Gein (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC), a former interim UFC heavyweight champion, led the tournament. UFC debut show in Paris when he takes on Tuivasa (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at the Accor Arena on September 3rd.
“Bon Gamin” retires from unification title defeated by champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 in January. But with Ngannou currently injured and an interim title involving Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic potentially in play, Gein intends to be part of the conversation.
“I think if I win against Tuivasa it will be an interim title fight against the winner of the next interim title fight,” Gein told MMA Junkie. “So this (losing to Ngannou) set me back a little, but it gave me more challenges, so I’m fine. I’m a competitor, so I like it. It’s okay because some people say you just lost like this (signaling hand-to-hand combat) with Francis, you have to avenge the big belt, and I said, “No, I agree with that.”
“It’s really difficult with this division right now. There are a lot of people in the top five and I think it’s a bit difficult for the UFC to deal with it, so I can understand the UFC plan and I agree with that.”
When Gein returns in September, it will be almost eight months since he last performed. Although he is not bothered by much-needed rest, he intends to turn quickly if he passes Tuivasa.
“If I beat Tuivasa in September, if possible, I’ll shove,” Gahne said. “I don’t want to wait a long time. So I don’t know when the fight between Jones and Stipe will take place, but if I win against Tuivasa, I want to fight right after this fight for the interim title.”
Gein controlled his fight against Ngannou until the champion used his wrestling to turn the tide of the fight. As the fight was a close decision loss, Gein admits that he was originally keen to get back with his former training partner Ngannou. However, now his goal is to become a champion, no matter what path he has to go.
“No, I’m fine,” Gein said, no longer fighting Ngannou. “There were a few months when it was like, ‘No, I want Francis.’ But I just want the belt right now. It is my goal. I just want to get to the top, whether it’s Blades or Stipe or Jones or Francis.”