MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 265, a five-round interim UFC heavyweight title bout between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane. The event takes place on Saturday, August 7 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Ciryl Gane (-335)
Gane (9-0) is the No. 3 ranked UFC heavyweight contender. The 31-year-old Frenchman entered the UFC in 2019 and he has since won all six of his fights in the Octagon, with half of his wins coming by stoppage. A well-rounded mixed martial artist, Gane comes from a Muay Thai background and he typically prefers to stand and trade on the feet. Blessed with a long reach and a rangy attack, Gane is able to stay at distance and outpoint his opponents before going in for the kill. But what makes him truly special in the UFC heavyweight division is his ability to finish fights on the ground. Gane has good wrestling and on the ground, he has a variety of submissions in his back pocket if he chooses to go for the finish. Overall, Gane looks like a very special talent and he appears to be someone who could be a future UFC heavyweight champion. If he beats Lewis for the interim belt, a matchup against his former teammate Francis Ngannou appears poised to be next.
Derrick Lewis (+275)
Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is the No. 2 ranked UFC heavyweight contender. The 36-year-old American has been in the UFC since 2014 and he has racked up a 16-5 record in the Octagon, with notable wins over the likes of Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Alexander Volkov, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Aleksei Oleinik. He has also lost in the Octagon to Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier, Mark Hunt, Shawn Jordan, and Matt Mitrione. One of the most powerful punchers we have ever seen in MMA, Lewis has won 20 fights by knockout, including 12 wins by knockout in the UFC alone. Anytime Lewis stands and trades he can knock anyone out. That being said, he has serious issues with his defensive grappling and he can also be outstruck by a superior striker. Lewis has a puncher’s chance against anyone he fights, but against Gane, he is going to be at a technical disadvantage.
Fight Breakdown: I am intrigued to see how this fight plays out between the ultra-technical Gane and the powerful slugger Lewis. We all know that Lewis has fight-changing power, but Gane has proven to be very hard to hit and he is a very smart fighter with a high fight IQ. I just see Gane being able to control the range and distance in this fight and outpoint Lewis on the scorecards. He will have to watch out for the big right hand of Lewis, but other than that, Gane should be the more effective striker. I also think he could mix in his wrestling in this fight to take away the danger that Lewis has on the feet. Like in all of his fights, Lewis of course has a puncher’s chance here, but barring a KO bomb, I see Gane being the more effective striker and taking home a decision or TKO.
Prediction: Ciryl Gane