UFC 265 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane: How To Bet Interim Heavyweight Title Fight (Saturday, Aug. 7)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Derrick Lewis (left) and Ciryl Gane.
- The UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship is on the line at UFC 265 when Derrick Lewis takes on Ciryl Gane.
- Lewis' power is unmatched in the UFC, although the undefeated Gane has already beaten some of the heavyweight division's biggest punchers.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the main-event matchup and delivers his pick for the fight below.
Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane Odds
All eyes will be on Houston on Saturday night as H-town native Derrick Lewis (25-7) takes on undefeated Frenchman Ciryl Gane (9-0) for the UFC’s Interim Heavyweight Championship.
Gane has only had nine professional MMA fights, following an undefeated Muay Thai career. Still, he has gone 6-0 in the UFC in dominant fashion, rarely losing minutes in his fights while displaying unparalleled speed and technique for the Heavyweight division.
A former title challenger, Lewis enters on a four-fight winning streak after securing a performance bonus with his vicious February knockout win over Curtis Blaydes (as a +320 underdog). “The Black Beast” is 16-5 with the promotion dating back to 2014, and owns the heavyweight record with 12 knockout victories.
Heavyweights possess the highest finishing rate in MMA (72.8% in the UFC) and as a result, it’s difficult to favor either fighter in this matchup to a significant degree.
That said, it’s no surprise to find the Under 4.5 rounds juiced up to such a degree. With Gane sitting as a -375 favorite (79% implied odds), though, how can he justify that line against the man searching for sole possession of the UFC’s all-time knockout record?
Tale of the Tape
|Record||25-7 (1 NC)||9-0|
|Avg. Fight Time||9:32||15:15|
|Weight (pounds)||264.5 lbs.||247 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/7/85||4/12/90|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.59||5.13|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.16||2.60|
|Take Down Avg||0.52||0.82|
Gane is both the slightly taller and longer fighter, and he is a master of distance who will maximize his reach advantage with a piston of a jab, an array of deep kicks and beautiful striking to all three levels.
Moreover, Gane is a defensive wizard (63% striking defense, fourth in heavyweight history) thanks to his distance management, range weapons, and unbelievable speed — the Frenchman moves like a welterweight.
Against a powerful but plodding opponent in Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Gane only absorbed 14 of 69 head strikes (20.2%), and I imagine that Lewis will have a similar amount of difficulty connecting.
Gane can also maintain a ridiculous pace and destroy his opponents with efficiency (+2.53 to +0.34 strike differential vs. Lewis) for the duration of a five-round fight. The cardio and output seemingly never wanes for “Bon Gamin,” even when he does absorb damage (won 135-115 on significant strikes vs. Alexander Volkov).
Gane also holds the grappling edge over Lewis, who gives up takedowns easily (54%). I doubt he can maintain a ton of control time over Lewis, who weighed in 17 1/2 pounds heavier and so physically strong that just simply deciding to stand up has worked against other fighters. The takedowns will come easier, though, the longer the fight goes.
Lewis recently got pieced up on the feet by a wrestler in Blaydes (lost 23-4 on distance strikes in Round 1) before connecting with an uppercut as Blaydes shot for a takedown in the second round, sending his opponent into the shadow realm:
That’s how most of Lewis’s fights go – he’s losing until the moment that he wins because he is a heavyweight’s heavyweight. One punch, even a glancing blow, really is all that it takes.
Lewis’ comeback win over Volkov, a fighter who Gane mostly dominated, is the stuff of legend:
After losing for the better part of 3 rounds and being at a 82 significant strike differential, Derrick Lewis puts Alexander Volkov's lights out with only 11 seconds left. #UFCVegas6 pic.twitter.com/ANI0knapt2
— BirksMMA (@BirksMMA) August 7, 2020
Gane should be able to consistently frustrate Lewis with his jab and movement and hurt him to the body with an accumulation of kicks. The damage should eventually wear on Lewis and slow him down if Gane can drag him to deeper waters.
Lewis is 4-0 on the scorecards, but he has never gone the distance in a five-round fight. Notably, he doubled over and basically quit after gassing out against the likes of Mark Hunt in 2017.
Gane has never absorbed power from a fighter like Lewis. While the undefeated prospect did eat a big clean shot from former champion Junior dos Santos, only a few men on the planet offer as much power as “The Black Beast.”
If Gane does want to fight Francis Ngannou for the undisputed heavyweight title, testing his chin against Lewis’s power first seems like a logical progression.
Still, given the stylistic matchup and Gane’s physical advantages, Lewis won’t have too many opportunities to close the show.
Lewis vs. Gane Pick
From a betting standpoint, Lewis is a complete anomaly. He doesn’t rate well by most categories that factor into a handicap, but his power is so devastating that it can completely erase all of his disadvantages instantly.
A five-round matchup between this pair plays comfortably to Gane’s advantage. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to envision Lewis winning a five-round decision unless he secures two or more knockdowns — and when Lewis puts opponents down, he tends to put them out.
I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline or either side of the distance prop, but I do show slight value on Gane to win by decision (projected +190, listed +200) and on Lewis to win by KO/TKO/DQ (projected +368, listed +380).
If you’re playing Lewis to win this fight, bypass his moneyline and bet the knockout prop. I projected a knockout as nearly 90% of his win condition, and I’m surprised to see such a discrepancy relative to his moneyline.
The play on Gane is a bit less direct since there’s not a ton of value on his decision prop. However, Gane doesn’t have the same type of one-punch power as Lewis, and his finish would most likely come as a result of 1) an accumulation of damage, 2) Lewis gassing out, or 3) a combination of both.
Gane should win the vast majority of minutes in this fight, though I suspect he will get caught and his chin will be tested at some point. He should start to ramp up the pace and pressure in the later rounds as Lewis slows, and I doubt that this fight goes the full 25 minutes as a result,
I initially planned to bet Gane to win in Rounds 4, 5, or by Decision (+155), and I think that’s a fine bet, but I prefer the Gane to win and Over 2.5 Rounds (+116) prop (Fighter/Total Rounds Double) at PointsBet, and I would bet that down to even money.
The Pick: Ciryl Gane and Over 2.5 Rounds (+116)
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