UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane Predictions (Reposted)

While Francis Ngannou sits and watches, a new Interim Heavyweight Champion will be crowned this evening in Houston. The gold will either be taken by France’s undefeated Ciryl Gane or UFC veteran Derrick Lewis.

The write-up here will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It details my betting strategy for each fight and a prediction of what kind of bout we see.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for takedown defense and submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those two stats and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

Lastly, if you are in search of even more DFS content be sure to visit DailyPlayAction.com! This site is dedicated to providing expert daily fantasy coaching as well as tools to optimize your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and PGA lineups. Check them out now if you play any FanDuel or DraftKings DFS.

Current Record

  • Anthony: 167-127-3 (Last Year 223-145-6)
  • Nick: 168-126-3 (Last Year 235-133-6)
  • GB: 160-134-2 (Last Year 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 9:00 AM EST 7-31-2021

Early Prelims- Starts 6:00pm EST

Johnny Munoz Jr. -335 (DK $9100, FD $22) vs Jamey Simmons +255 (DK $7100, FD $9)

  • Anthony: The card will open at bantamweight for a fight between Johnny Munoz Jr. and Jamey Simmons. Munoz is the higher ceiling prospect, having just one professional loss in his most recent performance. He has decent striking, but is most confident in his jiu jitsu and other offensive grappling techniques. Simmons looked bad in his UFC debut but that came up a weight class against Giga Chikadze. We will likely see a better showing from Simmons here tonight, I just do not think it will be enough to best Munoz. While Munoz can likely grapple his way to a victory, this is also a fight his striking may shine as he outsizes Simmons quite considerably. I will have shares where I can take him and certainly like the upside to get a finish in this bout. Johnny Munoz by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Jamey Simmons is a fairly inexperienced prospect fighting out of Pura Vida MMA. He has a decent wrestling base and he’s shown dangerous offensive grappling ability on the regional scene. However, much of that success has come against questionable competition. He didn’t look good at all in his UFC debut, falling by KO to a highly regarded prospect in Giga Chikadze. Munoz is coming off a close decision loss to Nate Maness back in August of 2020. He’s a highly decorated BJJ black belt, with six of his ten professional wins coming via submission. Munoz has a powerful and effective kicking game, but he seems to struggle to string together significant combinations. Most of his striking comes at low volume, but he uses it well to set up his grappling. I don’t really see Simmons as having quality enough striking to keep Munoz off him in this spot. If he tries to lean on his wrestling, he’s likely playing with fire. Johnny Munoz by Round Three Submission
  • GB: Johnny Munoz by Round One Submission

Victoria Leonardo -115 (DK $7400, FD $15) vs Melissa Gatto -105 (DK $8800, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Next is a difficult bout to call at women’s flyweight as Victoria Leonardo will take on Melissa Gatto. It has been a long-anticipated UFC debut for Gatto who has seen bouts with the likes of Julia Avila and Mariya Agapova fall through. She is a very talented grappler who is often able to control and finish her opponents on the mat. Leonardo has no standout skills, but is physically strong and likely capable of defending a few arm lock positions. I could see the more experienced Leonardo fighting to a decision win here, I just worry about her chances if defending submissions for a full fifteen minutes. It is a worrying pick after a three year layoff but I side ever so slightly with Gatto. Melissa Gatto by Round Three Submission
  • Nick: This should be an excellent fight. Victoria Leonardo pulled off an impressive upset against Chelsea Hackett on Dana White’s Contender Series as a +220 underdog. She’s a decent grappler with solid ground and pound, but her striking still appears to be underdeveloped. She is coming off an ugly loss in her UFC debut to Manon Fiorot, but Fiorot is widely regarded as a future title contender at flyweight. Leonardo has a lot of experience on the regional scene. She’s very strong for the division and she’s certainly tough, but nothing about her game suggests she’s going to climb the rankings. This is Gatto’s first fight since September of 2018. Gatto is a talented offensive grappler as a BJJ blackbelt, with four of her six professional wins coming by way of submission. While we’ve yet to see her in the UFC, Gatto has found success against a higher level of competition compared to Leonardo. It wouldn’t shock me if this went the other way, but I have to side with the more dangerous grappler in this spot. Melissa Gatto by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Melissa Gatto by Round Two Submission

Miles Johns -210 (DK $8900, FD $20) vs Anderson Dos Santos +170 (DK $7300, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Bantamweights Miles Johns and Anderson Dos Santos will do battle next. This is an interesting matchup stylistically as Johns’ wrestling pedigree should gets tested against the jiu jitsu of Dos Santos. At least one or two takedown attempts from Johns should be expected, but both fighters also have solid striking and heavy hands for the division. Johns’ most recent knockout of Kevin Natividad shows just how high his ceiling may be, finishing that bout with a picture-perfect uppercut. He has not been tested much at this level, but Johns has a resume to be proud of nonetheless with regional victories against Levi Mowles and Adrian Yanez. Johns is the pick here as the younger and more explosive fighter, but I would not be surprised to see Dos Santos stick around in this bout or perhaps catch Johns in a submission. He has locked up several guillotines before which poses a major problem to any opponents attempting wrestle. Miles Johns by Decision
  • Nick: Miles Johns is primarily a grappler. He’s shown proficiency wrestling with both single and double leg entries and in this fight, he’s probably best off using it to either stay standing or control position. Anderson dos Santos is a BJJ Black belt, but most of his time fighting in the UFC has taken place on the feet. He seems to have a really solid chin, and he isn’t afraid to eat shots to throw them. His boxing is far from crisp, but he does put power behind his shots and his willingness to wear damage can allow him to string together decent combinations. Johns has solid power on the feet, but he’s still far from polished in terms of his technical ability. He often leaves himself open to counterpunches and he doesn’t always finish his combinations offensively. He continues to improve, but the price definitely feels a bit inflated on him here. Dos Santos is live for a submission so I’ll have some shares in DFS lineups, but Johns is the pick. He should be able to use his effective wrestling ability to keep Dos Santos where he wants him. Miles Johns by Decision
  • GB: Miles Johns by Decision

Manel Kape -200 (DK $9000, FD $20) vs Ode Osbourne +160 (DK $7200, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Next up is a flyweight bout between Ode Osbourne and Manel Kape. While Kape was highly touted upon entering the UFC, he has yet to deliver any performances of note in the cage. His career thus far includes two losses by judge decision, a fate he most certainly would like to avoid again here. Kape has a lot of power but does not throw consistent enough volume. He lacks any urgency to find a finish or even hurt his opponents, seemingly more focused on defense than offense. He also came in three pounds heavier than the limit on the scales yesterday. While Kape does have the much better boxing, Osbourne is a diverse striker who can outpoint Kape and dish out far more damage. At such wide dog money my play will be on him. I think he will look much faster than Kape inside the octagon and find success at the end of his punches. Ode Osbourne by Decision
  • Nick: Manel Kape came over to the UFC as the RIZIN Bantamweight Champion. He has excellent power for a flyweight. He is a highly technical striker with advanced footwork, which he uses well to set up his power shots. Kape can be under aggressive at times, and his grappling seems average at best. Still, his KO power alone makes him a threat to anyone in this division. He was picked apart on the feet in his UFC debut against Alexandre Pantoja. However, many consider Pantoja to be a potential title contender. He lost a controversial Decision his last time out to a highly regarded prospect in Matheus Nicolau. While his UFC career has certainly been a disappointment so far, it’s tough to get down on him given the ridiculously high level of competition he has faced. Osbourne is inexperienced, but he has crisp striking and he does an excellent job switching stances. He has a powerful back power kick; he does a good job diversifying his strikes and more often than not he’s able to lean on his athleticism to drown his opponents. He’s going to be live for an early upset knockout here, but this does feel like a spot the UFC set up as a way to get Kape back in the win column. As long as he protects himself early here, Kape should be able to mix in his grappling on his way to a convincing victory. Manel Kape by Round Three KO
  • GB: Manel Kape by Round Two KO

Preliminary Card- Starts 8:00pm EST

Karolina Kowalkiewicz -130 (DK $8300, FD $17) vs Jessica Penne +110 (DK $7900, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Here we have a women’s strawweight bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Penne. They are both very experienced and have developed their skills well inside of the octagon. Penne is the superior grappler of these two and would likely be best suited with a fight taking place on the mat. She utilized that wrestling in order to get a win earlier this year and I could see the hype behind here having more recently fought. It is difficult to side with the currently 0-4 Kowalkiewicz, but I do think Penne is still a few steps behind this division’s best. Kowalkiewicz has been on a long hiatus of her own but I trust her to look sharp making this return. She is the better striker than Penne quite clearly and has fought much tougher competition already in the UFC. Do not risk your money on this fight, but the pick for me is Kowalkiewicz if forced to decide. If she can keep this fight standing it is hers to lose. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Decision
  • Nick: Jessica Penne is coming off a solid win over Lupita Godinez in a fight which took place back in April. There were a lot of questions surrounding her heading into that matchup, as it was her first fight since 2017. She leaned on her grappling in that spot, but she also showed a solid chin as well as solid fifteen-minute cardio. Kowalkiewicz is on a four-fight losing streak. She has taken a ridiculous amount of damage, but there’s really no denying her lack of success is mostly the direct result of a tough strength of schedule. Kowalkiewicz is sharp on the feet. She pushes a serious pace and does a good job stringing together effective combinations. Penne will have a grappling advantage here, but Kowalkiewicz sports a solid 75 percent takedown defense and I expect she’ll be able to keep this fight standing. My confidence is fairly low here as it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Kowalkiewicz in action, but she’s the rightful favorite. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Decision
  • GB: Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Decision

Alonzo Menifield -240 (DK $9200, FD $21) vs Ed Herman +190 (DK $7000, FD $10)

  • Anthony: This should be a fun light heavyweight bout between Ed Herman and Alonzo Menifield. It has been a mixed bag for Menifield thus far in the UFC, but his three wins have been rather convincing as his strength and power is fully displayed. I really do not think he is a very special fighter but his hand clearly hurt more than most competitors at this weight. Ed Herman is the gatekeeping fight for Menifield as he looks to start climbing the ranking at 205 pounds. While it has been an impressive late career run for Herman, his wins have been a bit flukey and deceiving on paper. He could certainly with something but the early storm from Menifield will be difficult for Herman to endure. With concerns over his durability already I have to fade Herman against one of the more dangerous power threats. I see Menifield winning inside of the distance here. Alonzo Menifield by Round One KO
  • Nick: Alonzo Menifield is one of the more exciting newcomers we have at light heavyweight. He’s got a massive frame and all ten of his professional wins have come via finish within two rounds. He has not seen much in terms of quality competition yet, but he’s shown tremendous power and you can see he’s improving in pretty much every other aspect of his game. His conditioning has not yet been tested, so you have to be a bit concerned about his gas tank as he’s carrying a ton of muscle. Still, I expect him to score a victory before that’s an issue here. Herman is a tough and gritty veteran. He’s well-rounded, has a solid chin, but he doesn’t throw much volume and he sometimes struggles to get going against more aggressive opponents. He is on a three-fight win streak, but it certainly feels like he’s in the twilight of his career. He had a very controversial win over Mike Rodriguez his last time out and has visibly lost a lot of the power and speed. He is only going to have a chance here if Meinifield tires himself out. Meinifield is hyper-aggressive, and that’s why I expect he’ll get it done in this spot. Alonzo Menifield by Round One KO
  • GB: Alonzo Menifield by Round One KO

Drako Rodriguez -115 (DK $8400, FD $16) vs Vince Morales -105 (DK $7800, FD $13)

  • Anthony: This fight at bantamweight could be a quiet contender for Fight of the Night. Drako Rodriguez has gained a little steam and seems to be the A side of this bout. He has very good striking and technical kickboxing skills that make him a dangerous opponent for any foe. These are two Contender Series alums, but Rodriguez has the much brighter future ahead of him. Morales’ only UFC win came against Aiemann Zahabi in a rather underwhelming fight to decision. I see him being peppered with shots from Drako here and eventually breaking in the late second or early third round. Rodriguez is the bet as he can likely control the center of the octagon and bully Morales for the majority of this one. Drako Rodriguez by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Rodriguez was a highly regarded prospect coming into the UFC. He’s coming off a tough loss to Aiemann Zahabi in his UFC debut. He was KO’d in the first round as a -190 favorite, against a fighter in Zahabi who many expected would be cut from the roster with a loss. He’s going to come out strong here, so this becomes a question of whether or not he’s able to put Morales away. He’s a dangerous striker that pushes an excellent pace, but his window for a finish shrinks as his fights wear on. Morales is a decent striker, fighting out an excellent camp in Syndicate MMA. He’s been criticized at times for his lack of volume as he seems to wait for the fight to come to him rather than engaging or dictating the pace. In this matchup with an aggressive Rodriguez, I expect that spells his downfall here. It wouldn’t shock me if Morales weathered an early storm to pull off the upset, but I’m backing Rodriguez to get this done early. Drako Rodriguez by Round One KO
  • GB: Drako Rodriguez by Decision

Rafael Fiziev -310 (DK $9300, FD $22) vs Bobby Green +240 (DK $6900, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim takes place at lightweight between Bobby Green and Rafael Fiziev. There are not many superlatives that haven’t been said about Fiziev who is one of the better strikers moving up the rankings at 155 pounds. He has extremely crisp boxing, with speed and fluidity that is rarely replicated inside of the octagon. While Fiziev is serviceable in other facets of mixed martial arts, his striking alone could win him several fights at this level. Bobby Green is known for bringing boxing matches to the octagon so this matchup makes a ton of sense. Unless he can alter the usual gameplan to disturb Fiziev’s timing, I see Green having a very difficult time keeping up. Striking defense and phone booth boxing are two of Green’s biggest strengths, but unfortunately Fiziev is even better at both. I will not be betting him as such a large favorite but certainly see him getting his hand raised here. Rafael Fiziev by Round Three KO
  • Nick: Rafael Fiziev is a former striking coach at Tiger Muy Thai. He has ridiculous head movement and throws extremely powerful punches and kicks. Fiziev is going to be a problem for anyone in this division when it comes to fighting on the feet. He has knockout power in all of his limbs and his grappling seems to improve every time we see him fight. Green is a well-rounded fighter, but his shoulder-roll boxing style is what stands out when you watch him on film. He usually wins fights out striking his opponents at boxing range, but he’s going to have trouble here against such a powerful and advanced striker in Fiziev. Green is a quality boxer, but he tends to keep his hands down a lot more often than he should. I expect Fiziev to keep this fight standing long enough to catch Green and score a knockout win. Rafael Fiziev by Round Two KO
  • GB: Rafael Fiziev by Round Two KO

Main Card- Starts 10:00pm EST

Casey Kenney -120 (DK $8200, FD $18) vs Song Yadong +100 (DK $8000, FD $13)

  • Anthony: Bantamweights open the main card in a fight that will surely deliver fireworks. Casey Kenney and Song Yadong are two active, exciting 135ers that can climb the rankings rather quickly with victories. Both have sixteen professional wins to their name but enter this fight coming off a loss. Song Yadong is no slouch anywhere when it comes to fighting but is going to be the superior wrestler here. I am curious to see whether or not the Team Alpha Male corner has Yadong attempt to grapple early and often. A gameplan to strike with Kenney may certainly backfire as the MMA Lab prospect is far more technical on the feet. Kenney made things close against Dominick Cruz, proving he can hang with one of the best on the feet. I worry about his wrestling defense a bit in this spot but assume he stays on top for a majority of crucial positions. We have seen him scramble well in the past to compliment his kickboxing. His volume and urgency likely gets him the nod if judge’s get involved. Casey Kenney by Decision
  • Nick: Kenney is still far from fully developed as a prospect, but he already has notable wins over Brandon Royval, Ray Borg and Manny Bermudez. He’s coming off a hard-fought decision loss to former champion Dominick Cruz, and many feel he has what it takes to remain a ranked fighter at Bantamweight for years to come. Kenney throws an extremely powerful body kick out of the southpaw stance. He continues to improve as a striker, but his greatest strength is his powerful wrestling/judo base. Kenney is a lot stronger than he looks and he does a good job mixing in takedowns to secure fights when they hit the scorecards. Lately it seems he’s most content to stand and trade, but I expect he returns to his strengths here coming off of a loss. Song Yadong was once an even more highly regarded prospect than Kenney. He has serious power with six of his professional wins coming by way of knockout. We have seen Yadong dramatically improving his grappling ability now training out of Team Alpha Male. He’s coming off his only loss in the UFC, with five wins and a draw. His most notable win is over Marlon Vera while also sporting victories over Vince Morales and Alejandro Perez. The biggest issue with Yadong to this point has been his fairly low volume. He’s dangerous on the feet, but he’s sometimes too reserved in his approach. Whenever this fight is standing, I give Song Yadong the advantage. However, Yadong has a shaky 56 percent takedown defense at the UFC level. Kenney should be able to lean on his grappling to steal this fight on the scorecards. If he’s losing striking exchanges, he’s shown he has a high enough Fight IQ to pull things back into his wheelhouse. This is one of the more exciting matchups on the card and one I could see going either way. However, Kenney is my pick. I just see him as being more well-rounded and developed overall at this point in his career. It also benefits him that Yadong’s last fight was a loss to Kenney’s MMA Lab teammate, Kyler Phillips. Casey Kenney by Decision
  • GB: Song Yadong by Decision

Tecia Torres -150 (DK $8700, FD $19) vs Angela Hill +125 (DK $7500, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Next is a women’s strawweight bout between Angela Hill and Tecia Torres. This is a rematch of a bout won by Torres in 2015. While the career of Hill has taken off since then, she has not evolved too much as a fighter and I do not expect to see a much different version here today. Torres is a very high-volume striker who can also grapple efficiently with most opponents at 115 pounds. Usually when it comes to grappling, Hill gets handled easily by opponents once things hit the mat. While this could be a fun fight standing I see Torres landing the crisper strikes and overwhelming Hill with pressure and takedown attempts as this fight wears on. She has been on an impressive run lately and I refuse to fade her here against Hill. The price tag is high on both sites, but for DFS upside I really like the ceiling of Torres too. Tecia Torres by Decision
  • Nick: This is a rematch of a fight that took place back in 2015. Torres leaned on her grappling in that one to win via decision. In many ways, that’s what is expected to happen again here. When fighting on the feet, both of these women are high volume strikers. They both like to throw in the clinch, they’re both durable and they’re both capable of carrying a quality pace for fifteen minutes. The reason Torres is the rightful favorite here is that she should have a considerably grappling advantage. The striking exchanges should be close, but Torres should be able to mix in takedowns to pull away on the scorecards. My confidence level is low in this one as almost all of Hill’s fights are extremely closely contested. However, I prefer the more well-rounded game of the favorite. Tecia Torres by Decision
  • GB: Angela Hill by Decision

Vicente Luque -115 (DK $8500, FD $15) vs Michael Chiesa -105 (DK $7700, FD $15)

  • Anthony: The featured bout is a banger at welterweight between Vicente Luque and Michael Chiesa. It is awesome we get two highly ranked fighters like this so high up the card. Chiesa’s most recent bout was a Fight Night main event that saw him defeat Neil Magny. As always, the offensive grappling was key for Chiesa who was able to control things for well over half that fight. The body lock takedowns come easily for Chiesa and it seems that his approach to grappling really drains opposing fighters. While I like his chances against a lot of top welterweights, Luque poses a unique threat as both a lethal grappler and striker. While Chiesa may be able to get Luque down, I worry about him maintaining control in just a three-round bout. The far better striker here is Luque and fading his power has not been a smart decision as of late. He has three wins by finish in a row and seemingly all the skills to fight atop this division. We have seen Chiesa beaten badly before and stylistically this feels like a tough hill to climb for him. It is best to get your exposure to Luque on FanDuel and your Chiesa shares on DraftKings. Vicente Luque by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Luque is an exciting fighter who throws a lot of volume and pushes a serious pace. He’s a powerful striker with true KO power, but he sometimes over-exerts himself and leaves himself open for counters. He’s coming off an excellent Win over former Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley, and before that he had been coming off back-to-back KO Wins over Randy Brown and Niko Price. He’s going to be dangerous whenever this fight is standing, but I expect Chiesa knows that going in. Michael Chiesa has an outstanding wrestling base that relies on body-lock style takedowns and a creative submission game. Chiesa’s stand-up continues to improve, but he’d be wise to take this fight to the mat early and often. He’s faced more technical strikers than Luque before, but Luque’s power and pressure makes him a unique and dangerous test. Luque seems far more likely to push the pace in this one, but if he doesn’t overwhelm Chiesa early he could find himself in trouble. Chiesa averages 3.60 successful takedowns per 15 minutes. Luque carries a mediocre 65% Takedown defense. Chiesa should be able to strike just long enough to get to find the takedowns he needs here. Luque is certainly live for the knockout, but I’m siding with Chiesa. Michael Chiesa by Decision
  • GB: Vicente Luque by Round Two KO

Jose Aldo -115 (DK $8600, FD $16) vs Pedro Munhoz -105 (DK $7600, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Our co-main event should be fun at bantamweight as Jose Aldo will take on Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz got back on track with a big win his last time out. He has perhaps relied too heavily on power punching in the past and needs to develop more as a complete fighter to continue securing victories. At one point he was very close to title contention but now finds himself on the outside looking in. Aldo is a legend but I have had a bad read on him as of late. He relied on his grappling heavily to most recently defeat Marlon Vera by decision. I would love to see him implement a similar gameplan here in order to avoid the power of Munhoz. It should not be difficult for Aldo to either wrap up Munhoz for two rounds or stay on the outside of his power punches. Standing and trading would be a dangerous proposition but by utilizing his size advantage and fighting smart Aldo can take this one. I see him getting by the more one dimensional fighter and proving he is still a top five fighter in this division. Jose Aldo by Decision
  • Nick: Jose Aldo is now fighting at bantamweight, but he’s one of the greatest featherweights of all time. He’s certainly on a decline, but that narrative is a bit overblown as two of Aldo’s last three losses have come against current UFC title holders. Munhoz has been impressive, but Aldo represents a dramatic step up in competition for him here. Aldo is coming off a convincing victory over Marlon Vera, and in his fight before that he had moments against one of the best bantamweights in the world in Petr Yan. It will be vital for Aldo to pace himself in this spot, as his cardio does seem to generally be on the decline. Munhoz is going to have the advantage when it comes to volume when this fight is standing, but he has a negative striking differential which could prove costly against a technical boxer like Aldo. Aldo does an excellent job working in body shots to pressure and tire his opponents. He’s the more powerful puncher in this match-up and he should be able to counter effectively if Munhoz tries to work behind leg kicks. Munhoz’s best weapon has certainly been his leg kicks of late, but to me that’s the only real path he has to pull this off. As long as Aldo leverages five-inch reach advantage and checks an early kick or two, he should be able to score the win. Jose Aldo by Decision
  • GB: Jose Aldo by Round Three KO

Ciryl Gane -335 (DK $9400, FD $23) vs Derrick Lewis +255 (DK $6800, FD $17)

  • Anthony: The main event will decide the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis. This is a huge event in Houston for the UFC veteran Lewis, a resident who has gone a perfect 10-0 fighting in the Lone Star state. He deserves every ounce of gold up for grabs, boasting the most knockout wins in UFC history. The two most recent knockouts by Lewis highlight just how dangerous he can be. After landing just a few strikes, one uppercut by Lewis sent Curtis Blaydes astral traveling. His power is literally all he needs to excel, and it seems this camp has been his most extensive ever prior to a fight. While all that training certainly helped I still feel that Gane is miles ahead of Lewis technically. This fight will be decided by whether or not Lewis can land a big shot, as always. A lot of signs point to Lewis getting the job done, but by fighting a smart fight Gane should cruise to an easy victory. There is no reason for him to engage with Lewis in close, as he has a size advantage quite clearly over him. By grappling or striking at range there will be almost nothing Lewis can do to keep pace. Gane is the much quicker fighter and I trust his chin enough to get the win here today. His hype train is well deserved and the climb up the rankings seems justified given his performances thus far. Ciryl Gane by Decision
  • Nick: Outside of his former teammate and top contender Francis Ngannou, Gane is one of the most athletic fighters there is in the world at heavyweight. He moves extremely fast for this division, bringing excellent footwork and an overall athleticism that is usually considered rare for the weight class. Lewis will have the crowd’s favor here, fighting in his home city of Houston. Lewis doesn’t throw much volume, but he is an extremely skilled counter-striker who has shown on several occasions that he has enough power to end any fight with a single punch. He’s a true knockout artist with twenty of his twenty-five professional wins coming via KO. Gane’s clearest path to victory may actually be on the ground here. He has sneaky offensive grappling ability and Lewis’ takedown defense is average at best. On the feet, Lewis is the more powerful striker. I’ll shares for him in DFS as his one true path is via KO. However, Gane lands nearly two more significant strikes per minute. As long as he can avoid the knockout shot, Gane should control where this one goes. I expect Gane to significantly outland Lewis and occasionally lean on his grappling in order to grind this one out. Ciryl Gane by Round Four Submission
  • GB: Derrick Lewis by Round Two KO

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