UFC 265 Predictions
UFC 265 is headed back to Houston this Saturday for a big night of fights.
In the headliner, hometown knockout artist Derrick Lewis takes on a surging French prospect Cyril Gane for the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship, with the winner getting a shot at Francis Ngannou to unify the title.
Gane is unbeaten in nine professional fights with a heavy Muay Thai base and a powerful grappling game that has proved to be an issue for top heavyweight contenders such as Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov. Meanwhile, Derrick Lewis holds 20 KO victories in his 25 professional bouts and is on a four-fight winning streak.
In the co-main event, The King of Rio and long-time featherweight champion Jose Aldo will battle long-time bantamweight contender Pedro Munhoz. We also have much more with a fire welterweight bout between Vicente Luque and Michael Chiesa.
Check out the predictions below for the main card and if you want to throw some dollars on these picks, it might not be a bad idea.
Derrick Lewis vs Cyril Gane
It all comes down to what you favor stylistically in this matchup. Gane is the better all-around fighter and I say that with extreme confidence. Gane has extensive pro Muay Thai experience and knows how to WIN fights. It is rare that you will see Gane go out of his way to take unnecessary risks to land a knockout blow – instead, he is very patient, utilizing beautiful feints and footwork to outpoint, frustrate, and then at that point, create openings for a KO but he is content with WINNING the fight and is comfortable taking a decision.
However, with Lewis, you have a guy that needs to land one shot to turn the lights out on any human being on the planet. Gane just walked through Alexander Volkov, who for fourteen minutes beat Lewis until he got caught with a bomb.
There’s no reason why Gane shouldn’t evade, counter strike and outpoint Lewis over the course of five rounds and I do think this is the likely outcome. If you aren’t a fan of technical striking, you will think this is boring. Gane cruises here to 50-45 decision and lines himself up for a title shot against his ex-training partner, Francis Ngannou.
UFC 265 Prediction: Cyril Gane by Decision
Jose Aldo vs Pedro Munhoz
I personally am beyond exhausted with the idea that Jose Aldo is “washed”. Yes, he’s 1-3 in his last four, but two of those were to Petr Yan and Alexander Volkanovski, who are current world champions. He also dropped a split decision to Marlon Moraes but I, along with many others, believe he won that. What we have in Munhoz is a very tough, gritty fighter who has experienced his ups and downs in the UFC, but if you allow this fight to be a brawl, Munhoz thrives.
I don’t see Aldo engaging in a brawl in this and I think we see a technical master class from Aldo en route to a close decision victory.
UFC 265 Prediction: Jose Aldo by Decision
Michael Chiesa vs Vicente Luque
I am so torn on this because I can see Chiesa trying to make this a grappling match where he is at his best. Chiesa is a big, strong grappler who can keep a great pace, especially after coming up from lightweight. The issue I’m having is Chiesa has been submitted in three of his four UFC losses and Luque is also a grappling wizard himself.
I see Chiesa having early success in the grappling exchanges before Luque does what Luque does and baits Chiesa into a striking exchange, where he ultimately closes the show late in the fight.
UFC 265 Prediction: Vicente Luque by TKO – Round 2
Tecia Torres vs Angela Hill
This is a rematch from years back where Torres took the decision nod. I definitely think this goes the distance again but I expect a different outcome. Hill is 1-2 in her past three, but two of her losses to Claudia Gadelha and Michelle Waterson were split decision losses where I really believe she won BOTH of those fights.
Hill is a very effective striker and I expect her to come out hot in this to try and finish the fight or ensure she doesn’t drop another decision. I think Hill will do enough with volume and efficiency to steal a decision victory here.
UFC 265 Prediction: Hill by Decision
Casey Kenney vs Song Yadong
I’ve been seeing this narrative online that Yadong’s title hopes and hype are diminished after dropping a decision to Kyler Phillips. I really don’t understand that because he is 5-1-1 in the UFC, 16-5-1 professionally and he is only 23 years old. However, I do see Kenney stealing this – he just recently dropped a split decision to Dominick Cruz, but I think that Kenney’s forward pressure and well-rounded game will be a little much for Yadong in this. But for future reference, do not write off Song Yadong – he is very talented and is still 5-6 years away from his prime.
UFC 265 Prediction: Casey Kenney by Decision