Ciryl Gane needed only ten professional MMA fights to become a champion and did so in dominant fashion by stopping Derrick Lewis in the third round to become the new UFC interim heavyweight champion at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Gane made it clear that he was coming for Lewis in his hometown throughout the week as he wore a t-shirt with legendary the Houston’s legendary DJ Screw and walked out to Houston Hip Hop classic “Still Tippin” by Mike Jones and Paul Wall. With no regard for Lewis’ home-field advantage, Gane put on a stellar performance that was dominant from the beginning to the very end.
And now it looks like a heavyweight title unification bout between Gane and current champion Francis Ngannou is certain to be made.
From the outset, it was clear that Gane was the more technically sound of the two fighters and his speed would be difficult for “The Black Beast” to manage. Lewis struggled to adjust early as Gane slammed leg kicks into Lewis and kept him honest with a stiff jab. The only thing Lewis was able to do is try and chase Gane down but the Frenchman would either tie him up or simply slide out of range.
The second round was more of the same but Gane was more comfortable standing directly in front of Lewis because he could neutralize any threat by continuing to fire leg kicks. In between rounds two and three found Lewis looking for answers but all Gane provided was more problems as he opened the third continuing to assault Lewis’ legs. The punishment piled up and Lewis couldn’t hide the pain he was in. With a wounded warrior in front of him, Gane wasted little time going on the offensive and unloaded a barrage of powerful strikes that had Lewis curling up.
A brief hiatus in the action from a lost mouthpiece wasn’t enough to save Lewis as Gane went back to work when the action resumed and finished the job with a barrage of punches as Lewis simply turtled up and waited for the stoppage.
Gane is now targeting his former training partner in Ngannou and considering how little damage he took, it appears the unification fight can be made sooner than later.
Here’s how it all went down.
Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane updates, highlights from UFC 265
Ciryl Gane dominates and finishes Derrick Lewis in three rounds
Round 3 (12:46 a.m.): Gane opens with a pair of hard leg kicks. Gane with a right hand. Another leg kick and it’s chewing Lewis up. Lewis hasn’t checked a leg kick yet. They clinch briefly. More leg kicks. Lewis is wearing the pain. Gane pounces and pummels Lewis. Right hand. Huge knee! Lewis mouthpiece comes out. Brief pause in the action. When they resume, Gane cracks Lewis with a jab, Lewis folds, Gane jumps on the wounded Lewis and it’s over.
Round 2 (12:40 a.m.): Gane seems comfortable standing in front of Lewis now. Lewis goes for a takedown but Gane escapes. Knee to the body but Gane. Gane clinches Lewis along the cage and drives knees into his leg. Very one-sided performance by Gane thus far. More leg kicks. Lewis has no answers. Short elbow from Gane lands on Lewis’ cranium. Lewis just can’t find anything that works. 10-9 Gane (20-18 Gane)
Round 1 (12:34 a.m.): A chant for Lewis erupts as he fires a head kick. Gane with a leg kick and a jab. A few more leg kicks. Lewis on the hunt. Gane popping the jab. Lewis is getting frustrated as Gane plucks away. Low kick by Lewis to Gane’s groin. Lewis gives chase and Gane jabs before wrapping him up. Lewis chases again and fires a huge right hand that misses. Body kick by Gane. Jab and a right hand by Gane. Hard jab. Easy first round to score for Gane. 10-9 Gane
12:26 a.m.: As expected, Lewis walked out to a huge ovation as The Black Beast is looking to become a champion. This place will erupt if he’s able to pull it off.
12:20 a.m.: Ciryl Gane is making a statement by walking out first to a Houston Hip Hop classic with “Still Tippin.” He knows what he’s up against and embracing it.
Jose Aldo’s boxing turns back Pedro Munhoz with unanimous decision victory
12:09 a.m.: Jose Aldo boxed beautifully to keep Munhoz from getting off much of any offense. Behind a sharp jab and body punching, Aldo was technically sound and just too fast for Munhoz to keep up with. As the rounds progressed, Aldo just became more comfortable and saw what Munhoz had to offer. A third-round saw Aldo in a pure striking exhibition as he cruised to victory. Does this mean that Aldo may be closing in on another title fight? Perhaps.
12:00 a.m.: It’s a very close fight thus far with a couple of minutes left in the second frame. Aldo’s striking is crisp and a commitment to the jab and body work. Munhoz is getting his spots by applying pressure and keeping Aldo honest. It’s anybody’s fight to this point.
11:45 p.m.: The living legend Jose Aldo is back at it in a bantamweight showdown with Pedro Munhoz. Aldo got back into the win column against Marlon Vera after suffering a three-fight losing streak. He’ll face Munhoz, who ended a two-fight skid by scoring a decision over Jimmie Rivera.
Vincente Luque submits Michael Chiesa in the first round
11:33 p.m.: Wow. After Luque seemed to have the advantage in striking, Chiesa took the fight to the canvas. From there, he completely worked Luque over with his grappling and nearly sunk in a neck crank. But Luque escaped and slipped out of an armbar attempt before snatching Chiesa’s neck. Luque wasted little time clamping on a d’arce choke and getting Chiesa to tap out in just over three minutes. That’s a statement.
11:22 p.m.: Up next is perhaps the most anticipated fight on the card outside of the main event as Vicente Luque and Michael Chiesa. Both have been surging as of late and are looking for the win that will put them in the thick of title contention. Chiesa is undefeated since moving up to welterweight in 2018 with a 4-0 record while Luque is 9-1 in his last 10 and in possession of a three-fight winning streak.
Tecia Torres shows improved striking in outpointing Angela Hill
11:13 p.m.: Tecia Torres looked exceptional tonight with a performance that showcased her improved striking and neutralized a fellow striker with her speed. After losing four fights in a row to top tier competition, Torres has now picked up three victories in a row and will certainly get an opportunity at a top opponent in the division next. And with her striking matching her grappling, the “Tiny Tornado” could present a problem for the rest of the division.
11:06 p.m.: Through two rounds, this is a totally different fight from the one six years ago as Torres became the strikier and Hill was in pursuit of takedowns. But it was Torres who has proven to be successful by mixing up body kicks with her counter hooks to take the first two frames. Hill needs to make an adjustment soon or she will leave tonight with a defeat.
10:48 p.m.: Up next is a rematch between Tecia Torres and Angela Hill. The last time the former TUF cast members met was 2015 and Torres won a unanimous decision. A lot has changed since then but will the fight be any different?
Song Yadong squeezes by Casey Kenney for narrow decision win
10:43 p.m.: These Texas judges are something else. It was absolutely a close fight but it felt like Kenney did just enough with a late takedown to take a close decision in a fight that saw a back and forth contest. However, one judge somehow scored it for Yadong with a 30-27 scorecard. Either fighter could have won and it would have been fair but 30-27 either way is absurd.
10:05 p.m.: And we’re live! After an absolutely stellar fight to close out the prelims between Bobby Green and Rafael Fiziev, it’s time to see if the main card can keep up the quality. We’re kicking it off with a bantamweight fight between Song Yadong and Casey Kenney.
Lewis vs. Gane start time
- Date: Saturday, Aug. 7
- Start time: 6 p.m. ET | 3 p.m. PT
- Main card (PPV): 10 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. PT
- Main event: 12:15 a.m. ET | 9:15 p.m. PT (approximate)
UFC 265: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane will take place Saturday, Aug. 7. The early prelims kicked off the event at 6 p.m. ET while the pay-per-view main card begins at 10 p.m. ET. Lewis and Gane should enter the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
How to watch UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane
- TV channels/live stream: ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
The main card for UFC 265 is available in the U.S. on the ESPN+ subscription streaming service for a pay-per-view cost. That portion of the event begins at 10 p.m. ET.
Earlier fights are viewable live on ESPN, the WatchESPN app and, for the early prelims, UFC Fight Pass.
In Canada, the main-card pay-per-view is available on Bell, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Videotron, Telus, Eastlink and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 265 fight card
- Ciryl Gane def. Derrick Lewis via 3rd round TKO (punches) for the interim UFC heavyweight championship (4:11)
- Jose Aldo def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27)
- Vicente Luque def. Michael Chiesa via 1st round submission (d’arce choke) (3:25)
- Tecia Torres def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28)
- Song Yadong def. Casey Kenney via split decision (30-27, 29-28 & 28-29)
- Rafael Fiziev def. Bobby Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Vince Morales def. Drako Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Alonzo Menifield def. Ed Herman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27)
- Jessica Penne def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via 1st round submission (armbar) (4:32)
Fight Pass prelims
- Manel Kape def. Ode’ Osbourne via 1st round KO (flying knee & punches) (4:44)
- Miles Johns def. Anderson dos Santos via 3rd round KO (punch) (1:16)
- Melissa Gatto def. Victoria Leonardo via 2nd round TKO (doctor stoppage) (5:00)
- Johnny Munoz Jr. def. Jamey Simmons via 2nd round submission (rear-naked choke) (2:35)