Ciryl Gane is the newest UFC heavyweight interim champion after defeating Derrick Lewis in the UFC 265 headliner.
The French earned his belt and a chance to challenge the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, following a third-round TKO. It was a dominant performance from the French fighter, who clearly proved to be among the top three in his division.
“He touched me maybe one time, two times,” Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) said at the news conference. “I think it was a master class.”
And it really was like that. Gane was much more energetic than the Black Beast as time went by, and he used that to relentlessly hurt the rival. The difference in cardio was obvious in the third round when Lewis (25-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) couldn’t breathe, while on the other side, Gane started increasing the tempo and eventually ending the fight.
Ciryl Gane TKOs Derrick Lewis in the third round pic.twitter.com/L1pChAvB8R
— Will (@ChillemDafoe) August 8, 2021
He started with a combination of punches, pressuring Lewis back against the wall, but the American managed to survive that attack. Still, Gane realized that this might be a chance for him to close out the bout, continuing to hit Lewis, even sending one high kick that reached the target.
The powerful Lewis would crack and fall to the canvas at some point, which was the signal for Gane to go after him and end things at the Toyota Center in Houston. The fight was stopped at 4 minutes and 11 seconds of the third round.
” I think I’m one of the best in the world now,” Gane said. “I think this means something. I don’t want to say [I’m the best] because the champion is still Francis Ngannou.”
Yet, Gane can change that as well, because he will face Ngannou probably until the end of the year, per some sources. This victory secures the title shot, while on the other side, Ngannou can’t refuse to meet Gane as such a scenario automatically leaves him without a title.
This was the 10 consecutive wins for Bon Gamin, fourth via KO. He is arguably one of the most complete and diverse fighters in the division. Gane might not be attractive for watching, but he is super-efficient when it comes to closing out fights. He can adjust to any opponent and tactically find a weak spot to exploit, which is why many believe he has legit chances against Ngannou.
Impressive performance from Gane !
He's now a legit contender.
See you soon boy. When you know you know. #ufc265
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 8, 2021
On the other side, after four wins in a row, Lewis lost, and may we add, to a better fighter. He was once again stopped on his quest towards the heavyweight title, and it appears that the Black Beast doesn’t have what it takes to win the belt. Lewis didn’t do anything to improve his biggest minus- cardio – which significantly deteriorates his chances for winning as the bout goes by.
We’ve seen him struggle against mediocre fighters in the latter stages of the fight, and until he manages to increase the stamina, KO power will be his only weapon inside the octagon. The Black Beast currently has 12 knockout wins in his career, the most in the history of the UFC heavyweight division. Still, apart from that, Lewis is just another mediocre fighter, with all due respect for his previous success.
Up next, we have a UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Gastelum coming up in two weeks.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.