After UFC 265 performance, will Ciryl Gane be the favorite against Francis Ngannou?

Ciryl Gane UFC

Last weekend at UFC 265, we saw a new interim heavyweight champion crowned. Ciryl Gane (10-0) took on Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) in front of Houston, Texas which is the hometown of The Black Beast.

Gane looked incredibly composed and confident as he walked out to “Still Tippin” by Houston rapper Mike Jones. The crowd erupted in boos as Gane made his way to the octagon with a big smile on his face.

It was almost like Gane had a secret heading into UFC 265. From the opening moments of the fight, it was very apparent how the fight was going to go. Gane used his sleek movement and speed to fluster Lewis.

Lewis could never get close enough to land a signature power shot on Saturday night. Gane completely dominated all aspects of the fight and in the third round, he really turned things on. The Frenchman unleashed a vicious combination that put Lewis down and crowned Gane the interim UFC champion.

Favored Over the UFC Undisputed Champion?

Being crowned interim UFC champion is basically having a belt and being the number one contender. Now that Gane has the interim title, he’s earned himself a matchup with the undisputed champion, Francis Ngannou (16-3).

Ngannou has been a freight train on his way to capturing the UFC heavyweight title. He became the undisputed champion back in March when he knocked out the great Stipe Miocic in the second round.

That win was the fifth straight knockout win for Ngannou. With a champion like that, you would think he would be the favorite against any man that he steps in the octagon with. I mean Ngannou was even the big favorite over Jon Jones when that potential fight was being discussed.

However, after UFC 265, the betting lines are dead even. If you ask most people in the MMA community, many are saying that Gane should be the favorite when he takes on his former teammate Francis Ngannou.

The argument is that the style and distance control of Gane is the perfect style to defeat the UFC champion. I can see the point, but I still believe that the betting favorite heading into title unification bout should be the undisputed champion. However, the odds in either direction should be incredibly close.

How does Francis Ngannou fare against Ciryl Gane after UFC 265?

Francis Ngannou

This past Saturday at UFC 265, the interim heavyweight title was on the line. The undefeated Ciryl Gane (10-0) was taking on heavyweight knockout artist Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas.

An extremely interested observer on Saturday night was the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou (16-3). Ngannou just won the title back in March when he knocked out Stipe Miocic.

After the win, he took some time to visit Africa and didn’t arrive back in the US to start training until June. The UFC wanted Ngannou to turn right around and face Lewis in Houston to headline UFC 265.

Ngannou said he would fight in September, but turned down the August fight because he would only have six weeks to train. As a result, the UFC made an interim title and put Ciryl Gane in there with Derrick Lewis.

Gane is a former teammate of Francis Ngannou. The Frenchman completely dominated Lewis on Saturday night to become the interim UFC champion. Ngannou had a simple message for Gane after the fight, “See you soon boy

How does the UFC champ fare against the interim champ?

Ciryl Gane is a nightmare for most heavyweights in the UFC. Gane has a complete skillset and brings a level of athleticism that’s very rare for the heavyweight division. He’s incredibly long and he’s light on his feet like someone in the middleweight division.

The UFC commentators talked about the fact that he will be a problem for Francis Ngannou. That said, I believe that Francis Ngannou is the only guy who can bring all this Ciryl Gane talk to a screeching halt.

While Derrick Lewis holds a win over Francis Ngannou, the two are not on the same level. Ngannou is very fast, extremely strong, and he’s very long. In fact, his reach is a couple of inches longer than Ciryl Gane’s.

The champion has the ability to close the distance fast enough and he’s long enough to land the power shots that Lewis simply couldn’t. Nobody should take the UFC 265 fight between Lewis and Gane and apply it to breaking down the fight with Ngannou.

Ciryl Gane just might have the perfect style to stifle the champion. However, if there’s anyone in the division who can catch Gane and put him to sleep, it’s Francis Ngannou. Going into their fight, I believe that Ngannou should still be the favorite, and I personally would still bet on the UFC heavyweight champ.

What’s next for Derrick Lewis after coming up short at UFC 265?

This past Saturday at UFC 265 in the main event, the interim heavyweight title was on the line. Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) was fighting in his hometown as he was taking on the undefeated Ciryl Gane (10-0).

The winner of the interim title would earn a shot at the undisputed UFC champion Francis Ngannou (16-3). Going into UFC 265, the game plan was pretty obvious for both men.

For Derrick Lewis, it was going to be about finding that one shot that would put Gane out. Lewis has ungodly power in his hands and he’s proven that he just needs to hit you one good time for the show to be over.

For Ciryl Gane, it was going to be about being elusive and striking from the outside. Well, one of those game plans was executed perfectly. The fighter who executed perfectly at UFC 265 was Ciryl Gane.

Gane kept Lewis on the outside all night long. Lewis never really got close to landing anything significant and it was domination from Gane. Gane ended up stopping Lewis in the third round.

What’s next after UFC 265?

This is a tough one to swallow for Lewis who was fighting for the UFC title in his hometown. All week long, Lewis talked about how much pressure was on his shoulders to perform in front of his friends, his family, and his city.

To be completely honest, I think the moment got to Lewis a bit. Combine that with the sheer brilliance of Ciryl Gane and you had the perfect recipe for disaster for The Black Beast at UFC 265.

From here, where does Lewis go? Well, for anyone who’s quick to write of Lewis, I’ll remind you that he’s still one of the very best heavyweights in the UFC. Remember, he did just knock out Curtis Blaydes a few months ago.

There’s two opponents that I’m looking at for Derrick Lewis next. The first one is Stipe Miocic (20-4). Let’s be honest, Miocic wants and likely deserves an immediate rematch for the UFC heavyweight title. However, we know the promotion isn’t doing that.

If Miocic wants to be active, he should take a fight with Lewis. It would be a massive fight for both men and for fans. The other opponent I’m thinking about is Alexander Volkov (33-9).

Volkov and Lewis fought before at UFC 229 and Volkov dominated most of the fight before a last second Lewis knockout. If Volkov wins his fight against Marcin Tybura, I’m sure fans would love to see that rematch for The Black Beast.

Ciryl Gane dominates and finishes Derrick Lewis at UFC 265

Ciryl Gane UFC

In the headliner of UFC 265 we saw two top heavyweights battle it out for the interim heavyweight title. The hometown favorite Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) was taking on Ciryl Gane (9-0) in Houston.

The Black Beast entered the octagon as the second ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He’s on a four-fight win streak, but his last performance really put him over the top. Back in February, he knocked Curtis Blaydes out cold to earn this shot.

Standing across from Lewis is Ciryl Gane. Gane has a perfect record and he’s been dominant since joining the UFC. Gane made his debut with the promotion back in 2019 and he’s gone 6-0.

This year alone, Gane has had two headlining fights against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov. In both of those fights, Gane used his footwork and incredible striking technique to pickup two lopsided decision wins.

UFC 265 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 265 main event gets started with a touch of the gloves and here we go. Gane immediately on his toes as he takes the center of the cage. Lewis is sitting on the outside already looking to time a power shot.

Big head kick attempt from Lewis gets blocked by Gane. Gane pushing forward and Lewis has his back against the fence. Jab lands from Ciryl Gane. Three straight low kicks land for Gane.

Gane very light on his feet here in the first. Lewis starts plotting forward looking for his opening. However, Gane is remaining elusive here in the first. Nice jab lands for Gane. He follows it with a nice kick and another jab.

Low kick for Gane. Lewis trying to cut off Gane, but Gane lands a kick and gets out of the way. Another jab from Ciryl Gane. Lewis goes for a body kick and it lands low and we have a break in the action.

Lewis circles on the outside as we get back to the action. Gane light on his feet and Lewis tries to explode and land a bomb. However, Gane avoided the power. More shots from Gane land in the final seconds and the round comes to a close. 1-0 Ciryl Gane here at UFC 265.

Round 2

Entering the second here at UFC 265 and both guys still look fresh here. Gane bouncing again to start the second and he lands a couple of low kicks. Power jab lands for Ciryl Gane that backs up Derrick Lewis.

Big leg kick lands for Lewis, but he’s still not able to find any shots up top. Good 1-2 lands for Gane over the guard of Lewis. Lewis explodes forward, but again, can’t find the bomb that he’s looking for.

High kick from Lewis just misses. Low kick and jab lands for Gane. Gane tries for a jump knee and the two men end up in a clinch. Lewis gets pushed back to the fence by Gane and Gane starts landing knees to the thigh.

The crowd is becoming a little restless here and the two men separate. Another kick lands for Gane. Lewis tries for a big right hand, but he’s a too far out of range. Two good jabs land for Gane and he follows it up with a big right straight.

The two clinch briefly and Gane lands a vicious elbow on the break. Lewis tries to land a counter right hand, but he misses wildly. The second round comes to a close and it’s 2-0 Gane here at UFC 265.

Round 3

Entering the third round at UFC 265 and Lewis needs to get it going here. Lewis starts the striking with a body kick, but Gane immediately pushes him back with pressure. Gane lands two powerful leg kicks and he follows it with a big right hand.

Another huge kick from Gane finds it’s home and Lewis’ lead leg. Gane is completely chopping down Lewis’ lead leg here in the third round. Another kick lands and Lewis tries pushing forward, but Gane just shrugs him off.

We are halfway through this fight and it’s been completely one-sided. Lewis gets a body lock and tries for a takedown, but Gane defends well. Gane breaks and he lands a jab to the body. Lewis explodes and it looks like his leg buckles.

Gane hurts Derrick Lewis badly and he starts pouring it on. Lewis tries to blast back, but there’s nothing there. Gane is beating him up and Lewis goes down. Follow up shots are not answered and the referee calls a stop to the action. Domination by the new interim UFC heavyweight champion.

Ciryl Gane def. Derrick Lewis by TKO – Round 3

UFC 265 Preview: Derrick Lewis – Ciryl Gane

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC 265 we will see two top heavyweights battle it out for the interim heavyweight title. The hometown favorite Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) takes on Ciryl Gane (9-0) in Houston.

The Black Beast enters tomorrow as the second ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He’s on a four-fight win streak, but his last performance really put him over the top. Back in February, he knocked Curtis Blaydes out cold to earn this shot.

Standing across from Lewis is Ciryl Gane. Gane has a perfect record and he’s been dominant since joining the UFC. Gane made his debut with the promotion back in 2019 and he’s gone 6-0.

This year alone, Gane has had two headlining fights against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov. In both of those fights, Gane used his footwork and incredible striking technique to pickup two lopsided decision wins.

Obviously tomorrow night is not for the undisputed heavyweight title. The UFC‘s heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou (16-3), is waiting in the wings for the winner of the UFC 265 headliner.

UFC 265 Prediction

When you look at the skillset of both men, the UFC 265 headliner looks like it would be easy to predict. When going skill for skill, Ciryl Gane is a much better fighter than Derrick Lewis.

You’re looking at someone in Gane who has incredible footwork, tremendous striking technique, solid skills on the ground, and cardio that lasts five rounds. Simply put, he’s the full package at heavyweight.

That said, Derrick Lewis possesses the great equalizer. Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou are the two hardest hitters in the UFC’s heavyweight division. You could argue that Lewis has the most power out of anyone in the division.

It takes one mistake with Lewis and you’re seeing stars. Curtis Blaydes was controlling their fight in February, but he got caught with an uppercut from hell in the second round and he was put out cold.

All it takes is for Ciryl Gane to make one mistake and he’s going out. However, I don’t think he’s going to make that mistake. I believe Gane is going to use a very smart game plan and I think he’ll be able to avoid the power. It might not be the most exciting at the end of the day, but I think Ciryl Gane walks away the interim UFC champion tomorrow night.

Prediction: Ciryl Gane by Unanimous Decision

Could Gane – Lewis at UFC 265 ultimately lead to Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou?

UFC, Jon Jones

Earlier this week we learned that UFC 265 would be headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0). The PPV headliner will take place in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas and the interim heavyweight title will be on the line.

The decision to create an interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 was perplexing. Mass confusion fell upon the MMA community due to the fact that Francis Ngannou (16-3) just won the heavyweight title back in March.

Ngannou has been on vacation and told the UFC he’d be ready to fight Derrick Lewis for the undisputed title in September. However, the promotion needed a main event for August 7th. Their solution was to book Lewis in an interim title fight.

Now, this leaves the undisputed heavyweight champion without a fight. The UFC has said that Gane and Lewis are fighting for the interim title because they are the two most deserving contenders and they are ready to fight on August 7th. Again, doesn’t make a ton of sense, but that’s their story.

However, there could be a silver lining here for all parties involved. Perhaps the UFC can now put together the fight that fans wanted to see all along. Maybe it’s time for the promotion to revisit the superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Will the UFC try to make Ngannou – Jones happen?

Let’s rewind time back to just before UFC 260 where Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic. The storyline leading up to the fight was that Jon Jones would be moving up to heavyweight and would be fighting the winner.

For months, that’s what Dana White and the UFC had been saying. Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title last year to prepare for his move to the heavyweight division.

However, immediately after UFC 260 we learned the fight was going to be hard to make. Jones and the promotion could never come close to a deal and as a result, the UFC moved on from Jones and focused on Derrick Lewis.

Now, we find ourselves in an interesting position. Jones recently hired Richard Schaeffer as his new representative. Schaeffer has a great relationship with UFC President Dana White and has already said publicly that he’s confident the Jones – Ngannou fight will get done.

Heavyweight Tournament?

With this interim title fight on the books for UFC 265, I think it’s time to go back to the negotiation table. There has never been a better time to book Jones against Ngannou. With the interim title fight booked, you get to give the top contenders the crack at gold that they rightfully deserve.

At the same time, if you book Ngannou – Jones, you’re also giving UFC fans the fight they want to see. A four-man tournament could be playing out for the biggest prize in all of combat sports. Of course, at this point it’s all talk, but even Ngannou’s coach talked about this potential silver lining. 

There’s also the outside chance that a four-man tournament plays out without Jones. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is bulking up and wants the trilogy with Ngannou. Perhaps the UFC moves in that direction if a fight with Jones still can’t be made.

This is definitely going to be a storyline to watch over the coming weeks.

Sound Off: Should the UFC book Ngannou against Jones/Miocic or wait for the Gane-Lewis winner?

Ciryl Gane knew about interim title fight before UFC Vegas 30

Ciryl Gane UFC

We are just days removed from learning that UFC 265 will be headlined by an interim title fight between Ciryl Gane (9-0) and Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). The PPV is being held in Houston which is the home of The Black Beast.

The news took everyone by surprised. For the last couple of months, the UFC had been working on Lewis fighting Francis Ngannou (16-3). Ngannou is the undisputed heavyweight champion who just won the title in late March.

However, Ngannou went home to Africa to celebrate his title victory. He just returned to the United States and voiced to the UFC that he wouldn’t be ready for August 7th. Ngannou and his management did accept a fight against Lewis for the undisputed title in September.

However, that didn’t fit the timeline for the UFC. The promotion wanted Lewis to headline the August card in his hometown. UFC 265 has another title fight in Amanda Nunes – Julianna Pena, but the promotion didn’t want that as the headliner.

While Nunes is the greatest female fighter of all time, she’s not a massive draw as her headlining PPVs show. With that, the UFC took an aggressive approach to finding a big time matchup to fill the main event slot. That big time matchup is the interim heavyweight title fight.

Gane knew before UFC Vegas 30

We now know that the wheels were in motion for UFC 265 before the fights last weekend. At UFC Vegas 30, Ciryl Gane defeated Alexander Volkov in the main event. It was a beautiful performance by Gane who took virtually no damage in the fight.

Gane spoke with MMA Junkie this week and said that the promotion approached his management before his fight last weekend. The UFC told the Gane camp that Gane would get a shot at Derrick Lewis for the interim title if he were to win and come out clean.

Once Gane got his hand raised on Saturday night and was cleared to compete, the UFC moved forward with the booking. I still don’t agree with the decision to create an interim title especially considering Ngannou just won the belt and would be ready a month later.

The decision makes absolutely no sense from a combat sports perspective, but it wasn’t a combat sports decision. This was strictly a business decision because the UFC needed a bigger fight to headline their August PPV in Houston.

Sound Off: Do you agree with the UFC’s decision to book an interim title fight in August?

After falling short at UFC Vegas 30, what’s next for Alexander Volkov?

Alexander Volkov, UFC

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 30, two top heavyweights went to battle. Undefeated top prospect Ciryl Gane (9-0) was looking to remain unbeaten against the tough Alexander Volkov (33-9).

Volkov has been with the UFC since 2016 and he’s done extremely well. Heading into Saturday night, Volkov held a record of 7-2 in nine fights with the promotion. One of those losses came against Derrick Lewis in the final seconds.

Volkov dominated that fight until the very end when Lewis landed a devastating knockout shot in the final fifteen seconds. “Drago” lost to Curtis Blaydes last June and had since won back-to-back fights leading into UFC Vegas 30.

Volkov has done a really good job of beating the guys he was supposed to in his UFC career. However, he’s seemed to struggle when he takes on the guys at the top. Unfortunately for Volkov, that narrative didn’t change on Saturday night.

Ciryl Gane did a fantastic job of using his movement and speed to fluster the Russian. Volkov landed some good shots, but for the most part, the fight was dominated and controlled by Ciryl Gane. Ultimately, it was almost a unanimous sweep on the scorecards for Ciryl Gane at UFC Vegas 30.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 30?

For Alexander Volkov, it’s back to the drawing board. The Russian has come close to a UFC title shot on multiple occasions, but he’s always fallen short. The toughest for him to swallow obviously the Derrick Lewis fight in which he was just seconds away from a win.

Now, having his winning streak snapped and losing to Ciryl Gane, where does Volkov go from here? It is worth noting that I thought Volkov’s two wins leading into UFC Vegas 30 were some of the best of his career.

He looked sensational, but he just ran into a better fighter on Saturday night. An opponent that could be next for Volkov is Augusto Sakai (15-3-1). Sakai has lost two straight, but both of those fights were headliners. He’s still in the top ten and a matchup between the two could provide some clarity to the UFC about both contenders.

What happened between the UFC and Francis Ngannou?

Francis Ngannou

Yesterday we all saw some shocking news in the world of mixed martial arts. We learned that UFC 265 in August will be headlined by an interim title fight between top contenders Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0).

The two men will battle it out in Houston on August 7th. However, this move was incredibly puzzling to say the least. It’s puzzling due to the fact that Francis Ngannou (16-3) just became the undisputed heavyweight champion at the end of March.

After Ngannou became the champion, he spent a considerable amount of time in Africa to celebrate. Ngannou recently returned to the United States and resumed training in preparation for his first title defense.

For the last month or so, the UFC has been trying hard to book Ngannou against Derrick Lewis for the August PPV. However, with Ngannou’s travel schedule, he told the UFC that he wouldn’t be ready by the beginning of August.

The promotion then came back to Ngannou and asked about UFC 266 in September. Ngannou and his representatives accepted the fight for the end of September and moved forward with their preparations. However, everything changed yesterday.

UFC’s Change of Plans

The UFC had been moving forward with the September fight, but Ciryl Gane’s performance over the weekend made them hedge. After seeing Gane remain perfect by defeating Alexander Volkov, the promotion tried to use it for leverage to get Ngannou to fight in August.

Ngannou’s camp remained firm in their stance that he would defend the title in September, but not at the beginning of August. The UFC ultimately decided to pull the plug on Ngannou all together and booked the interim title fight.

In the history of the promotion, this is the quickest that they’ve ever instituted an interim title. It’s also incredibly interesting that it was made in the heavyweight division considering the title has been defended on average once a year over the past few years.

So now, the UFC’s superstar heavyweight champion is sidelined. This move makes no sense and to me the promotion just cut their nose off to spite their face.

BREAKING: UFC books interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane

Massive breaking news this afternoon involving the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that the promotion is moving forward with an interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0).

The fight will headline UFC 265 on August 7th which will take place in Houston, Texas. This is a massive shot as Francis Ngannou (16-3) just became the undisputed heavyweight champion a few months ago.

The promotion had been trying to book Ngannou against Derrick Lewis for August, but Ngannou wasn’t ready. The latest word was that the UFC was going to book the heavyweight title fight for September, but everything changed on a dime.

Over the weekend at UFC Vegas 30, Ciryl Gane dominated Alexander Volkov to remain undefeated. After witnessing his performance, the UFC decided to move Gane up the ladder for an interim title fight against Lewis.

The manager for the UFC heavyweight champion was completely stunned by the news. Ngannou’s reps told Okamoto, “This comes as a complete shock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. We hope to get clarity and figure out something with the UFC soon.”

UFC’s odd decision

I honestly don’t understand the UFC’s logic here at all. By all accounts, Ngannou was going to be ready to defend his title in September. Over the last few years, the heavyweight title has been defended on average once per year.

Ngannou just won the title at the end of March. To make an interim title so soon is absolutely insane to me. Nevertheless, the UFC is moving forward and Ciryl Gane will battle Derrick Lewis in his backyard for the heavyweight title.

With this news, we likely won’t see Francis Ngannou against until the end of the year. Well, maybe the UFC will finally book Ngannou against Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) for the undisputed title then have the winners face off. Who knows, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.