Ciryl Gane looked well worth his interim heavyweight title status tonight after completely controlling his UFC 265 headlining fight against Derrick Lewis, before flooring him with punches for the TKO victory.
The main event interim heavyweight title fight is underway in Houston.
Early kick to the knee from Gane. Lewis tries for a head kick, but slips on it. Foot jab from Gane. Body kick from Lewis.
Side kick to the knee from Gane. Quick jab from him. Back to that side kick to the leg. Now a thigh kick and another behind it. Now a third lands.
Front kick to hte body from Gane. Lewis presses forward aggressively, but Gane backs out and then runs off to reset.
Thigh kick from Gane. He lands another. Lewis trying to come forward and there’s another leg kick waiting for him. He’s struggling to get into range right now.
side kick for Gane and a body punch from Lewis. Lewis with a kick that lands to the groin and forces a stoppage.
Front kick to the body from Gane. Gane backs away from punches and then lands a counter of his own. Now a head kick attempt and one to the leg from Gane.
Gane misses a spinning kick and Lewis tries to hurl a haymaker that Gane runs away from.
Heavy body kick from Gane. Now a kick from Lewis that comes off the arm. Big punch from Gane. Now a kick. Jab for Gane leaves Lewis wincing hard and looking for an eyepoke break, but the ref rightly denies that as it was a clean strike, though replays show Gane was the one who was actually poked there.
Olbique kicks from Gane. Fast jab from Gane lands clean. Head kick attempt from Lewis is blocked. Gane looks for a punch, but Lewis lands a nice leg kick.
Thigh kick from Gane. Gane so fast with his feet to measure his distance. Gane complains of an eyepoke, but ref saw nothing.
Lewis able to close the distance, but nothing lands before they separate. Head kick attempt from Lewis.
Body kick for Gane. Lewis barrels forward and Gane nicely times a knee to the midsection. Inside leg kick from Gane.
Gane with a flying knee, but then Lewis clinches up against the cage. Gane reverses the clinch position easily though and then lands a few knees to the thigh. Now one to the body. Back to the leg. He pushes Lewis away while trying to trip him.
Leg kick for Gane. Gane misses a jab and Lewis attempts a counter punch that doesn’t connect either.
Gane punches into the clinch against the cage and starts landing to the leg again with his knee. One to the body too. Now he separates and lands a good hook. He threatens again with that power hook.
Lewis misses a switch kick upstairs and continues to press forward, but Gane’s too quick and slick with his movement.
Front kick to the body from Lewis. Leg kick for Gane. Chopping leg kick for him and then another. Now an overhand right.
Gane bursts into a nice jab. Now a calf kick. Perfect distance management from Gane so far in this fight. He lands the calf kick again.
Gane backs off and then lands another hard low kick. Head kick attempt from Lewis is blocked. Push kick for Gane.
Gane fakes a kick and then rushes in with an elbow, but misses and that gives Lewis an opportunity to clinch up.
Gane able to break away from that. Winging punches from Lewis miss. Another heavy low kick and Lewis buckled and grimaced from that.
Lewis in trouble here as Gane starts to unload with big power punches, landing a hard jab and uppercut. This fight could be stopped at any moment, but he survives for now and tries to swing back.
Gane resets and then wades back in, hurting Lewis with another hard punch. Lewis clearly hurt and sinks to the mat under fire. Gane unleashes a barrage of hammerfists and Lewis remains turtled up until the ref rushes in and ends the fight, handing Gane the TKO victory at 4.11mins of the third round.
Another slick display from Gane then to become the interim heavyweight champion, but more than that he also demonstrated big power to crush Lewis’ leg and then floor him with punches.
So, Gane now looks like a major threat to Ngannou’s title reign, while Jon Jones must also be paying close attention too after watching that performance.