A rising Heavyweight star with fantastic technique meets a man who throws every punch with the intent to shut his opponent’s lights out in the UFC 265 headliner where Cyril Gane and Derrick Lewis will fight for an Interim Heavyweight title.
In the co-main Jose Aldo looks to continue his resurgence against Pedro Munhoz. Michael Chiesa and Vicente Luque also face off on the main card in an intriguing battle and Angela Hill looks to put a run together against Tecia Torres. So let’s take a look at my three best bets below.
Heavyweight clashes like this are my worst nightmare as you can often chuck all data and reason out the window. It is the horse racing punters equivalent of a 2000 metre midweek maiden. Derrick Lewis is a delight to watch as he is never out of a fight due to his one punch knockout power. He has not got much in the way of technique but he rarely has needed it as he is able to shrug people off on the mat who aren’t Daniel Cormier with brute strength and is a scary force on the feet. He has the ability to come up with knockouts out of nowhere, like he did against Alexander Volkov.
That being said, I am such a fan of Cyril Gane as he has continued to look better each time he steps into the Octagon and I have backed him in each of his UFC bouts with great success so it’s hard to jump ship. However, in saying that he hasn’t fought someone like Derrick Lewis who will explode out of nowhere and Lewis’ striking has really improved in the last couple of years to a point where he picks his shots rather than just brawl.
Looking at the markets there is absolutely no value in Gane. He is around $1.25 on most bookies and honestly, I have him around the $1.50-$1.60 mark so that bet is a no go. This will be a slow burner type of fight as Gane will be tentative early. Therefore, I recommend a small and I mean small wager on Lewis to get it done in the latter rounds. Lewis carries his power throughout the fights and I see Gane taking more risks as the fight goes on as he grows in confidence. The $10 on offer for a Lewis round 4,5 or decision win is value so if I had to have a bet that is the way I would go.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz is winless since 2018 and that is genuinely upsetting as she is one of the most likeable people in the organisation. This will be her first fight in almost a year and a half since suffering a horrific eye injury.
While a lot of people are writing her off, she has only lost to genuinely top talent. Yan Xioanan beat her thanks to wrestling success but she also went onto beat Claudia Gadelha after that fight which shows the level she is at. I expect Kowalkiewicz has worked on her wrestling and clinch work in her time off and if she can tidy up that part of her game, she will pick Penne apart on the back of her stiff jab. Penne is the atypical grappler but she is quite one dimensional and I see her having all sorts of problems closing the distance here. Back the Polish woman to bounce back to the winners list.
This bout was originally scheduled for April and is one that should see Munoz secure a big win. Jamey Simmons entered the UFC on short notice against Giga Chikadze. He was swiftly put away but I take my hat off to him for even taking that fight. However, I see the fight against Munoz being another tough night in the office for the American. Munoz came into the UFC a perfect 10-0 but dropped his debut by decision.
Munoz dominated the first round but ultimately ran out of gas. He has had a year to recover and refocus since then and I personally see him putting away Simmons early on the mat, rendering any cardio question marks mute. Regardless I see that defeat more as a blip on the record and nothing more as he has shown he can go five rounds back in King of the Cage. Back Munoz to get the win and get the win by submission for some value.
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