Ciryl Gane-Derrick Lewis bout to headline UFC 265

Feb 8, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Ilir Latifi (blue gloves) during UFC 247 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC returns to Houston on Aug. 7 with a stacked pay-per-view event in UFC 265, which features two title fights.

In the main event, heavyweight contenders Ciryl Gane (9-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and hometown hero Derrick Lewis (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) will face off for the interim UFC heavyweight title. The winner will earn a chance to dethrone current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

The co-main event will see the most dominant female champion of all time, two-weight titleholder Amanda Nunes (21-4 MMA, 14-1 UFC), defend her bantamweight title against former “The Ultimate Fighter” season 18 winner Julianna Pena (10-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC).

Gane, 31, landed himself the interim title opportunity with a five-round outclassing of Russia’s Alexander Volkov just three weeks ago. The Frenchman is a polished striker with an impressive set of submission skills, making him a formidable technical threat for foes.

However, he will face a stiff test in Houston’s own Derrick Lewis, 36. A power-punching behemoth with a penchant for comeback knockouts, all it takes for Lewis to win the fight is a single well-placed punch.

Lewis is riding a four-fight winning streak, most recently knocking out Curtis Blaydes with a thunderous punch in February.

Whoever emerges victorious from the UFC 265 main event will challenge Ngannou, the reigning UFC heavyweight champion.

Nunes, 33, has been flawless since her last loss, a TKO at the hands of Cat Zingano in 2014. She has since won twelve straight fights — including eight by stoppage — and captured and defended two UFC titles.

Considered by many to be the greatest female fighter of all time, Nunes most recently submitted Megan Anderson in a thoroughly one-sided performance back in March, defending her featherweight title. At UFC 265, she will return to the bantamweight division for the first time since 2019.

Pena, 31, is 2-1 since her return in 2019 from a two-year hiatus she took for her pregnancy and the birth of her child. “The Venezuelan Vixen” has fought once in 2021, submitting Sara McMann back in January.

Elsewhere on the card, former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo of Brazil will battle countryman Pedro Munhoz, while welterweight dark horses Vicente Luque and Michael Chiesa clash in a battle to determine new blood in the elite of the divisional rankings.

Further bouts are expected to be added to the UFC 265 lineup.

–Field Level Media