Ciryl Gane pulled up a stunning third round stoppage victory over top contender Derrick Lewis to win the UFC Interim Heavyweight title at UFC 265 on Saturday night at the Toyota Centre in Houston.
Watch Video Highlights Of Ciryl Gane’s Victory Over Derrick Lewis At UFC 265
The undefeated contender Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) was game and totally outclassed Lewis (25-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC), despite fighting Lewis in front of his hometown Houston crowd. Gane, who just clocked three years as a professional mixed martial artist didn’t let that deter him from his goal of getting the Interim Belt around his waist.
Gane made use of distance throughout the fight and avoided a back and forth battle with Lewis, who still possesses a huge knockout power and when he had the opportunity in the third round, he overwhelmed Lewis with a flurry of strikes that made the former title challenger cover up and forced the stoppage at exactly 4:11 of round three.
From the opening round, Gane made use of distance, kept Lewis outside and then, peppered him with long distance strikes. Lewis had a few moments, when he broke through but couldn’t land an big shot. Gane kept his rhythm using a Point-Fighting throughout.
The fight was more of the same in the second round until Gane was connered by the fence. This prompted Game to grab Lewis but after connecting a few knees both fighters returned to the Center and continued from where they stopped.
The leg kicks from Gane finally took its toll on Lewis in the third round and made him almost immobile as he stood there waiting for opportunities to counter. The fight became one-sided after Gane realised Lewis was hurt but “The Black Beast” showed heart, taking numerous onslaughts. However, there still how much our bodies can take and that didn’t go beyond the third round.
After a brief stoppage, Gane rushed on Lewis connected a flurry that made him turn and cover. Gane pumped his fist on Lewis who remained covered until the stoppage.
Gane has grown into quite a name in the UFC, having joined the promotion with a 3 – 0 record and went on to take out the big names in the division including Alexander Volkov, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Junior Dos Santos,asking his way to the Interim title position. Now he owns it.
Gane will try unifying the UFC heavyweight division when he meets with former training partner and Champion Francis Ngannou later this year. Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) was expected to defend his title against Lewis but the champion wanted more time off leaving the UFC no choice but to implement the Interim title, bringing Gane into the picture.
UFC President Dana White has expressed his intentions of booking a fight date for Ngannou before the end of the year despite having no information on when the champion will like to return.
Lewis has now lost his second title fight opportunity, the first was a unanimous decision loss to Daniel Cormier back at UFC 230 in 2018. This loss was his first since losing via TKO to Junior Dos Santos in 2019 and snaps a four fight winning streak.