Gane in the headline fight of UFC’s first visit to Paris – but a former UFC champion believes the Australian was hit hard.

In one of the most entertaining fights of his career, Tuivasa dropped his opponent in the second round before Gane recovered and knocked him out in the third round.

One of the punches in the closing sequence caught the Australian in the back of the head and former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos has publicly announced the illegal strike.

French UFC star Ciryl Gane smacks Australia's Tai Tuivasa in the back of the head in the final moments of Sunday's epic heavyweight duel in Paris. The fight was stopped moments later when Gane awarded the win

French UFC star Ciryl Gane smacks Australia’s Tai Tuivasa in the back of the head in the final moments of Sunday’s epic heavyweight duel in Paris. The fight was stopped moments later when Gane awarded the win

Former UFC champion Junior Dos Santos (pictured) called out the illegal strike on Twitter, branding Gane a

Former UFC champion Junior Dos Santos (pictured) called out the illegal strike on Twitter, branding Gane a “dirty fighter”.

“What a dirty fighter this Gane is,” Dos Santos wrote on Twitter afterwards.

“Another hit on the back of the head. And what are these “combat experts” going to say about that now?’

Dos Santos has history with the Frenchman after losing to him at UFC 256 in 2020 when he complained about taking illegal shots to the back of his own head.

The loss to Gane resulted in his being disqualified from the UFC, and his team appealed to overturn the decision over the foul.

“I feel bad that this situation takes the shine off this win, but it’s not okay either,” said Dos Santos after his 2020 defeat to Gane.

Gane landed a barrage of heavy shots at Tuivasa in the third round, culminating in referee Marc Goddard stopping the contest and awarding the Frenchman the win

Gane landed a barrage of heavy shots at Tuivasa in the third round, culminating in referee Marc Goddard stopping the contest and awarding the Frenchman the win

“[It’s]not right to expect me to suffer a loss from an illegal strike. I hope you agree. I know my situation in the organization is not good, but that is not the reason to suddenly stop enforcing rules or ensuring my safety in the cage.”

Many online fight fans agreed with the former champion about illegally hitting the back of Tuivasa’s head in Sunday’s clash and questioned why Gane wasn’t disqualified.

“I have to agree with Junior. It was probably over anyway, but that was a blatant foul,” wrote one Twitter user.

Junior Dos Santos believes he was the victim of an illegal elbow to the back of the head while facing Gane in 2020. The Dos Santos team appealed the punch, but nothing came of it and Dos Santos was banned from the UFC shortly after

Junior Dos Santos believes he was the victim of an illegal elbow to the back of the head while facing Gane in 2020. The Dos Santos team appealed the punch, but nothing came of it and Dos Santos was banned from the UFC shortly after

“The only place the Hammerfist could have landed was in the back of the head. Gane should be disqualified. Come on Dana… are there rules or not?’ posted another.

Tuivasa did not protest the decision after the fight and referee Marc Goddard did not mention it during the action.

However, Cageside commentator Michael Bisping described the punch as “behind the head” during a replay.

Gane celebrates winning his heavyweight fight against Tuivasa. The Aussie didn't mention the illegal shot in the post-fight comments, simply saying

Gane celebrates winning his heavyweight fight against Tuivasa. The Aussie didn’t mention the illegal shot in the post-fight comments, simply saying “it wasn’t my day”.

Mixed martial arts uniform rules state that punches to the back of the head and neck are illegal.

When asked how he felt after the fight, Tuivasa simply said, “It wasn’t my day.”

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/mma/article-11179783/Former-champ-says-Aussie-Tai-Tuivasa-victim-FOUL-PLAY-thrilling-UFC-loss-Ciryl-Gane.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Former champion says Australia’s Tai Tuivasa was a victim of foul play in thrilling UFC loss to Ciryl Gane

Maureen Mackey

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