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Guide to UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane

Getting prepared for UFC action this coming Saturday? Here is everything you need to know about the event with our Guide to UFC 265.

UFC 265

Date: August 7, 2021

Location: Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

Main Card

Start Time: 10:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. PT

Where To Watch: ESPN+ pay-per-view

Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane

Overall Records: Lewis 25-7 1 NC, Gane 9-0

UFC Records: Lewis 16-5, Gane 6-0

Last Fight: Lewis def. Blaydes–R2 KO–UFC On ESPN+ 43 (2/20/21), Gane def. Volkov–UDec–UFC On ESPN+ 48 (6/26/21)

Last Five Fights: Lewis 4-1, Gane 5-0

Rankings: Lewis #2, Gane #3

Betting Odds: Lewis +260, Gane -350

Preview: The main event for the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship isn’t the fight anyone was expecting to see on this show, nor was it met with tons of praise, instead met with tons of criticism as to why it was happening. Nonetheless, it’s a fight that is happening, and Lewis will get the chance to finally wrap “UFC gold” around his waist, but standing in his way will be the undefeated Gane. Lewis was supposed to meet Francis Ngannou for the real and undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship, with the fight being targeted for this show, but Ngannou repeatedly said he wouldn’t be ready to fight on this date due to taking time off and fulfilling commitments since becoming champion, so the promotion decided to move on and create an un-needed interim title. Lewis comes into this riding a four-fight win streak, and is coming off arguably the best showing of his career when he knocked out Curtis Blaydes with a massive uppercut in February. Lewis is one of the most popular fighters on the roster, and he’s going to have the crowd behind him as he fights in his hometown of Houston, and he’ll be looking to notch his 21st career knockout win and take home a title at the end of the night.

Gane has quickly risen up the heavyweight rankings in ts:, and he goes for gold in just his tenth professional fight. He’s undefeated at 9–0, including a 6–0 mark in ts:. He didn’t even start his professional MMA career until just three years ago, in August 2018, but no one has been able to solve the puzzle he brings. Just in UFC, he’s shown he can submit you, he can finish you with his striking, and he can go a full 25 minutes wearing you down. He’s a complete fighter who is only improving, and if you include his kickboxing career, he has yet to ever taste defeat. When you look at this fight, Gane is just better everywhere. With his kickboxing experience, his overall striking is better as he mixes his kicks and punches well. His takedowns have been far better than one would expect considering he doesn’t have a real background in wrestling. He’s submitted opponents and his conditioning has been excellent.

With all of that being said, Lewis has the ultimate equalizer, and arguably the greatest equalizer in all of UFC, and that is his massive power in his right hand. He can finish anyone if he lands the perfect shot. You also have to be fully prepared for it, because it can come at any moment when you least expect it. Lewis also has this remarkable ability to be able to get out from the bottom if he’s taken down and laid on top of. His conditioning has always been a question mark, but he can and has gone deep into fights. He is also incredibly tough to finish, though he can be. If Gane can implement a sound strategy and gameplan, he could just ease his way to a win, even if it’s a boring 25-minute affair.

Lewis will keep this interesting and he will definitely have the crowd behind him. If he can land that right hand, and that is a big if, he can knock Gane out. However, it would be a big upset if he was able to do so, as Gane just being better everywhere should be enough for him to get the win.

Prediction: Gane

Bantamweights: Jose Aldo vs. Pedro Munhoz

Overall Records: Aldo 29-7, Munhoz 19-5 1 NC

UFC Records: Aldo 11-6, Munhoz 9-5 1 NC

Last Fight: Aldo def. Vera–UDec–UFC On ESPN+ 41 (12/19/20), Munhoz def. Rivera–UDec–UFC On ESPN+ 44 (2/27/21)

Last Five Fights: Aldo 2-3, Munhoz 3-2

Rankings: Aldo #5, Munhoz #9

Betting Odds: Aldo -115, Munhoz -105

Preview: A fight that will determine the future of both men when it comes to the title picture has been moved to the co-main event slot after the loss of the title fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena, as Aldo and Munhoz look to remain in title contention. Aldo is looking for his second win at bantamweight, and his second straight win overall, after a solid unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera in December. The former UFC and WEC Featherweight Champion, who will one day go into the UFC Hall Of Fame, has already had a crack at becoming UFC Bantamweight Champion, but lost to Petr Yan in the fight for the vacant title in July 2020. Aldo started his career with an amazing 25-1 record, at a time when many called him the best fighter in the world, but he’s since gone 4-6 over his last ten fights. He’s still only 34-years-old, and he showed he’s plenty capable of still fighting for championships.

Munhoz has yet to find himself in a position to challenge for a UFC title, but a win here would put him on the right path. He was right on the cusp of getting into the conversation for a title shot on a run where he won seven of eight fights, including a first-round knockout of former champion Cody Garbrandt, but back-to-back losses to Frankie Edgar and current champion Aljamain Sterling knocked him back down the ladder. He got back into the win column with a win over Jimmie Rivera in February. A win here would move Munhoz into the conversation of facing a top-five opponent next. In a fun coincidence, Aldo and Munhoz were born just two days apart in September 1986.

Prediction: Aldo

Welterweights: Michael Chiesa vs. Vicente Luque

Overall Records: Chiesa 18-4, Luque 20-7-1

UFC Records: Chiesa 11-4, Luque 13-3

Last Fight: Chiesa def. Magny–UDec–UFC On ESPN 20 (1/20/21), Luque def. Woodley–R1 SUB–UFC 260 (3/27/21)

Last Five Fights: Chiesa 4-1, Luque 4-1

Rankings: Chiesa #5, Luque #6

Betting Odds: Chiesa -110, Luque -110

Preview: A pivotal welterweight bout between the fifth-ranked and sixth-ranked fighters at 170 lbs. takes place, as Chiesa and Luque both look to stake their claim to fight the winner of the welterweight title bout between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, which takes place in November. Chiesa comes into this bout in the midst of the best run of his career, as he’s looked like a completely different fighter since making the move up to 170 lbs. He started his run with wins over Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez, but has since dominated top-ten competition, scoring clear unanimous decision wins over Rafael Dos Anjos and Neil Magny in his previous two fights. His wrestling has especially looked improved, and a win here could set him up for a title shot, or, at worst, a title eliminator.

Luque has also been on a crazy run, one that may have surprised a lot of people when he came into UFC. He started his UFC career off with a loss to Michael Graves, coming in off of a stint on The Ultimate Fighter, and there were many questioning whether he’d get another shot, since it moved his record to 7-5-1 at the time. He has been nothing short of spectacular since then, going 13-2 in his fifteen fights since then. His only losses have come to Leon Edwards and Stephen Thompson, both guys ranked inside the top four of the division currently, and Luque has won three straight entering this fight. He has also scored twelve of his thirteen UFC wins by stoppage, so he’s not just winning, but he’s putting opponents away in impressive fashion.

Prediction: Chiesa

Women’s Strawweights: Tecia Torres vs. Angela Hill

Overall Records: Torres 12-5, Hill 13-9

UFC Records: Torres 8-5, Hill 8-9

Last Fight: Torres def. Hughes–R1 TKO–UFC 256 (12/12/20), Hill def. Yoder–UDec–UFC On ESPN+ 45 (3/13/21)

Last Five Fights: Torres 2-3, Hill 3-2

Rankings: Torres #10, Hill #12

Betting Odds: Torres -140, Hill +115

Preview: A rematch in the strawweight division that has been about a year in the making goes down here as Torres and Hill meet again, with Hill looking to even the score. They fought when they were both young in their careers, at UFC 188 in June 2015, which was Torres’ sixth career fight and only the third career fight for Hill. The fight was indicative of their experience level at the time, as it was far from exciting, and it ended with Torres getting the decision. Since then, Torres had a good run, winning ten of her first eleven fights, before a four-fight losing skid, albeit to top fighters, had people questioning whether she would be a gatekeeper or not. She has bounced back with wins in her last two fights.

Hill ended up out of UFC after losing her next fight after the Torres bout, but a successful run with Invicta saw her get re-signed with UFC. It hasn’t been the smoothest of runs for her, as she’s gone just 7-7 since returning, but she’s garnered a lot of fans due to her personality and her willingness to be someone who will fight anyone at anytime, and she’ll take fights with almost zero notice. Hill has been calling for this rematch for over a year, and now is as good of a time as any for it to go down, as it will clearly show where both stand in the division.

Prediction: Torres

Bantamweights: Song Yadong vs. Casey Kenney

Overall Records: Yadong 16-5-1 1 NC, Kenney 16-3-1

UFC Records: Yadong 5-1-1, Kenney 5-2

Last Fight: Phillips def. Yadong–UDec–UFC 259 (3/6/21), Cruz def. Kenney–SpDec–UFC 259 (3/6/21)

Last Five Fights: Yadong 3-1-1, Kenney 3-2

Betting Odds: Yadong +105, Kenney -125

Preview: A bantamweight bout between prospects who were previously ranked before suffering defeats in their prior fights takes place here, as Yadong and Kenney both look to return to the win column and get themselves back into the crowded 135-pound rankings. Yadong is coming in looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss, as he dropped a decision to Kyler Phillips at UFC 259 in March. He had gone unbeaten in his first six UFC bouts, and had it not been for getting himself deducted a point in a fight with Marlon Vera, he would’ve been 6-0 in his UFC career before the Phillips bout. It’s crazy that he has 23 career fights, which is the same as his age of 23-years-old, so there is plenty of time for Yadong to become a future title challenger. He trains with a great camp at Team Alpha Male, and has nine wins by a finish.

Kenney looks to rebound from a loss to former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at that same UFC 259 event in March. He had won five of his six UFC bouts prior to that, including a three-fight win streak going into the Cruz fight, and now that he’s turned 30-years-old, the time is right for Kenney to make a run at the title. He has only scored one finish in his UFC career, and has shown to be more of a grinding fighter, with over half of his wins coming via decision, but the black belt in jiu-jitsu is going to have to show he won’t have his hands full with Yadong.

Prediction: Yadong

Preliminary Card

Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. PT

Where To Watch: ESPN2 & ESPN+

Lightweights: Bobby Green vs. Rafael Fiziev

Overall Records: Green 27-11-1, Fiziev 9-1

UFC Records: Green 8-6-1, Fiziev 3-1

Last Fight: Moises def. Green–UDec–UFC On ESPN+ 39 (10/31/20), Fiziev def. Moicano–R1 KO–UFC 256 (12/12/20)

Last Five Fights: Green 3-2, Fiziev 4-1

Betting Odds: Green +240, Fiziev -300

Preview: A lightweight bout featuring a guy who will literally fight anyone as he doesn’t care who it is going against a guy who has been getting avoided by a lot of potential foes headlines the prelims here as Green welcomes the surging Fiziev to what should be a hard-nosed battle. Green is a guy who will never turn down a fight, even taking fights on super short notice, but it has been over nine months since we’ve seen him in action. He was supposed to fight in February, but had a moment where he collapsed during the weigh-ins, so hopefully he is fully healthy in his return. He is looking to bounce back from a tough decision loss to Thiago Moises in October, which ended his three-fight win streak. After being crowned the unofficial “king of the UFC APEX” after fighting four times in just over four months inside UFC’s home base, Green will fight in front of fans for the first time since November 2019.

Fiziev has quickly garnered a reputation for someone a lot of top fighters have tried to avoid fighting, as he’s shown to be dangerous opposition, even though he only has ten career MMA fights. He started his professional career with a 6-0 mark, scoring all six wins by stoppage, with five coming in the first round. He then lost his UFC debut, the lone loss in his career, but has since won three straight, including impressive displays against Marc Diakiese and Renato Moicano, the latter of whom he finished in the first round.

Prediction: Fiziev

Bantamweights: Vince Morales vs. Drako Rodriguez

Overall Records: Morales 9-5, Rodriguez 7-2

UFC Records: Morales 1-3, Rodriguez 0-1

Last Fight: Gutierrez def. Morales–R2 TKO–UFC On ESPN 9 (5/30/20), Zahabi def. Rodriguez–R2 TKO–UFC On ESPN+ 43 (2/20/21)

Last Five Fights: Morales 2-3, Rodriguez 3-2

Betting Odds: Morales -105, Rodriguez -115

Preview: A bantamweight bout featuring two men looking to get back into the win column takes place here as Morales and Rodriguez square off inside the octagon. Morales is fighting for the first time in over a year, as he’s been out of action since a May 2020 loss to Chris Gutierrez. Morales actually has dropped two straight and three of his four UFC bouts, and he’s coming back from two surgeries to repair a torn Achilles tendon. He’ll be looking to notch his eighth win by stoppage. Rodriguez will be making his second walk to the octagon on Saturday night as he looks to rebound from a loss in his debut. He was submitted by Aiemann Zahabi in February, ending his three-fight win streak. It will be only the tenth fight in the career of Rodriguez, but he has scored six of his seven wins by stoppage, with four coming by submission, and he has five first-round finishes.

Prediction: Rodriguez

Light Heavyweights: Alonzo Menifield vs. Ed Herman

Overall Records: Menifield 10-2, Herman 26-14 1 NC

UFC Records: Menifield 3-2, Herman 13-10 1 NC

Last Fight: Menifield def. Cherant–R1 SUB–UFC 260 (3/27/21), Herman def. Rodriguez–R3 SUB–UFC On ESPN+ 35 (9/12/20)

Last Five Fights: Menifield 3-2, Herman 3-2

Betting Odds: Menifield -250, Herman +200

Preview: A light heavyweight bout pitting a rising prospect against a long-time veteran goes down here as Menifield battles former TUF runner-uo Herman. Menifield will be fighting in the state in which he lives in for the first time as a member of UFC’s roster, and he’ll be looking for his second straight win after submitting Fabio Cherant in just 71 seconds in March. That ended his two-fight losing skid, which came after he started his career with a perfect 9-0 record. All ten of his wins have come via a finish, with eight coming in the first round and the other two coming within the first 32 seconds of the second round. Herman has been in UFC for an amazing 15 years now, as he joined the roster after making it to the finals of season three of The Ultimate Fighter way back in 2006. He’s the only one from that season left in UFC, and he comes into this fight riding a three-fight win streak. He submitted Mike Rodriguez in the third round in his last fight in September, and he has an 81% finish rate in his career.

Prediction: Menifield

Women’s Strawweights: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Jessica Penne

Overall Records: Kowalkiewicz 12-6, Penne 13-5

UFC Records: Kowalkiewicz 5-6, Penne 2-3

Last Fight: Xiaonan def. Kowalkiewicz–UDec-UFC On ESPN+ 26 (2/22/20), Penne def. Godinez–SpDec–UFC On ESPN 22 (4/17/21)

Last Five Fights: Kowalkiewicz 1-4, Penne 2-3

Betting Odds: Kowalkiewicz -140, Penne +115

Preview: A battle of former title challengers in the strawweight division goes down here as Kowalkiewicz looks to end a bad skid against Penne. Kowalkiewicz returns to action for the first time since before the pandemic began, as she steps inside the octagon for the first time since February 2020. She is trying to end a four-fight losing skid in this must-win situation. She started her career 10-0, leading to an unsuccessful title challenge against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and she’s just 2-6 in her last eight fights. Her losses, though, have all come against highly-ranked opposition. Penne made her long-awaited return from all of her issues with USADA in April, scoring a decision win over Lupita Godinez to end a three-fight losing skid. She also unsuccessfully challenged for the title against Jedrzejczyk in June 2015. Penne, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has scored nine wins by stoppage, with seven wins coming by submission.

Prediction: Kowalkiewicz

Early Preliminary Card

Start Time: 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT

Where To Watch: ESPN+

Flyweights: Manel Kape vs. Ode Osbourne

Overall Records: Kape 15-6, Osbourne 9-3

UFC Records: Kape 0-2, Osbourne 1-1

Last Fight: Nicolau def. Kape–SpDec–UFC On ESPN+ 45 (3/13/21), Osbourne def. Rivera–R1 KO–UFC On ESPN+ 42 (2/6/21)

Last Five Fights: Kape 3-2, Osbourne 4-1

Betting Odds: Kape -200, Osbourne +165

Preview: A flyweight fight that has the potential for fireworks caps off the early prelims as Kape looks for his first UFC win when he battles Osbourne. Kape is taking yet another fight with a shorter training camp in this one, as he looks to rebound from two tough decision losses in his first two UFC fights. He dropped a decision to Alexandre Pantoja in February, and then fought just over a month later. He dropped a close split decision to Matheus Nicolau in March, but almost everyone thought Kape won that fight, as every single media score had that fight scored for him. He’s looking to get back to his winning ways, as 14 of his 15 wins have come by stoppage. Osbourne is looking to score his second straight win as he comes in off a 26-second knockout of Jerome Rivera in February. That fight was at 145 lbs, mainly since it came together the week of the fight. He’s back at his natural 125 lbs. for this one, and he’s looking to add to his impressive 89% finish rate.

It should be noted that Kape missed weight for this fight by three pounds.

Prediction: Kape

Bantamweights: Miles Johns vs. Anderson Dos Santos

Overall Records: Johns 11-1, Dos Santos 21-8

UFC Records: Johns 2-1, Dos Santos 1-2

Last Fight: Johns def. Natividad–R3 KO–UFC On ESPN+ 39 (10/31/20), Dos Santos def. Day–R1 SUB–UFC On ESPN 18 (11/28/20)

Last Five Fights: Johns 4-1, Dos Santos 3-2

Betting Odds: Johns -225, Dos Santos +180

Preview: Another bantamweight bout that has potential to be one of the best fights on the card takes place here as Johns and Dos Santos both look to continue to climb the ladder at 135 lbs. Johns will be making his fourth walk to the octagon, and he’s looking to score his second straight win after a knockout win over Kevin Natividad in October. He started his career 10-0 before suffering his first loss, and now he looks to start a new win streak here. Dos Santos is also looking for his second straight win after scoring a submission win over Martin Day in November, which came after he lost his first two UFC fights. Dos Santos has an impressive 81% finishing rate. These two were supposed to meet in July, but COVID-19 protocols pushed the fight back a few weeks.

Prediction: Johns

Women’s Flyweights: Victoria Leonardo vs. Melissa Gatto

Overall Records: Leonardo 8-3, Gatto 6-0-2

UFC Records: Leonardo 0-1, Gatto 0-0

Last Fight: Fiorot def. Leonardo–R2 TKO–UFC On ESPN 20 (1/20/21), Gatto def. Rosa–R1 SUB–Nacao Cyborg 3 (9/29/18)

Last Five Fights: Leonardo 3-2, Gatto 3-0-2

Betting Odds: Leonardo -120, Gatto +100

Preview: A flyweight bout between two females looking for their first UFC wins takes place here as Leonardo makes her second UFC appearance against the debuting Gatto. Leonardo is looking to bounce back after being finished by Manon Fiorot in the second round in her debut in January. Prior to the loss, she had won six of her last seven. Five of her eight career wins have been via a stoppage, with four coming by submission. Gatto debuts looking to remain undefeated in her career, though she’s suffered two draws in her eight career fights. She hasn’t fought since a September 2018 win over fellow UFC fighter Karol Rosa. She was signed by UFC in 2019, but injuries and travel restrictions have kept her from debuting until now.

Prediction: Gatto

Bantamweights: Johnny Munoz vs. Jamey Simmons

Overall Records: Munoz 10-1, Simmons 6-3

UFC Records: Munoz 0-1, Simmons 0-1

Last Fight: Maness def. Munoz–UDec–UFC On ESPN+ 31 (8/1/20), Chikadze def. Simmons–R1 TKO–UFC On ESPN 17 (11/7/20)

Last Five Fights: Munoz 4-1, Simmons 3-2

Betting Odds: Munoz -300, Simmons +240

Preview: The night gets kicked off with a bantamweight bout between young prospects looking to make a name for themselves in ts:, as both Munoz and Simmons look to score their first win inside the octagon. Munoz is fighting for the first time in just over a year, as he looks to bounce back from a decision loss to Nate Maness in his debut last August. Prior to that loss, Munoz had yet to be defeated in his career, and eight of his ten wins have come by stoppage, with six coming by submission. Simmons will be making the walk to the octagon for the second time, and while there are no easy fights, he won’t have the pressure of having to fight Giga Chikadze on a few days’ notice, who finished him in the first round. It ended Simmons’ three-fight win streak. Simmons has a 71% finish rate and is looking to impress in his second fight. These two were scheduled to meet in April, but an injury to Simmons pushed the bout back.

Prediction: Munoz

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