UFC 265 winners and losers: Championship contenders rise up

ufc 265 winners
Aug 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Ciryl Gane (blue gloves) receives a Championship Belt from UFC President Dana White after the fight against Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC 265 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 265 was a major night for several fighters on the card. It was also an evening a few others would like to forget. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the big UFC 265 winners and losers from the Ultimate Fighting Championships pay-per-event in Houston, Texas.

UFC 265 Winner: Ciryl Gane

In just 10 professional mixed martial arts fights, Ciryl Gane has won UFC gold. It is an unbelievable rise to the top for the Frenchman, but as he showed in his dominant masterclass over Derrick Lewis, Gane’s skills in the sport seem far beyond the minutes he’s actually logged in the Octagon.

Gane was a big favorite heading into the bout, and he proved why for three rounds as he was several levels above Lewis in the striking department. He also displayed why he will be a very tall task for teammate and lineal champion Francis Ngannou when the pair eventually meet up to unify the two championships in the winter or early in 2022.

UFC 265 Loser: Angela Hill

UFC strawweight Angela Hill has become a fan favorite by being one of the longest-tenured fighters in the division, and one that has grown so much as a competitor in that time. However, the biggest knock has been her inability to score a win over a bigger name or higher-ranked foe. She had that opportunity once again in her bout with Tecia Torres. A fighter ranked above her and one that owns a victory over her, and once against she was unable to earn the W.

“Overkill” has fought a who’s-who of strawweight talent in Claudia Gadelha, Michelle Waterson, Jessica Andrade, Rose Namajunas, and Torres, and in all of those fights she came up short. It is the one thing that continues to bedevil her in a worthwhile UFC run.

UFC 265 Winner: Vicente Luque

ufc 265 winners
Aug 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) and Vicente Luque (blue gloves) react to their fight during UFC 265 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Vicente Luque was a betting favorite in his main card welterweight bout with Michael Chiesa. However, his winning the fight by submission was a long shot. Someone somewhere made a lot of money on what friends told them was a silly bet. In maybe the most important fight of his career, and likely biggest win, “The Silent Assassin” showed his grappling tricks and tapped one of the best submission talents in the division.

Luque has always missed that marquee win that could catapult him into serious title contention. He earned that at UFC 265, and is in an excellent position to get the winner of the UFC 268 welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

UFC 265 Loser: Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Karolina Kowalkiewicz likely competed in the Octagon for the last time at UFC 265, after losing by submission to Jessica Penne. The Polish talent was once an elite talent at 115-pounds and former title challenger. However, with five straight losses, and a resume heavy on decision wins, it would be a monumental surprise if the promotion gave her the chance to lose a sixth straight.

The next time we see the 35-year-old competing, it’ll probably be in ONE Championship or KSW. It maybe could be her swan song as an active prizefighter as well, after a noteworthy 19 fight career.

UFC 265 Winner: Manel Kape

Manel Kape entered the UFC this year with a lot of hype around him. He was a Rizin champion and was coming off three straight knockout wins. Then he started his Octagon run with back-to-back losses and all that momentum disappeared. However, he might have gotten some of it back after scoring a highlight-reel flying knee knockout on Ode Osbourne at UFC 265.

“Starboy’s” job certainly wasn’t on the line inside the Toyota Center, but another loss would have made UFC decision-makers question his acquisition. Instead, he delivered a finish that showcased the flashy knockout skills that put him on the promotion’s radar, and he delivered in what might have been the first must-win situation of his career.

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