Ciryl Gane was a sizable favorite heading into his UFC interim heavyweight title fight against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. And over three rounds he showed exactly why in winning UFC gold in a dominant striking master class.
Ciryl Gane wins UFC interim heavyweight gold at UFC 265
From minute one to the moment the fight ended, Gane showed the massive gap in technical prowess between the two when it came to striking. The Frenchman bounced in and out on his toes, worked leg kicks, and looked to find his range in the first few minutes. And it didn't seem to take him that long to do so.
"Bon Gamin's" ability to control the range and dictate the action completely perplexed Lewis. He tried his patented explosive actions to land massive power shots, but his opponent was always one or two steps ahead and out of danger at every turn. Eventually, Gane would settle in and start landing more punches and work his jab, which become another element of his attack the was a question "The Black Beast" had little answers for.
Despite a huge gap in MMA experience, in every aspect of the fight, from striking to clinch work, Gane looked more like the veteran mixed martial artist in this one. As he showcased his continued evolution as an MMA fighter and his understanding of the various technical aspects of the sport.
By the third round, the leg kicks started to have a major effect on Lewis. His explosiveness was gone and a hitch in his step became more noticeable. It was blood in the water and Gane started to turn up his offense. Landing more kicks and throwing big haymaker punches.
Eventually, with a minute left Gane scored a shot that brought the power puncher to his knees. The unbeaten heavyweight then took to his foes back and bombed away with strikes. Forcing the referee to jump in and stop the fight with 49 seconds left in the third round and making Gane the new UFC interim heavyweight champion of the world.
In landing 99 strikes to Lewis' 18, Gane displayed uncanny striking skills for the division and moved his undefeated record to 10-0. He is now lined up to face former teammate and lineal champion Francis Ngannou next.
The loss ends a four-fight win streak for Lewis and is the fifth time he has been stopped by strikes in eight losses.