With the UFC failing to come to terms with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, the promotion has decided to keep the division moving with an interim title fight.

Hence an interim heavyweight champion will be crowned this Saturday night in Houston as Derrick Lewis takes on Cyril Gane at the main event of UFC 265 on August 7, 2021, at the Toyota Center.

In the co-main event, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo will take on Pedro Munhoz while Top 6 welterweights Michael Chiesa and Vicente Luque will also square off in the main card.

Let’s take a look at the UFC 265 main card and make our predictions.

“Fighting" Derrick Lewis vs Cyril Gane

Derrick Lewis is the no. 2 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. The 36-year old from New Orleans, Louisiana is a former Legacy FC heavyweight champion who also fought under Bellator. Lewis is one of the sport’s most feared punchers with a UFC heavyweight record of 12 knockouts. The Black Beast has won four straight bouts and is coming off back-to-back KO wins over Aleksei Oleinik and Curtis Blaydes.

Lewis has a record of 25-7 with 20 knockouts and one submission win. He stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 79 inches.

Cyril Gane is the no. 3 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. The 31-year old Frenchman is a former TKO heavyweight champion. A former French Muay Thai champion, Gane joined the UFC in 2019 and has won his first six UFC bouts. In his last bout, Gane outpointed former Bellator champion, Alexander Volkov.

Bon Gamin has an undefeated record of 9-0 with three knockouts and three submission wins. He is 6-4 tall with a reach of 81 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 08/06/2021

Gane’s lack of one-punch knockout power should give Lewis a full 25-minutes to try and land one of his heavy bombs. We know that Lewis needs to land only one clean punch to end a fight and we’ve seen him knock out Volkov in the closing seconds of the fight because Volkov could not put him away. The longer this fight goes, the more chances Lewis will have to win this bout.

But while Gane doesn’t have the same pop in his punches, the Frenchman has the savvy and a very high fight IQ despite being only in MMA for three years. With his technical skills and smarts, he should be able to frustrate Lewis with his ability to keep the distance while throwing his laser jabs and leg kicks.

Lewis is well-conditioned and is likely to go the distance. But unless he lands his knockout punch, he isn’t going to outpoint Gane in a striking battle.

Prediction: Cyril Gane

“Fighting" Jose Aldo vs Pedro Munhoz

Jose Aldo is the former UFC featherweight champion and the last WEC featherweight king. The 34-year old Brazilian went undefeated in over a decade, winning 18 consecutive bouts before suffering a 13-second knockout loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in 2015.

Since then, Junior has struggled with a 4-5 record. He’s fought for the bantamweight title but lost to current Champion Alex Volkanovski.

Aldo has a record of 29-7 with 17 knockouts and one submission loss. He is 5-7 tall with a reach of 70 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Pedro Munhoz is the no. 9 ranked bantamweight in the UFC. The 34-year old Brazilian is a former bantamweight champion from RFA. Munhoz joined the UFC in 2014 but didn’t get his break until lately. After beating Cody Garbrandt, Munhoz lost back-to-back bouts to Aljamain Sterling and Frankie Edgar. However, he bounced back by beating Jimmie Rivera in his last assignment.

Munhoz is 19-5 with five knockouts and 8 submission wins. He stands 5-6 tall with a 65-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 08/06/2021

There’s no question that there’s still plenty left in the tank of Jose Aldo. He can still strike with the best in the business despite being clearly past his prime. Junior has the skills, experience, and the heart to give Munhoz a good challenge. However, he’s lost three out of his last four bouts, and his recent KO losses to McGregor, Holloway ( twice), and Volkanovski speaks about what his current status is like

Munhoz is a very aggressive striker and there is a chance that Aldo is going to use his smarts to outstrike the younger fighter. However, he has more to prove and may want this more than the veteran.

This should be a good fight but in the end, Munhoz’s power shots may be too much for Aldo’s aging body.

Prediction: Pedro Munhoz

“Fighting" Michael Chiesa vs Vicente Luque

Michael Chiesa is the no. 5 ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 33-year old from Aurora, Colorado won The Ultimate Fighter: Live tournament in 2012 and joined the UFC after. Chiesa fought most of his career at lightweight but has since moved up to welterweight where he is 4-0. In his last bout, Chiesa defeated Neil Magny via decision.

Chiesa has a record of 18-4 with 11 submissions. He is a southpaw who stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 75 inches.

Vicente Luque is the no. 6 welterweight in the UFC. The 29-year old from Westwood, New Jersey was a semi-finalist at The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament. Since losing to Leon Edwards in 2017, he has put up a record of 9-1 with his only loss coming at the hands of Wonderboy Thompson. Luque submitted Tyron Woodley in his most recent bout.

Luque has a record of 20-7 with 11 knockouts and seven submission wins. He stands 5-11 tall with a 75 inches reach and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 08/06/2021

A lot is on the line for both fighters in a bout that could be a title eliminator or one that puts the winner one win away from getting a title shot.

Chiesa has put together an impressive streak. He’s won four in a row at welterweight and is 9-1 in his last 10 bouts. But Luque has the same record in his last 10 outings and he’s fought better opposition and his only loss during that period came against Stephen Thompson.

Eight of Luque’s wins during that span were by either knockout or submission. As usual, Chiesa will look to grapple but Luque is a dangerous submission artist. On the feet, Luque is the much better striker with more pop in his punches. However I look at this, I have Luque winning.

Prediction: Vicente Luque

“Fighting" Tecia Torres vs Angela Hill

Tecia Torres is the no. 10 ranked female strawweight in the UFC. The 31-year old from Fall River, Massachusetts fought at Invicta FC before joining The Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament. The Tiny Tornado heads to this bout with back-to-back wins over Brianna Van Buren and Sam Hughes.

Torres is 12-5 with one knockout and one submission win. She stands 5-1 tall and has a reach of 60 inches and is a southpaw fighter.

Angela Hill is a former World Kickboxing Champion and Invicta FC strawweight champion. The 36-year old from Prince George’s County in Maryland joined the UFC in 2017 and is the 12th ranked female strawweight in the promotion. Hill snapped a two-fight skid by defeating Ashley Yoder in her last bout.

Hill is 13-9 with five knockouts. She is 5-3 tall with a 64-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 08/06/2021

Hill is one of the most difficult opponents to prepare against. She has fluid Muay Thai and has clean boxing. She has a significant reach advantage here and she is smart enough how to use it.

To land more strikes and beat Torres though, Hill must keep her opponent at the end of her punches. But I’m not sure if she can consistently do that for 15 minutes with someone called the Tiny Tornado. Torres should be able to find her range by exploding forward and ending her combinations with kicks. In doing so, she negates Hill’s advantage in reach and wins this fight.

Prediction: Tecia Torres

“Fighting" Song Yadong vs Casey Kenney

Song Yadong is a veteran of WLF and Kunlun Fights. The 23-year old from China is 5-1-1 inside the UFC Octagon but is coming off a loss to Kyler Philips at UFC 259 last March.

He is 16-5 with six knockouts and three wins via submission. Song Yadong stands 5-8 tall with a 67-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Casey Kenney is a former Tachi Palace Fights flyweight champion. This 30-year old from Portland, Indiana was also the LFA flyweight and bantamweight champions. Kenney won five out of his first six UFC bouts but lost to former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in his most recent outing.

Kenney is 16-3 with two knockouts and five submission wins. He is a southpaw who stands 5-7 tall and has a 68-inch reach.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 08/06/2021

This looks like a very close fight on paper but when I look back at how Kenney fought Dominick Cruz in his most recent fight, I think I have my pick. Kenney was able to push Cruz hard and give him a tough time before ultimately losing a decision. That to me was impressive.

Kenney’s other loss in the UFC came against Merab Dvalishvili who is another fighter considered above average. Nothing against Yadong but he’s not fought the same level of opposition as Kenney. Sure, he’s had impressive performances for himself but I always go back to the Dominick Cruz bout.

If Kenney fights the same way or even just close to it, there’s no way Yadong is beating him here.

Prediction: Casey Kenney

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