UFC 265 Main Event: Interim HW Championship – Derrick Lewis vs Ciryl Gane
We have a very exciting main event coming to us this weekend, August 7, 2021, at UFC 265, as No. 2 ranked heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis takes on No. 3 ranked heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane for the interim UFC heavyweight championship.
Gane has only been in the UFC for two years, this fight actually marks his two-year anniversary with the promotion, but he’s got all the skills of someone who’s been here a hot minute.
He came in with a record of just 3-0 after a short 13-0 stint in professional Muay Thai, but has quickly gone 6-0 in this time, improving his mixed martial arts record to 9-0, most recently with his victory over former Bellator & M-1 Global heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov (UD) in June.
Gane won the TKO heavyweight championship and defended it twice in those three bouts prior to joining, while Lewis is a former Legacy FC heavyweight champion, a title he won and defended a single time prior to joining.
Lewis came over with a record of 9-2, 1 NC, and initially went 9-2 inside the octagon in his first 11 bouts, ironically, before going 3-1 in his next four.
He’d then lose two-straight, starting with his title shot against then-champion Daniel Cormier, but he’s now won his last four-straight, the most recent coming over Curtis Blaydes (KO) in February.
Blaydes was looking great early on in that fight, he was handily picking Lewis apart, but shot in on a takedown and ate perhaps the most vicious uppercut in MMA history for it.
The same thing happened when Lewis fought Volkov, he was getting beat up badly, but ended up finishing the fight with just 11 seconds left in round three, also via KO.
That’s the thing we need to consider going into this fight: Lewis may not be as good as Gane, anywhere, but it doesn’t matter. The striking goes to Gane, the grappling goes to Gane, as well as conditioning, and fight IQ, both of which also go to Gane.
That being said, there’s a giant possibility he gets KO’d in this fight. There’s also a big possibility he doesn’t, and he controls the action from start to finish, just as he has in every other fight he’s had thus far.
Gane did just defeat Jairzinho Rozenstruik in February, someone who was 11-1 with ten knockouts, and someone who went 76-8-1 as a professional kickboxer with 64 knockouts.
Gane couldn’t have had an easier five rounds against him.
This French assassin comes into this bout with a record of just 9-0 (3 KO, 3 sub, 3 dec). People think because he’s a professional striker that that’s where he always wants his fights, but he is quite comfortable on the mat as well.
Lewis on the other hand comes in with a record of 25-7, 1 NC (20 KO, 1 sub, 4 dec), having all the experience needed to be at the top of this dangerous division.
Lewis even boasts a victory over current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (UD).
One thing that’s really surprised us is the fact that of Gane’s six UFC fights, only one was finished via knockout, his second-round victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. His first two outings were even finished via submission if you can believe that.
Meanwhile, Lewis is looking to land that one big shot the entire time. He’s also been working on his athleticism lately, as we’ve seen him throw head kicks and flying knees over a couple of his last few fights.
Gane stands 6’6” with a reach of 81”, while Lewis stands 6’3” with a reach of 79”.
Lewis has three world champions on his resume in his win column, while Gane has two.
According to the odds of bet365, one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, Cyril Gane is the favorite to win this match with 1.30 odds, while odds for Derrick Lewis victory are 3.50. Bet365 is currently in the process of getting a license in New York and it should be finished this year.
Who comes out of UFC 265 as the interim UFC heavyweight champion, new No. 1 contender to Francis Ngannou?
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!