By News Team
Last Updated: 5th August 2021
The UFC heavyweight interim title fight that nobody asked for is almost upon us, and though few would have expected to see Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane facing off for UFC gold in 2021, the outcome will be no less exciting.
Lewis already holds the record for most UFC knockouts at heavyweight, and with Gane looking to continue his impressive 9-0 unbeaten record since turning professional the main event is set to be explosive.
With a host of other excellent fights on the card, even with Amanda Nunes’ late withdrawal, it’s set to be a fascinating night of action live from Houston’s Toyota Center and we preview the best of the action below.
The Main Event:
As we know, fights are fought on canvas not paper, but on paper this is an excellent heavyweight match-up. Without undervaluing his skills as a martial artist, Derick Lewis’ strongest weapon is undoubtedly his power, so matching him up with Gane’s technical style is one that breeds uncertainty.
Whilst many have levelled Lewis’ lack of ground game as the factor that will ultimately hold him back from becoming a UFC champion, thus far 21 have tried, and only 5 have succeeded in trying to avoid his thunderous right hand. 12 of those 16 wins have come by knockout, and although it might be not always be pretty, any shot he is able to land has the capability of switching his opponent’s lights off.
Gane on the other hand is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division. His elite movement allows him to create unusual angles to land punches, kicks and elbows and he’ll look to wear his opponent down with volume before finishing the fight with ground and pound.
Like all of Lewis’ opponents, Gane will have to ride out the early exchanges and take this one into the later rounds. If Lewis is able to land early, we could be in for a short fight. Gane will stay at range and try to manage distance, if he can do so successfully, you’d expect him to have the skills to dictate the pace of the fight.
Lewis’ best chance looks to be a KO win at 4/1, while a decision victory is 10/1. Gane meanwhile would expect to come out the right side of a decision result at 15/8 but it would be somewhat of a surprise to see him finish the big Texan at 11/8.
The rest of the card:
Further down the card, legendary former featherweight champion Jose Aldo continues his bantamweight run as he takes on Pedro Munhoz, who impressed many in his recent ‘Fight of the Night’ win over Jimmie Rivera in February. Aldo is 10/11 to win the fight, with Munhoz also 10/11.
Welterweight contenders collide on a potential path to a title fight, with number five ranked Michael Chiesa taking on Vicente Luque, who is on a three-fight win streak following his victory over former champion Tyron Woodley in March. Chiesa is evens to win, with Luque 4/5.