- Date & Location: Saturday, August 7 @ Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
- Odds: Derrick Lewis (+235) vs. Ciryl Gane (-300) via Bovada
- Prediction: Gane via decision
The bout at the top of the upcoming UFC 265 pay-per-view card, which takes place on August 7 at Toyota Center in Houston, sees Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane facing off for the interim UFC heavyweight title.
Lewis, who calls Houston home, has a career record of 5-0 in the city. Four of those wins have come by way of knockout. Lewis went the three-round distance in his most recent fight in the city. He defeated Ilir Latifi by decision in that contest. Lewis is on a four fight winning streak. His most recent victory was a second-round knockout win over Curtis Blaydes in February.
Gane has a perfect 9-0 record. Six of his wins have come under the UFC banner. Gane has gone the five-round distance in his two most recent outings. He is coming off a June win over Alexander Volkov.
Lewis is ranked No. 2 in the official UFC heavyweight rankings. Gane is one spot below the former title challenger.
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LEWIS vs. GANE PREDICTION & PICK
Since joining the UFC, Gane has rocketed up the promotion’s heavyweight rankings. With just nine professional MMA bouts to his name — six in the UFC — Gane is already the No. 3 ranked fighter in the division. With less than two years with the UFC, Gane fights for the interim title on August 7.
Lewis has already fought for UFC gold. He fell short of winning the title when Daniel Cormier submitted him in November 2018.
Gane is much more skilled than Lewis. He has a background in muay Thai and kickboxing and he knows how to use angles, speed and his athleticism as a heavyweight to thwart his opponents. He is one of the smartest strikers in the heavyweight division and rarely puts himself in bad positions.
Lewis is more of a slugger. He also has a tendency to run low in the cardio department fairly quickly. I don’t think Lewis is built to defeat a fighter like Gane.
Pick: Gane at -305 via BetOnline.
BETTING VALUE WITH GANE
We know Lewis has the power to finish a fight at any moment. Even when he exhausts himself, Lewis has mustered the energy to put all of his power behind a punch. However, I don’t think Lewis can do do that against a fighter as talented as Gane.
First, Gane is elusive for a heavyweight. His striking defense is fourth all-time in UFC heavyweight history and his striking differential of plus 2.53 ranks third in the history of the UFC heavyweight weight class. Gane is also extremely active. His strikes landed per minute of 5.13 puts him in sixth the history of UFC heavyweights. His cardio is also top-notch. In the fifth round of his bout against Volkov, Gane attempted 64 strikes, which was his second highest total for a round in that bout. Gane threw 67 strikes in the third stanza of that matchup.
I’m think Gane wins this one and I think he does so by moving in and out of Lewis’ range and dominating over the course of five rounds. So, there is some value in Gane by decision and also in the fight going the full five rounds.
Prediction: Gane via decision at -305 via SportsBetting.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Gane has the edge in every aspect of his fight except power and I don’t see Lewis getting the opportunity to put his power on display because of how good Gane is at using distance and movement to avoid putting himself in danger.
FIGHT STATS: LEWIS vs. GANE
|Derrick Lewis||Category||Ciryl Gane|
|2.59||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.13|
|2.16||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.60|
|0.52||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.82|
|0.0||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.3|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The winner of this contest is expected to face UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a title unification scrap.
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