Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane are clashing in the headliner of the UFC 265, which is also the match for the UFC heavyweight interim title and the title eliminator. Lewis was supposed to face Francis Ngannou, the reigning champ, but the Predator didn’t agree to that, which is why he now goes against Gane. Dana White and the organization decided to make this not only the title-eliminator clash but also a title contest, precisely because Ngannou refused to fight with Lewis.
Derrick Lewis (+250) comes into this clash with four straight wins, the latest one against Curtis Blaydes. The Black Beast, as the fans call him, KOd Blaydes in the second round of the headliner held in February this year. Once again, we saw why many believe this guy has the strongest one-punch power in the UFC. Maybe stronger than Ngannou.
Previously, Lewis defeated Aleksei Oleinik (KO), Ilir Latifi (UD), and Blagoy Ivanov (SD). In all the matches apart from the one against Oleinik, he didn’t show a particularly impressive performance. Before these bouts, Lewis had two losses in a row, vs. Daniel Cormier in the title clash and against Junior dos Santos.
Apart from having a monstrous punching power, there aren’t many elite things in Lewis’ fight. He has mediocre cardio, slow movement and isn’t that good of a wrestler either. But, one minimal mistake of the rival is all that he needs, covering up all the minuses.
Ciryl Gane (-330) has nine wins in nine matches. But what is more impressive here than his record is the fact that Bon Gamin has a very versatile method of wins – three KOs, submissions, and decisions each.
And really, Francis Ngannou’s former partner was very confident in all of his performances, even though we didn’t like the one against Jairzinho Rozenstruik when both fighters had a very conservative approach in their displays. After that, he defeated Alexander Volkov, and before the match with the Bigi Boy, the French posted a win over the former UFC champion, Junior dos Santos.
Gane is not some attractive and flashy fighter. But he knows almost everything in the octagon – wrestling, standup, clinch, grappling. Plus, he is an extremely smart guy, who follows and adjusts the game plan almost perfectly. In the moments when he needs to be aggressive, he is, but Gane also knows to be very shy and cautious when required.
As you can see, Gane is the favorite here, and we have to agree with the bookmakers in this case. The French fighter seems too diverse for the Black Beast, who won’t have too many chances to hit the undefeated rival. Gane will have a two-inch reach advantage, which isn’t that notable in some situations, but in this one, it will be for sure. Also, we believe that Gane’s speed might present a problem for Lewis, who is static. Unlike his previous rivals, Bon Gamin has enough power to take him down or even hurt with some powerful punch, which is why we gave him an edge in Sunday’s fight.
Pick: Gane to win
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.