UFC 265 went down last night (Sat., Aug. 7, 2021) from inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, featuring an interim Heavyweight title fight that saw Ciryl Gane score a third round technical knockout win over Derrick Lewis to earn his first-ever taste of UFC gold (see it again here). In the co-main event, Jose Aldo turned back the hands of time and delivered a beautiful performance to get a win over a very tough Pedro Munhoz after 15 minutes of action.
Biggest Winner: Ciryl Gane
UFC has a new interim Heavyweight champion in Gane, who disposed of “The Black Beast” in three rounds to win the strap (watch highlights) and earn a title unification fight against his former training partner and current 265-pound champion, Francis Ngannou. Gane may not have won the hearts of a lot of fans ... yet ... but the man remains undefeated (10-0) and became UFC champion in just seven fights inside the Octagon, which took him just two years to accomplish. That’s an impressive feat to say the least from the Frenchman, who looks to cap his impressive run by becoming the undisputed and undefeated champion if he can tame “The Predator.” For now, Gane can enjoy his historic feat of becoming the first-ever French UFC champion and the perks that come with it before he continues on his next chapter.
Runner Up: Jose Aldo
Don’t count out the long-time veteran just yet because the former UFC and WEC Featherweight champion isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Aldo put on a masterful performance against Munhoz to earn a clear-cut unanimous decision win in the co-main event, setting a personal striking record in the process. Aldo was dominant on all fronts and seemed to revert to the Aldo of old in “H-Town,” out-classing the his fellow countrymen on the feet for 15 minutes, showing off his great cardio at the age of 35 in the process. That is now his second straight win at 135 pounds, which could get him closer to another crack at winning the division strap. Aldo seems refreshed and focused, which isn’t good news for the stacked 135-pound weight class.
Honorable Mention: Vicente Luque
Luque picked up a huge win over Michael Chiesa, submitting him in the first round with an impressive d’arce choke, ending “Maverick’s” four-fight win streak, while collecting his fourth straight win. To make it a bit more impressive, all of his wins on his current streak have come via stoppage. Overall, Luque has won 10 of his 11 fights with his lone speed bump during his run coming against Stephen Thompson. His win was so impressive that it caught Kamaru Usman’s attention, prompting “Nigerian Nightmare” to declare that they would be “dancing soon,” assuming Usman gets through Colby Covington again. Expect Luque to jump into the Top 5 later this week.
Biggest Loser: Derrick Lewis
Another shot at becoming UFC champion, another trip back home without the belt for “Black Beast.” Lewis simply couldn’t get going last night, leaving his hometown fans unsatisfied after getting knocked out by Gane in the third round of the title fight. Previously, Lewis came up short against Daniel Cormier in a 265-pound championship scrap at UFC 230 three years ago, but earned another chance at a title fight after four straight wins. As was the case in his fight against “D.C.,” Lewis couldn’t find the windows he needed to land his trademark bombs to put his foe in any type of danger. Credit to Gane, who was calm, cool and collected all night and peppered “Black Beast” with precision-like leg kicks and ultimately capped it off with a technical knockout win. It’s going to be a tough road back for Lewis, who will once again have to rack up a bevy of wins to get back to the big dance. And after coming up short on two title fights already, his victories are going to have to be very impressive to convince UFC matchmakers to put him back in another title fight.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 265: “Lewis vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.