Ciryl Gane is the next big thing in the UFC heavyweight division.
The Paris-based kickboxer won for the seventh time in as many UFC outings on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 265, as he overwhelmed hometown favorite Derrick Lewis to win via third-round TKO at Houston’s Toyota Center.
The bout was for a questionable interim championship, created by UFC president Dana White because he wanted to make a match between UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and Lewis for this specific event, but Ngannou wanted more time to prepare for the fight.
Regardless of the title’s authenticity, there’s no doubt Gane (10-0) is the real deal, and he proved he’s next in line for the actual title.
The 6-foot-5 Gane used all of his range, peppering Lewis with kicks to the body and legs, and keeping Lewis (25-8), who relies on one-punch power, from ever getting close enough to do damage.
This went on into the third, when Gane unleashed a flurry which dropped Lewis, and poured it on until the referee waved things off at the 4:11 mark.
Gane had a simple message for Ngannou, whom he’ll very likely face next.
“Let’s go,” he said.
The evening’s co-feature bout marked the latest edition of former longtime UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s second act.
The Manaus, Brazil, native won his second straight bout at bantamweight. Aldo (30-7) mixed superb footwork and head movement, air-tight defense, and hints of the blazing hand speed which marked his championship heyday to earn a unanimous decision over fellow Brazilian Pedro Munhoz (19-6). The judges’ scores were 30-27 across the board as the 34-year-old Aldo won his second straight fight.
“I want to be a champion again,” Aldo said through an interpreter. “I dedicate myself a lot and that’s why I am here tonight. I’m training a lot, I’m training harder than ever.”
–Field Level Media