Hometown combat sports hero, Derrick Lewis, will welcome Ciryl Gane — fighting out of Paris, France — into his backyard in Houston, Texas, for a good ole’ fashion fist fight, headlining UFC 265’s pay-per-view (PPV) event tonight (Sat., Aug. 7, 2021) inside Toyota Center. On the line is an interim Heavyweight title, one that really wasn’t necessary because reigning champion, Francis Ngannou, is perfectly healthy (details here). Nevertheless, it’s a solid scrap between two very dangerous contenders, with the winner earning a unification match opposite Ngannou later this year.
Lewis — who holds the record for most knockouts in UFC Heavyweight history (12) — already has a win over “Predator.” But, it was recent highlight-reel victories over Alexander Volkov and Curtis Blaydes that have him sitting comfortably in the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Gane, meanwhile, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the division, claiming impressive wins over former division champion, Junior dos Santos, as well as Don’Tale Mayes and the aforementioned Volkov, to earn the No. 3 seed just behind “Black Beast.”
It’s a volatile match up that could end with a quickness ... and we’ve got you covered with round-by-round live updates below.
Live updates will began to flow below the moment the two fighters make their walks to the Octagon ...
Gane, clearly trapped behind enemy lines, was the first to make his way to the cage ... and the proud Houston crowd let him have it:
And then it was time for “Black Beast” to make his triumphant entrance ... and the proud Houston crowd let him have it (the other way):
The pressure on Lewis has to be enormous — essentially everyone in that building was rooting for him to hand Gane the first loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career and hoist the Heavyweight belt into the rafters. But, it wasn’t his first rodeo — far from it. Both fighters touched gloves and the fighters melted back into their corners to the chant of, “USA, USA, USA!” Gane opened up in a sideways karate stance, his left hand cocked and ready to unload. Lewis switch to Southpaw himself, winging a high kick and landing on his butt, with Gane touching him with a nice right cross as he returned to his feet. Gane then calmly steered Lewis into a corner and looked to trap him along the fence, but Lewis circled out and they returned to the center of the Octagon. Lewis finally exploded forward, but Gane got on his horse and got out of the way immediately. Low kicks from Gane as Lewis threatened with fakes and feints, but the Frenchman wanted nothing to do with Lewis. In fact, Lewis only threw two punches four minutes into the fight, then he connected with a nut shot that definitely found its mark. Lewis was warned by the referee and the action resumed, with Gane keeping Lewis at bay with side kicks. Lewis tried to bum rush him again, but Gane turned his back and literally ran away. Gane switch to Orthodox and landed a hard kick to the body, then a punch behind the ear and an eye poke that the referee missed.
Lewis’ corner implored him between rounds to move forward and not fight off his back foot. Gane, meanwhile, wiped his eye as if it was bothering him. Gane continued to bounce around and pick his shots, frustrating Lewis, who simply could not get close to his opponent in the early going. Gane waded in with a lazy low kick and Lewis tried to bear hug him and take it to the ground, but Gane broke free quickly and the two returned to the center of the cage. Gane corralled Lewis into a corner and jumped in with a flying knee, but Lewis wrapped him up and the pair clinched along the fence, with Gane landing annoying knees to Lewis’ lower half. Lewis still hasn’t put together any real offense, with Gane content to sit on the outside at range and land kicks and punches at will. The pair clinched up along the cage and on a break, Gane wound up and just missed with a huge looping overhand right. Lewis tried to counter but Gane was already long gone.
Even though there are 15 minutes remaining, Lewis’ corner appeared to be in panic mode, encouraging “Black Beast” to open up his offense. But, it was Gane who came out throwing heavy low kicks, switch stances and just bopping all over the cage without a care in the world. Lewis tried to cut off the cage and trap him, but Gane’s footwork was just too advanced for Lewis to catch him. Front kick from Gane, then missed with an elbow as the two locked up along the fence. Lewis barreled in with a combination, but none of them landed, but a Gane low kick did. And it appeared to hurt Lewis. Gane poured it on along the cage and it looked like Lewis might be finished, but he was able to survive. Lewis fired back in desperation and might have finally landed a punch, but it was all Gane. He smelled blood in the water and really started to unleash hell as Lewis covered up. He escaped danger once more and then the referee stopped the onslaught briefly to get Lewis’ mouthpiece back in. But, Lewis was toast regardless — Gane unleashed one final barrage, with Lewis dropping to his knees in a defensive shell, and it was stopped shortly thereafter.
Final result: Gane defeats Lewis via technical knockout in round three to win interim Heavyweight belt - WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
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