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UFC 265: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane Preview

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Image for UFC 265: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane Preview

The packed summer of 2021 continues this Saturday night for the UFC as Houston’s Toyota Center plays host to UFC 265 on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

This Texas-sized MMA card will feature 13 bouts in Houston and will be highlighted by the UFC 265 main event for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship.

Your UFC 265 main event will see No. 2 contender Derrick Lewis (25-7, one NC) battling No. 3 contender Ciryl Gane (9-0) in a five-round fight at five minutes per round.

Current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou will await Saturday night’s winner at a later date if a championship unification bout at 265 lbs. comes to pass.

UFC 265 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the UFC 265 main event on Saturday night, Ciryl Gane is the taller fighter at 6-foot-4, compared to Derrick Lewis and his 6-foot-3 frame.

In addition, Gane owns a two-inch reach advantage (81 inches to 79 inches) over Lewis, with Lewis owning a 1 1/2-inch leg reach advantage (43 1/2 inches to 42 inches even) over Gane heading into the UFC 265 main event this weekend in Houston.

Derrick Lewis Enters UFC 265 Main Event Looking to Build Off of KO Win From February

Derrick Lewis comes into the UFC 265 main event on Saturday night having gone 4-1 in his last five UFC appearances and is currently on a four-fight winning streak. Back in February, “The Black Beast” bested Curtis Blaydes (second-round knockout due to an uppercut) during UFC Vegas 19’s headliner at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.

During his post-fight interview with UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping, Lewis described his knockout this way:

“That was the only punch that I was waiting for the whole fight, so, I knew he was going to come in. Either the uppercut or the knee was going to land, so that’s all I was waiting on. I didn’t care about throwing a one-two, a jab, or anything.”

Ciryl Gane Brings Undefeated Mark to UFC 265 Main Event

In the other corner, Ciryl Gane enters the UFC 265 main event having yet to lose in his professional MMA career, defeating Alexander Volkov by unanimous decision a month and a half ago during UFC Vegas 30’s main attraction.

During his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier, Gane summed up his victory thusly:

“I’m feeling really nice, really nice, because Volkov (is), for me, one of the best of the division. I did the matchup… so I’m very happy.”

Don’t forget that Ciryl Gane has accomplished plenty and his career’s just really starting out.

This is a man who:

  • Won the TKO MMA Heavyweight Championship in his first career MMA appearance.
  • Defended it in a co-main event during his second career MMA bout.
  • Main-evented the card and defended the title in his third career MMA bout.

His efforts were enough to get him a UFC deal, and he hasn’t stopped since.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC 265 main event looks to be a toss-up from the feet, as Derrick Lewis generally likes to keep his fights standing up, or “swangin'”, as he calls it, and Ciryl Gane subscribes to Muay-Thai and kickboxing.

Look Out For Lewis’ Punches

Just take a look at the tape of his last bout against Blaydes earlier this year. That night, Derrick Lewis was able to stuff a Curtis Blaydes takedown but absorbed some decent shots as he came out of the takedown attempt before finally grappling with Blaydes and landing that nasty uppercut to call it a night. If Derrick Lewis is able to land some vicious punches in this fight, a “home game” for the Houston native, it could be lights out early all over again.

Don’t Forget About Ciryl Gane’s Prowess

Ciryl Gane can finish the fight by knockout in his own right. Of his six career victories inside the distance, half have come by knockout, including last December against Junior dos Santos, who has since been released from the promotion.

That night, halfway through the second round, Gane stunned dos Santos with a jab, giving him the opening he needed to flatten him like an accordion with an elbow shot to the side of his head, ending things with a brief flurry of ground and pound shots to complete the knockout. If Gane is able to score the jab and land that elbow, it could be a quick night for him this Saturday in the UFC 265 main event.

Final Thoughts

Expect competitive violence of the highest order in the UFC 265 main event on Saturday night, but also remember this constant of heavyweight tussles in MMA: one-shot could mean the end of the fight!

Prediction: Ciryl Gane by First-Round TKO.


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Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images and Embed from Getty Images

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