Our UFC Best Bets have prepared everything you need before placing your bets on Saturday night’s UFC 265.
In what is somewhat of an underwhelming and confusing card put forward from the UFC, we see Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane headline the event with the Interim Heavyweight Title on the line. This is an interesting move given that Francis Ngannou won the belt in March, just five months ago, and had agreed to fight in September.
Adding to this is the fact that Amanda Nunes, who was set to defend her Bantamweight Title against Julianna Pena, tested positive for COVID-19 and with no possibility to replace her on such short notice, the co-main event was removed.
Alas, there are fights on the card and predictions to be made! Find out UFC Best Bets for the big event in Houston this Saturday, UFC 265.
Michael Chiesa vs Vicente Luque
#5 Welterweight Michael Chiesa brings a four-fight winning streak into this one but we like #6 Vicente Luque to come out on top here. Luque has won nine of his last 10 fights, only losing to Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson over that time.
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) August 2, 2021
With seven of those nine wins coming by TKO/KO, Luque may just be too much for Chiesa to handle. Chiesa is a stereotypical grappler and won’t be able to win a stand-up fight with Luque, which is exactly what the latter, and our pick to win, will do. Even if it turns into a grapple, Luque just defeated former Champ, Tyron Woodley, by submission in his last fight, proving he is capable.
Luque has recorded a finish in 12 of his 13 wins in the UFC, with seven of those earning a post-fight bonus, showing his style and flare is extravagant and will be too much for Chiesa to handle.
UFC Prediction: Vicente Luque (-115)
Jose Aldo vs Pedro Munhoz
This is a very intriguing fight but we like the frequency and experience of #5 Jose Aldo to earn him the victory over #9 Pedro Munhoz. Both fighters haven’t been in form of late, but Aldo’s losses have been against tougher opponents and he is more prepared for this bout.
While Munhoz has lost to current Bantamweight Champion, Aljamain Sterling, recently, Aldo has competed against #1 Bantamweight Petr Yan and Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski over his last four fights and lasted until the fifth round against the former and went the distance with the latter.
Jose Aldo is one of the greatest to ever do it! It’s that simple.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) August 5, 2021
Looking at the method of victory history for both fighters, 17 of Aldo’s 29 wins have been by TKO/KO while Munhoz seems to be more evenly weighted, with his 19 victories seeing eight come by submission, six by decision and five by TKO/KO.
However, Aldo is more accurate with both his striking and grappling whilst also having better defense for both categories. Aldo also targets the head more than Munhoz and we think that is his way to victory in this one.
UFC Pick: Jose Aldo (-112)
Derrick Lewis vs Ciryl Gane (Interim Heavyweight Title)
The #2 Derrick Lewis and #3 Ciryl Gane face off for the Interim Heavyweight Title and the lower ranked Gane is the massive favourite (-355) and deservedly so. He is undefeated from eight MMA fights, with six of those being in the UFC, and can win in multiple ways.
The same can’t be said about his opponent, with Lewis being almost exclusively a TKO/KO fighter, especially given this is a five round bout. Understandably so, as the fan-favourite is a heavy hitter who has never lasted more than 19 minutes in a fight. Based on this, he will be looking to end the fight early and not test his non-existent stamina.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 5, 2021
However, Gane knows this and will try to work Lewis into the ground, tiring ‘The Black Beast’ until he has an opportunity to strike or grapple effectively. While he lacks the experience of his opponent, Gane has experience winning in all three ways, three by TKO/KO, three by submission and two by decision.
Given there is such a difference between the two fighters, the one comparison that can be made is that they have both fought, and beaten Alexander Volkov. Lewis struggled through that fight and was lucky to escape with a last second KO, whereas Gane looked near flawless in his five-round unanimous decision victory.
Derrick Lewis by KO/TKO at +390 is extremely appealing, but we think that Ciryl Gane is going to keep his unbeaten streak intact, win the interim title and set up a fight with Ngannou later down the line.
UFC Prediction: Ciryl Gane (-355)
Method of Victory: Cyril Gane by TKO/KO or Submission (+105)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Fanduel.
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