Heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane have the chance on Saturday night to become next in line to face current champion Francis Ngannou. The heavyweights will fight for an interim belt in the main event of UFC 265, which is set to take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, USA.
The fight headlines a 13-bout pay-per-view card in total. Follow along throughout the evening for live updates on the show.
Early Prelims (6:00PM EDT / 5:00PM CDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EDT / 7:00PM CDT) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 9:00PM CDT) (PPV)
Bout 13: Derrick Lewis (25-7) vs. Ciryl Gane (9-0) (Vacant Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship)
Gane Ends Near Flawless Performance Against Lewis In Third Round, Claims Interim Belt
Undefeated heavyweight Ciryl Gane secured his spot as the next contender for a title fight on Saturday, defeating Derrick Lewis in the main event to become the interim UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Gane started his fight in a composed manner but was able to close it out in the third round. After initally hurting Lewis with punches, Gane was able to do damage with a wide range of strikes to knock him down and call an end to the bout.
Gane had a slow, but successful start to the fight. He was able to back Lewis up for most of the first round, landing singular punches or kicks infrequently. Lewis would charge forward at moments, although Gane was able to evade the flurries from him.
Gane’s slow, yet effective pace carried into the second round. He put Lewis into a clinch twice in the fight, using the positions to let off some knees to the legs and elbows to the head.
Lewis found himself in trouble in the third round as punches seemingly hurt him. He got back to the fencing and shelled up. This allowed Gane to tee off with strikes, landing with hard punches, knees and kicks.
Lewis folded to the strikes eventually, going to the ground and forcing the referee to end the bout.
The win puts Gane as the next contender to face current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou.
Gane’s quick rise to a title shot has come through only 10 pro fights, with seven in the UFC.
Lewis was in the interim title fight after putting together four wins from 2019 to 2021. Most notably, he earned a knockout win against Curtis Blaydes earlier this year.
Bout 12: Jose Aldo (29-7) vs. Pedro Munhoz (19-5) (Bantamweight)
Aldo Puts On Striking Showcase Against Munhoz
Jose Aldo’s experience and skill were showcased in Saturday’s co-main event, as he fought to a unanimous decision win over Pedro Munhoz (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Aldo was able to string together slick combinations during the fight that quickly put him ahead.
Aldo had diverse punches when unloading with combos, connecting with clean hooks to the head and body of Munhoz. The fighters would often trade quick jabs at moments as well.
Munhoz was able to score with leg kicks in all three rounds, although damage seemingly never caused too much trouble for Aldo.
Aldo was able to land with some of his own leg kicks late in the fight, dropping Munhoz with one of them in the final round.
Aldo, a former UFC Featherweight Champion, snapped a three-fight losing streak late last year with a win over Marlon Vera.
Munhoz was coming off a win he took against Jimmie Rivera in February.
Bout 11: Vicente Luque (20-7-1) vs. Michael Chiesa (17-4) (Welterweight)
Luque Escapes Choke, Applies His Own To Continue Win Streak
Evading a submission attempt and locking in one of his own, Vicente Luque was able to take out Michael Chiesa within a round.
The fight went to the ground in the opening round after Chiesa scored a takedown. Chiesa attempted a guillotine choke that Luque was able to escape eventually.
Luque was able to attempt a darce choke after escaping the choke attempt by Chiesa.
Luque has now won four straight. His previous fight was a similar result to Saturday night, as he submitted former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley within a round with a darce choke.
Luque called out current welterweight champ Kamaru Usman afterward.
Usman was quick to respond online, telling Luque he “looked great” and that they “might be dancing soon.”
The loss snapped a four-fight win streak that Chiesa has been building since 2018. The success included a January victory over Neil Magny, which was Chiesa’s first five-round win.
Bout 10: Tecia Torres (12-5) vs. Angela Hill (13-9) (Strawweight)
Torres Takes Decision Over Hill, Closes Out Rivalry
Tecia Torres got the best of a three-round stand-up battle against Angela Hill, getting the nod on all three scorecards for the win (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).
Hill was advancing on Torres, although Torres would explode forward frequently with quick combinations of strikes that would land. Her success in these exchanges, along with brief moments on the ground, earned her the win.
The fight was a rematch between the strawweights that included a meeting in 2015. Torres won in that battle as well, defeating Hill on scorecards at UFC 188.
Torres is now on a strong three-fight win streak that includes previous wins over Sam Hughes and Brianna Van Buren.
Hill entered the fight after a dominant win over Ashley Yoder earlier this year.
Bout 9: Song Yadong (16-5-1) vs. Casey Kenney (16-3-1) (Bantamweight)
Song Returns To Win Column With Split Decision
Song Yadong prevailed in a kickboxing battle to kick off the main card, defeating Casey Kenney via split decision (29-28 Kenney, 29-28 Song & 30-27 Song).
Kenney consistently advanced on Song during the fight, although Song was able to frequently out-land him in all three rounds. Song’s success was
Song bounced back from his sole UFC loss, which came earlier this year against Kyler Phillips. Before then, Song had won five of his previous six UFC bouts.
Kenney was returning after taking a split decision loss to Dominick Cruz in March.
Bout 8: Rafael Fiziev (9-1) vs. Bobby Green (27-11-1) (Lightweight)
Fiziev Defeats Veteran Green In Hard Stand-Up Battle
Rafael Fiziev continued his climb up the lightweight division with a unanimous decision win against veteran Bobby Green on Saturday (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28). The win for Fiziev didn’t come easy, as he endured a brutal 15 minute battle against the tough Green before he earned the scorecard nod.
Fiziev and Green went back-and-forth with strikes through all three rounds, fighting at a quick pace throughout. Fiziev would come forward with a high volume of shots, although Green’s slick defense allowed him to stop a lot of the blows.
The strikes landed were somewhat even in the first two rounds, with Green pulling ahead in the final frame as cardio became an issue for Fiziev.
Fiziev is now on a four-fight win streak in the UFC. He earned two wins last year, including a first-round finish win against Renato Moicano.
Green was making his first appearance this year, following up on a hectic 2020 that resulted in three wins and one loss.
Bout 7: Drako Rodriguez (7-2) vs. Vince Morales (9-5) (Bantamweight)
Morales Breaks Skid With Decision Win
Vince Morales broke a two-fight losing streak on Saturday, scoring a unanimous decision against Drako Rodriguez (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
The striking of Morales earned him a strong start to the fight. Rodriguez had a better second round, scoring two takedowns on Morales in the frame.
The final round was a slow pace as both fighters traded strikes on the feet.
The win was Morales’ first since 2019
Rodriguez has now lost both of his appearances in the UFC. His debut was spoiled earlier this year by Aiemann Zahabi, who was able to stop him within a round with punches.
Bout 6: Ed Herman (25-14) vs. Alonzo Menifield (10-2) (Light Heavyweight)
Menifield Notches Victory Over Veteran Herman
Alonzo Menifield showcased his striking skills on Saturday, taking all three scorecards against veteran Ed Herman on the prelims (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Menifield led the striking exchanges through all three rounds, going to the head with punches and fighting lower with leg kicks.
Damage to the left leg of Herman became a big issue in the second half of the fight. Herman, who was visibly limping, was checked on by a doctor before the third round started.
Menifield was able to out-land in the third round as leg injuries limited the movement of Herman.
Menifield broke a two-fight skid in his previous bout, stopping short-notice opponent Fabio Cherant with a von flue choke in March.
Herman had entered Saturday on a three-fight win streak that he developed from in 2019 and 2020.
Bout 5: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-6) vs. Jessica Penne (13-5) (Strawweight)
Penne Scores First Stoppage UFC Win, Continues Losing Streak For Kowalkiewicz
Jessica Penne secured her first stoppage win in the UFC on Saturday, submitting Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the first round with an armbar.
Penne wanted to get the fight down early on and was able to do so in the first few minutes of the bout. She was proficient with her grappling on the ground, eventually focusing on an armbar attempt that Kowalkiewicz had to fight off extensively before the finish.
Penne had fully extended an arm of Kowalkiewicz before the tap came.
The fight was Penne’s first win since her return earlier this year. Penne was sidelined from early 2017 all the way through to 2021 in the UFC due to injuries and a battle with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
“I’m so happy to be here. I thought [before that] I’d never be here again,” said Penne, emotional during her in her post-fight interview.
Penne’s return earlier this year came against Loopy Godinez, which resulted in a split decision win. The bout snapped a three-fight losing streak.
Kowalkiewicz, a former title challenger, is now on a long five-fight streak of losses that dates back to 2018.
Bout 4: Manel Kape (15-6) vs. Ode Osbourne (9-3) (Flyweight)
Former RIZIN Champ Kape Gets First UFC Victory With Flying Knee
Former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape scored his first UFC win on Saturday night, finishing Ode Osbourne late in the opening round with a flying knee.
The knee dropped Osbourne in the final minute of the round, causing the referee to step in immediately.
Kape and Osbourne were in a back-and-forth battle before the finish.
Kape missed weight for the fight on Friday, coming in three pounds over the flyweight non-championship limit. He called for a “Performance of the Night” bonus after the fight, although the conditions of missing weight stop him from earning that monetary reward.
The win put Kape into the win column for the first time since he joined the UFC roster last year. His two prior appearances in the promotion resulted in a unanimous decision loss to Alexandre Pantoja and a close split decision loss to Matheus Nicolau.
Osbourne was returning to the cage after earning a 26-second stoppage victory over Jerome Rivera in February.
Bout 3: Miles Johns (11-1) vs. Anderson dos Santos (21-8) (Bantamweight)
Johns Ends Dominant Performance With Walk-Off Finish
Miles Johns capped off a dominant striking performance with a third-round walk-off win against Anderson dos Santos on Saturday.
Johns knocked dos Santos down in the third round with a combination of a hook to the body and head.
The finish win for Johns came after a stellar showcase of his striking skills in prior rounds.
Leg kicks from Johns did significant damage to dos Santos throughout the first round. In-between rounds, dos Santos told his corner that he couldn’t step on one of his legs.
The damage on dos Santos became increasingly clear as the fight continued on, as he was dropped by kicks and struggled to move during stand-up exchanges. Johns continued to land with accuracy in the second round.
Johns had a third-round win in his previous appearance as well, defeating Kevin Natividad in October.
Dos Santos was returning after earning his first UFC win last year against Martin Day.
Bout 2: Victoria Leonardo (8-3) vs. Melissa Gatto (6-0-2) (Flyweight)
Arm Injury Takes Leonardo Out, Earns Gatto First UFC Win
Melissa Gatto won her long-awaited UFC debut on Saturday, defeating Victoria Leonardo via doctor stoppage after two rounds of action.
Leonardo mentioned in-between the second and third rounds that her right arm was “not working.” A doctor checked out the arm during this time, determining that her arm was injured and she couldn’t continue.
Gatto had put together a strong performance leading up to the sudden finish.
Gatto earned a trip takedown early in the first round, although Leonardo was able to take the dominant position on the ground. While on her back, Gatto was able to attempt numerous submissions.
The second round was mostly on the feet, where Gatto pressed forward with strikes and made Leonardo constantly backtrack.
Gatto was making her UFC debut after numerous years on the sideline. The 25-year-old joined the roster in 2019, although a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspension and injuries kept her out of the octagon for years.
“I can’t even describe it … I’m happy to be here,” said Gatto in her post-fight interview.
Leonardo was coming back after losing her debut earlier this year against Manon Fiorot.
Bout 1: Johnny Munoz (10-1) vs. Jamey Simmons (7-3) (Bantamweight)
Munoz Secures Rear Naked Choke, Secures First UFC Win
Johnny Munoz used his grappling skills to submit Jamey Simmons and earn his first UFC win in the opening bout of Saturday’s card.
Munoz took the back of Simmons during the second round, using that position to secure a rear naked choke and force a tap. He was able to take the back of Simmons moments after scoring a takedown earlier in the round.
Munoz was also able to earn a takedown late in the first round, getting Simmons down after what was a close striking battle on the feet.
Both fighters were coming back after losing their respective UFC debuts.
Munoz made his promotional debut over a year ago, losing a unanimous decision to Nate Maness. The fight was his first pro loss.
Simmons was finished in his previous appearance as well, getting stopped by Giga Chikadze in November.