The big boys will be on display at UFC 265 on Saturday, Aug. 7 when Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane do battle for the Interim Heavyweight Championship. The pay-per-view, available exclusively on ESPN+, should provide fireworks and help sort out a messy UFC heavyweight division. Watch UFC 265 live stream: How to order Lewis vs. Gane heavyweight fight, start time, card, PPV cost
It’s hard to predict how an MMA fight will end. But it’s a safe bet Saturday’s main event will end with someone lying on their back inside the Octagon.
Lewis and Gane are two of the hardest hitters in the UFC. Gane is a quick starter, while Lewis tends to come on late. This one could end early or see Lewis mounting one of his trademark late comebacks. Either way, it’s hard to see these guys going the full five rounds.
Lewis’ previous two fights against Curtis Blaydes and Aleksei Oleinik, respectively, both ended in brutal knockouts. Another fantastic finish would not only earn Lewis a UFC title but could push him to the kind of stardom he’s seemed on the verge of for a few years now, especially since UFC 265 takes place in his hometown of Houston.
Gane’s finishes haven’t been quite as definitive. His recent wins against Aleksei Oleinik and Jairzinho Rozenstruik both came via decisions. However, his brutal finish of future Hall of Famer Junior dos Santos via elbows last December showed what Gane is fully capable of.
THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION
The UFC did itself a disservice in creating an interim title. The move seemed unnecessary given Francis Ngannou just won the Heavyweight Championship from Stipe Miocic in March. However, slow negotiations with Ngannou and brought us to where we are.
The outcome of Lewis vs. Gane will give us some clarity in terms of who will face Ngannou next. However, the division has a backlog. Miocic has been clamoring, and rightfully so, for a rematch with Ngannou as their two-fight series stands at 1-1.
Meanwhile, Jon Jones’ move to heavyweight has been delayed due to contract negotiations. It’s uncertain if and when Jones will move to heavyweight and who he will face. Though Dana White has recently stated that Jones could face the winner of Ngannou vs. Lewis/Gane or take on Miocic in the meantime, a fight Miocic has supposedly accepted.
Saturday’s co-main event will feature MMA legend Jose Aldo taking on Pedro Munhoz. But that wasn’t the initial plan.
UFC 265 was supposed to feature a second title fight with Amanda Nunes defending her Women’s Bantamweight Championship against a game Julianna Pena. However, the much-anticipated fight had to be postponed after Nunes tested positive for COVID 19.
FIGHT CARD AND ODDS
Ciryl Gane -370 vs. Derrick Lewis +290
Jose Aldo -115 vs. Pedro Munhoz -105
Vicente Luque -120 vs. Michael Chiesa +100
Tecia Torres -140 vs. Angela Hill +120
Casey Kenney -120 vs. Song Yadong +100
Rafael Fiziev -280 vs. Bobby Green +230
Drako Rodriguez -120 vs. Vince Morales +100
Alonzo Menifield -240 vs. Ed Herman +200
Karolina Kowalkiewicz -125 vs. Jessica Penne +105
Manel Kape -200 vs. Ode Osbourne +170
Melissa Gatto -120 vs. Victoria Leonardo +100
Miles Johns -210 vs. Anderson Dos Santos +175
Johnny Munoz Jr. -260 vs. Jamey Simmons +210
HOW TO WATCH
What: UFC 263: Lewis vs. Gane
Date: Saturday, Aug. 7
Where: Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
Start time: Early prelims start at 6 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass; Prelims begin at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN+. Main Card kicks off at 10 p.m. On ESPN+ PPV.
Derrick Lewis said “pardon my French” before hurling a “f—k you” toward Ciryl Gane during Thursday’s press conference.
Well, if “The Black Beast” could hurl that one-punch power of his at Gane, he has a chance to be crowned champion. Lewis clashes with Gane to headline UFC 265 in Lewis’ hometown of Houston and live on pay-per-view Saturday night. On the line will be the UFC interim heavyweight championship.
Lewis and Gane enter the bout as the No. 2 and No. 3 heavyweights, respectively, as per the UFC rankings. Lewis is coming off a ghastly second-round KO of Curtis Blaydes in February, while the French Gane put his Muay Thai skills on display to take a unanimous decision over Alexander Volkov and remain undefeated in June.
Will Lewis blast Gane to become interim champion and force a rematch showdown with heavyweight titleholder Francis Ngannou or will the French fighter prove that he’s too complex for anyone to solve in the Octagon.