The UFC hits the road again as Houston, TX will play host to this Saturday’s UFC 265. With the early prelims set to go off at 6 PM EST, the main card will get underway at 10 PM, and we should get plenty of bangers in the lead-up to the main event.
An interim heavyweight title will be on the line in the main event as division veteran Derrick Lewis will square off against a relative newcomer in Ciryl Gane. With the winner headed for a shot at the undisputed belt against Francis Ngannou, let’s take a closer look at where the value remains.
Betting Profile: Derrick Lewis (25-7-0)
Last Five Fights
There’s only one active guy in the UFC who current champ Francis Ngannou hasn’t beaten, and that’s Derrick Lewis. A now veteran of the game, Lewis has wins over some of the division’s best and looks for his biggest to date in his hometown of Houston on Saturday.
With the most KO/TKO wins in heavyweight history, that will quite clearly be Lewis’ plan yet again, but it will be a bigger uphill battle than usual. Trailing behind in metrics nearly across the board, Lewis does have the slight edge in strikes absorbed, taking just 2.16 per minute (vs. 2.6).
Betting Profile: Ciryl Gane (9-0-0)
Last Five Fights
A 13-0 Muay Thai fighter before heading to MMA, Gane comes into this title opportunity with just 9 professional fights over three years and is on pace for one of the fast title ascensions in UFC history. Outside of 2020, Gane averages three fights per year and just fought at the end of June in a five-round decision win vs. Alexander Volkov.
One of the most well-rounded fighters already in the division, Gane has as many submissions as he does KO/TKOs and strong metrics across the board. His 5.13 strikes landed per minute rank #3 in the division, and his differential (2.53) ranks #1 in the division by a wide margin (.4).
He also ranks #2 in the division in significant strike defense (63.2%), which should prove critical against the heavy hitter Lewis.
Both of the guys have a propensity for violence, with no one more so than Lewis. While Gane can hit nearly just as hard, I think he would be wise to take this one to the ground in an attempt to out-wind the heavy-hitting Lewis, which he should be able to do with ease.
Not having a single fight go to the 5th round in his professional fighting career, I don’t see this one being any different for Lewis both from a wind and interest standpoint. While I give Gane a big edge, The Black Beast has surprised me too many times to lay this kind of number.
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