Aug 2, 2021
Aug 2, 2021

UFC 265 preview: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane

Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane betting preview and odds

Lewis and Gane stats

Lewis vs. Gane predictions: Where is the value?

Lewis and Gane's fighting styles analysed

UFC 265 preview: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane

The interim Heavyweight Championship will be on the line when Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane face off at UFC 265. Can Lewis enjoy a fifth successive win to secure the belt, or will Gane maintain his unbeaten MMA record to become the new champion? Read on to inform your Lewis vs. Gane predictions.

Event: UFC 265

Date: August 7, 2021

Venue: Toyota Center (Texas, US)

Lewis vs. Gane: Tale of the tape

Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis

Fighter

Ciryl ‘Bon Gamin’ Gane

36

Age

31

191 cm

Height

196 cm

119 kg

Weight

111 kg

201 cm

Reach

206 cm

16-5-0

UFC record

6-0-0

25-7-0 (1 NC)

Overall MMA record

9-0-0

50%

Striking accuracy

54%

#2

UFC ranking

#3

This bout will be used to decide the interim UFC Heavyweight champion. Organisers initially planned for outright Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to defend his title against Lewis at UFC 265, but amidst reports that the former felt it was too early to defend his belt, Lewis was instead slated to fight Gane in what was declared an interim title bout.

This is Lewis’ first fight since his second round KO win against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 185 in February, for which he also earned the Performance of the Night award. That victory was his fourth successive win, representing his longest winning streak since December 2016. This is also Lewis’ second championship fight of his UFC tenure, having lost the first against Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 in November 2018.

Gane’s last outing in the octagon was his decision victory over Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 190 in June. That win extended his unbeaten start to his MMA career to nine fights, rising him to #3 in the UFC Heavyweight rankings. Gane has picked up a lone Performance of the Night award from his six UFC bouts to date and this is his first UFC Championship fight.

Lewis has claimed that he is unfazed by Gane’s ability and will be prepared for whatever tactics he deploys on the night, explaining “He’s a smart fighter, so it’s still gonna be a fun fight with me. It doesn’t matter if he’s gonna try and stay away and do all these little fancy kicks and stuff like that, I’m still gonna have my moment in the fight.”

Meanwhile, Gane has publicly declared that he believes his superior agility could prove crucial on the night, stating “I'm gonna move well, I'm gonna touch him and he’s not gonna touch me. I think his weakness is he's a little bit flat footed and that's good for me, because it means I can move a lot on my feet.”

Analysing the Lewis vs. Gane odds

The betting market lists Gane as the strong favourite for this bout at 1.302*, equating to an approximate 74% chance of victory. Lewis has been priced as the underdog at 3.650*, translating to a 26% likelihood of winning on the night. The Over/Under for rounds has been set at 4.5, with 2.450* for over and 1.581* for under.

Gane has been priced at narrowly shorter than the average closing odds for his last five bouts of 1.352. Being the firm favourite is familiar territory for the 31-year-old and Lewis’ odds actually implies that he possesses an average chance of victory in comparison to Gane’s recent opponents, with his odds longer than all of Volkov (2.32), Jairzinho Rozenstruik (2.92), and Don’Tale Mayes (3.45), but shorter than both Junior Dos Santos (4.27) and Tanner Boser (5.60).

Gane’s odds tend to more frequently shorten between open and close, doing so by an average margin of 5.1% ahead of his last five fights. This implies that if you are confident he will win, you may access slightly better value by placing your bets sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Lewis has been set at noticeably longer than his rolling five-bout closing odds of 2.374. Of these, he was the favourite on three occasions, winning all three bouts, and earned a victory and loss apiece in the two fights he entered as the underdog.

Lewis’ odds have undergone palpable lengthening ahead of his recent fights, most notably against Dos Santos when he closed at 2.90 having opened at 2.05. This suggests that if you feel he will pull off what the betting market is indicating will be a shock win, it may be within your interests to place your bets closer to August 7.

Lewis vs. Gane: Fighting styles analysed

Lewis is a knockout specialist who favours an element of quality over quantity in his attacks. Indeed, 20 of his 25 MMA victories to date have featured a KO, despite the fact that he records both considerably fewer significant strikes per minute (2.59 to 5.13) and a worse striking accuracy (50% to 54%) than Gane.

Gane lands almost twice as many strikes as he absorbs (5.13 to 2.60).

He most commonly relies on his powerful punching, as reflected by the fact that he aims 78% of his attacks at his opponents’ head. His preference is to cause damage quickly while denying opportunities to respond and six of his last eight KO victories did not progress beyond the second round.

Despite his fearsome fists, Lewis is comfortable taking the fight to the ground and actually only launches 38% of his attacks from a standing position. While he has only achieved a lone submission victory in his MMA career, he can boast a higher knockdown ratio (0.52 to 0.33) than Gane and a decent if unspectacular takedown defence rate of 55%.

Gane's style is more versatile and more broadly geared towards simply outhitting his opponent in a bid to earn victory by whatever means necessary. Despite his aforementioned superior striking rate, Gane’s nine victories have only witnessed three KOs, with an even proportion also coming from submissions and decision wins.

Indeed, Gane tends to evenly direct attacks across all areas of his opponents’ body (42% at the head, 28% at the chest, and 30% at the legs) and can call upon impressive defensive stats including a significant strike defence rate of 63%. As a consequence, Gane lands almost twice as many strikes as he absorbs (5.13 to 2.60), enabling him to create knockout and submission opportunities by gradually weakening his combatant or craft points victories over the distance if required.

Although he launches a mere 9% of his attacks from clinching and ground positions, the stats still suggest that Gane is a more competent wrestler than Lewis. He attempts both more takedowns (0.82) and submissions (0.33) per 15 minutes and ominously boasts an intimidating 100% takedown defence rate, suggesting that taking a bout against Gane to the floor is a thoroughly difficult task.

Lewis vs. Gane: Where is the value?

It is straightforward to assess why the odds favour Gane for this bout – he is the more versatile fighter, presently undefeated in his MMA career, and his attacking attributes are more encouraging than Lewis’ defensive skills.

However, it seems reasonable to suggest that this fight will be largely dictated by the extent to which Lewis controls proceedings in the opening couple of rounds. If Lewis can land a series of powerful punches to his opponent’s head in the early stages, then Gane could easily find himself susceptible to a knockout defeat if he fails to establish a reliable defensive strategy.

Conversely, if Gane successfully navigates any initial onslaught from Lewis (as his defensive stats indicate he is firmly capable of doing so), then it is hard to envisage an outcome other the 31-year-old deploying his usual versatility to control proceedings and land more hits. Whether that would entail a knockout or decision victory is difficult to call, suggesting the fight to feature over 4.5 rounds at 2.450* could easily prove a value bet.

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Odds subject to change

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