French mixed martial artist Ciryl Gane continued his run up the heavyweight ranks on Saturday, finishing Derrick Lewis via TKO late in the third round of their main event clash at UFC 265 to win the interim UFC heavyweight championship.
Gane (10-0) became the first French-born fighter to win a title in the UFC.
Gane dominates Lewis in one-sided fight
The 31-year-old Gane dominated Lewis in much the same way he has won fights throughout his short MMA career. While Gane is big enough to fight as a heavyweight, he possesses the movement, skill set, and athleticism of a smaller, elite fighter – a dangerous combination for any opponent. He out-landed Lewis 98-16 in significant strikes.
“He’s a big, powerful, badass heavyweight who moves like a middleweight,” UFC president Dana White said after the show. “He completely shut [Lewis] down, put on a clinic, looked good doing it. Made it look easy against a guy who can turn the lights off with one punch.”
Gane will likely next take on UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in an effort to unify the titles. Ngannou took to Twitter to say he’s ready for the challenge.
Impressive performance from Gane !
He's now a legit contender.
See you soon boy. When you know you know. #ufc265
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 8, 2021
“He’s now a legit contender,” Ngannou wrote. “See you soon boy. When you know you know.”
UFC announces Fight Island return
The UFC announced Tuesday that it will return to its Fight Island facility in Abu Dhabi for UFC 267 on Oct. 30.
Officials haven’t announced a main event for the UFC 267 card, but ESPN cited sources who claim that the promotion is considering a light heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, or a bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling.
Souza announces MMA retirement
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza announced his retirement on Tuesday, telling Combate that he is done in the sport of MMA.
The 41-year-old Souza (26-10) won the Strikeforce middleweight championship in 2010. He spent eight years in the UFC, going 9-7 and remaining among the contenders in the division for most of that period. He scored wins over fighters including Vitor Belfort, Derek Brunson, Robbie Lawler, and Chris Weidman.
Silva, Ortiz agree to boxing match
Former UFC champions Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz will face each other in the boxing ring on Sept. 11 as part of a Triller Fight Club card.
The two will fight at 195 pounds. Silva held the UFC middleweight title, while Ortiz is a former light heavyweight champion.
Of the two, Silva has more professional boxing experience. He holds a pro record of 2-1 after beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by split decision in June. The fight will take place during the undercard of the Sept. 11 show. Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya will face former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in the main event.