Gane cemented himself as the number one contender in the heavyweight division with an entertaining third-round KO of the dangerous Tuivasa in front of a rambunctious French crowd in Paris on Saturday.
Both fighters had their moments, with Tuivasa sitting Gane down in the second round. But Gane's body shots paved the way to a KO win as Tuivasa's defences crumbled.
Watching ringside was the champ himself, Ngannou. The Cameroonian behemoth marked his first title defence with a decision win over Gane at UFC 270 in January and is currently recovering from knee surgery.
Speaking to ESPN+ in the post-fight show, Ngannou gave Gane credit where it was due, but viewed the performance through the eyes of someone who had dominated Gane for the final three rounds just months ago...
"That fight was very electric, though," said the 36-year-old.
"There were good actions in the fight. At some point, you see the fight was half-half and then it switched back to Ciryl's side, which is what I thought. As far as distance, he's good at controlling that and he was able to apply that in the fight tonight. You can see the body (shots), that's what got him the victory. It was just like strategic, technical type of fight.
"I know he's is a great fighter. It's hard to respond to that question for the guy that I beat - if I'm impressed with him. He's here for a reason. I fought him for a reason because he was probably the No. 1 contender. Yes, he's good, but I'm the champ. Yeah, so it's really hard to be impressed..."
It's difficult to predict what the UFC matchmakers have in mind for the heavyweight division. An Ngannou vs Gane rematch is too soon, while Jon Jones supposed UFC return at heavyweight is a story years in the making. Number 2 ranked heavyweight Stipe Miocic hasn't fought since March 2021, when he suffered a terrifying KO loss at the hands of Ngannou.