Gane Stops Lewis, Wins Interim Heavyweight Title at UFC 265. Ciryl Gane stopped Derrick Lewis in the third round of UFC 265 on Saturday night with a flurry of ground-and-pound blows, earning an interim UFC heavyweight championship and the next opportunity at champion Francis Ngannou.

Gane (10-0) dominated the championship battle at the Toyota Center in Lewis’ hometown, just over three years after making his MMA debut.

ufc 265 Gane was booed loudly from the time he came onto the arena floor, but he basically evaded every attack thrown by the slower, more methodical Lewis before repeatedly injuring the veteran in the third round. Lewis ultimately slumped in agony with his back to Gane, who finished him out with head punches on the ground.

“I’m delighted, but I’m feeling a little awful for my man in front of his supporters,” Gane said from the cage, as Lewis’ Houston fans booed. “I can take the boos, but I’m with you, I’m with you. “I have a lot of affection for Lewis, and I have a lot of love for his family.”

Gane is very certainly Ngannou’s next opponent, despite the fact that he only won the UFC heavyweight title four months ago by defeating Stipe Miocic. The UFC’s decision to award an interim belt was received with mockery in the MMA community, but Gane’s victory sets up a title battle that would have happened otherwise.

Gane and Ngannou are former teammates, which adds an added layer of intrigue to their encounter.

“I knew him from Paris,” Gane explained. “The combat is about to start, so let’s get started. Let’s just get started.”

Lewis (25-8) had won four straight bouts in the previous two years, reviving his chances of capturing his first UFC title. However, he was defeated by Daniel Cormier in his sole prior championship defense three years earlier, and he seemed to be outmatched versus Gane.

Gane earned a championship chance in his eighth UFC fight, culminating his remarkable climb from a successful muay Thai career to the top of MMA. Gane agreed to this battle despite the fact that his wife was scheduled to give birth in less than two weeks.

Lewis couldn’t gain a grip on Gane in the first two rounds, hitting only two big strikes. Gane was considerably more athletic and elusive than the 36-year-old Lewis, whose career has always been predicated on hitting big shots to compensate for his lack of athleticism.

Gane dominated Lewis in the opening two rounds and wounded him with an uppercut and a knee early in the third. Lewis was dazed, and he didn’t recover much during a brief stoppage to change his mouthpiece before Gane ended him.

On the undercard, former featherweight champion José Aldo won a unanimous decision against fellow Brazilian Pedro Munhoz for his first back-to-back victories in 2 1/2 years. In the first round, welterweight Vicente Luque won a back-and-forth grappling fight with Michael Chiesa, landing a D’Arce choke minutes after nearly being submitted himself.

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