UFC 265 is headlined by Ciryl Gane versus Derrick Lewis, which pits two of the most exciting heavyweights in mixed martial arts.
Lewis is an enigmatic type who can knock out anyone at any given time. He’s a dangerous and experienced fighter who always enters the Octagon seeking a big finish.
Ciryl Gane isn’t quite as flashy, but he has stormed his way through the heavyweight ranks and the undefeated fighter is the overwhelming online betting favorite.
It looms as a must-see contest at UFC 265 on Saturday and the Toyota Center in Houston will be rocking.
All Eyes on Gane
There hasn’t been a heavyweight that attracted this much attention for some time. Gane has turned heads and it’s not with show-stopping knockouts; it’s with his professionalism.
It’s not to say Gane doesn’t have knockout power because we saw that against Junior dos Santos in 2020. He knocked out the former champion in the second round, but the majority of his wins have been via submission or decision.
The 31-year-old from France owns wins against the likes of Tanner Boser, dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov. His last two wins came via decision, but he defeated two of the best heavyweights in the industry.
MMA On Point (@OnPointMMA) August 2, 2021
UFC betting markets have Gane at -370 to beat Derrick Lewis, which puts his talent in perspective. Expectations couldn’t be bigger and we’ll find out if he’s the real deal sooner rather than later.
Gane gives credit to the power of Lewis, but he’s not respecting his overall talent.
“Yes, 100 percent, he is one of the best guys in this division,” Gane told MMAMania.com of Lewis. “He’s not well-rounded. When you have someone who cannot fight everywhere like me or (Alexander) Volkov or guys like that, it’s not good for him. That’s why sometimes it didn’t work (out for Lewis).
“I think it’s going to be the same game plan,” Gane continued. “Maybe he’ll try wrestling or something like that. But everyone knows what his strengths are. He has big power with each hand. Everyone knows that. You have to be careful of that.”
Bettors won’t get rich taking the short odds for Gane, so we expect to see money come for the total rounds market. Under 3½ rounds is currently -140, so bookmakers aren’t expecting the fight to go the distance, and neither are we.
Who doesn’t love Lewis? The guy speaks his mind and does what he pleases, which makes for enjoyable viewing.
Knowing what’s going to happen next is tough, which is where he becomes unreliable for bettors. His win over Curtis Blaydes was a top-level knockout and he also made short work of Aleksei Oleinik, but he often leaves his guard down and that can be troublesome.
Lewis was knocked out by dos Santos in 2019 and submitted by Daniel Cormier in 2018. Those are two huge names in the business, so we’re not surprised he couldn’t get the job done.
The 25-7-0 record is often underrated because of his relaxed attitude, but ruling him out would be a huge mistake. UFC odds suggest he has little chance of winning at +270, but he is always one punch from turning the lights off.
Derrick Lewis is funny even when he’s fighting. pic.twitter.com/Io5P75MODr
Chad (@ChadSonnen) July 30, 2021
Lewis is tied with Vitor Belfort for most knockout wins in the UFC and he’s wanting the solo record in his hometown.
“I don’t care if people don’t respect me because I’m not a mixed martial artist. I don’t respect the sport and train like a mixed martial artist. I’m just a brawler,” Lewis said before his title fight at UFC 230.
He’s a headhunter and a dangerous one at that. Lewis has the ability to knock out Gane, but getting within reach won’t be easy. Lewis has to avoid lunging at Gane, who is more than capable of taking Lewis to the ground.
If Gane gets Lewis on the ground, the fight is all but over. Lewis doesn’t have excellent defense and because it’s a five-round fight, Gane has time up his sleeve.
It would be foolish to rule out someone like Lewis because he’s shocked the world before.
We wouldn’t recommend betting against Gane. The Frenchman is on a tear in the heavyweight division and he’s one of the smartest fighters around.
Taking -370 isn’t easy, but we would add Gane to UFC 265 parlays. He is a reliable fighter and we see his record improving to a perfect 10-0.
For added value, take the under 3½ rounds at -140. We don’t see this fight going the distance and we would be shocked if Lewis had the fitness to go five rounds against a cardio machine like Gane.