UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane Predictions

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UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane Predictions & Results

Pintsized Background

UFC 265 is a strange PPV. That isn’t to say it is particularly poor, but the main event leaves a bit of head-scratching. After Nunes dropped out with COVID, a manufactured Heavyweight interim title fight now serves as the headliner. Gane and Lewis are near the upper echelons of 265, yet the issue remains over the champion. Francis N’Gannou hasn’t sat out for a long time, but his attempts to bargain better contracts with the belt has irked Dana. There is nothing wrong with holding out for the Jon Jones fight, especially when it represents the biggest payday of his career. Nevertheless, UFC 265 has a few bangers mixed in with the usual lower-order tripe. Keep an eye on Luque vs Chiesa for surprise FOTN material.

No Nunes, no party! | UFC 265
No Nunes, no party! | UFC 265

UFC 265: Main Event

Derrick Lewis (25-7) vs Ciryl Gane (9-0)

Heavyweight (265)

UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship

Derrick lewis

Big Derrick Lewis, somehow, someway, remains a firm fan favourite. The Black Beast has a wild highlight reel, of course. Several comeback knockouts in which Lewis lands his nuclear overhand after absorbing huge amounts of damage for 3+ rounds. Yet fans are quick to forget the Lewis fights against Francis N’Gannou, Ilir Latifi and Blagoy Ivanov. A style based around durability, exceptional recovery and timing a one-shot knockout does have its limitations. Time and time again, however, opponents fall to Lewis’ power. In large part due to most Heavyweights latching onto any moment of success, Lewis often catches opponents running in to finish him.

Meme-like grappling aside, Lewis’ raw strength is never more apparent than off his back. Seemingly springing into action whenever he chooses, Lewis has shrugged off Marcin Tybura, Alexander Volkov and Roy Nelson on his way back to his feet. While it isn’t too difficult to get the Black Beast to the mat, the struggle is keeping him there. The elite wrestlers have succeeded, such as DC, yet is Gane closing in on that level yet? More likely is that Lewis’ vulnerable mid-rift will be targetted. Over the hill versions of JDS and Travis Browne used liver shots and front kicks to soften Lewis. Although the thirty-six-year-old eats a shot to the chin like a champ, he visibly bends after taking damage to his body.

Even with the clear limitations of Lewis’ game, his mental fortitude remains elite. Happy enough to drop every round in search of the knockout, Lewis is also willing to wade through damage to land ‘that shot’. It ain’t pretty but it’s honest work. Whether Lewis can handle Gane’s power is another question. The Frenchman may not have many stoppages on his record, but he can very easily emulate Mark Hunt’s approach to fighting Lewis. Striking at range, constantly feinting, peppering Lewis with leg and body kicks, and refusing to extend combinations in the pocket – Lewis’ overhand can be drawn out and gassed.

Ciryl Gane

Following every consecutive victory in the UFC, Ciryl Gane overcomes another small hurdle. JDS represented the first veteran challenge. Rozenstruik, the powerful counter-puncher. Volkov, the freakish length and superb clinch work. Without failure, Gane has risen to every occasion with nothing less than a dominant performance. Perhaps the only criticism that could be shot is Gane’s tendency to reach the final bell. Regularly wobbling opponents, Gane often smothers his work in the search for the finish and loses the clean technique that stunned the opponent in the first place.

Gane owns the tools to emulate the Hunt victory over Lewis, even without the lights-out power. The Frenchman will struggle to earn Lewis’ respect if he head-hunts. Instead, Gane’s penchant for bodywork can exploit the chink in Lewis’ otherwise infallible armour. Coupled with leg kicks variety of hand, shoulder and hip feints, Lewis can be stalled into confusion against the cage as he is unable to time his overhand. Gane’s tendency to fall into one-pace, however, allows Lewis to find success in Gane’s consistent volume. Will Lewis have had the fight beaten out of him by the time the KO shot arises?

The greatest red flag remains over Gane’s tendency to gas by the championship rounds. Slowing footwork, rhythmic striking patterns and an increased willingness to trade on the inside all allow Lewis opportunities to claw his way back into the fight. Gane’s habit of hanging around in the pocket, watching his work while waiting for an opportunity to counter, leads him to eat unnecessary damage. Taking shots against Volkov is fine for Gane’s chin, against Lewis it could be suicidal. Finally, of course, Gane’s wrestling chops cannot be ignored. The Frenchman has the quality to get Lewis to the mat, but the Black Beast is too much of a nuisance to hold down. Moreover, Gane’s weirdly telegraphed head dip is primed to simulate Blaydes’ death by an uppercut.

Predicted Result: Gane Submission Round 4

While the script is available for all to see, Lewis secures his highlight reel comeback stoppages time and time again. A style based around durability, exceptional recovery and timing a one-shot knockout could only work for so long at Heavyweight. Of course, Lewis’ meme-like power off his back to keep fights standing enables the Black Beast more opportunities to land ‘that shot’. Even with the clear limitations of Lewis’ game, his mental fortitude remains elite. Willing to drop every round while waiting patiently for his overhand, Lewis also filters in a sprinkling of crazy explosive jumping strikes.

Gane, without failure, has risen to every incremental career hurdle with nothing less than a dominant performance. The Frenchman possesses the tools to emulate Mark Hunt’s victory over Lewis, even without the lights-out power. A penchant for bodywork, regular leg kicks, and a variety of hand and shoulder feints all serve to draw out Lewis’ overhand. If Gane keeps this at range, there is almost no chance for Lewis to land his power. Unfortunately, Gane tends to smother his work against wobbled opponents, a prime time for Lewis to land big. Worse yet, Gane tends to gas by the championship rounds and watch his work in the pocket. Taking shots against Volkov is fine for Gane’s chin, against Lewis it could be suicidal. With the wrestling chops to offer brief respite in exchanges or to transition from awkward positions, Gane likely has the tools to ride choppy waters.

Result: Gane def. Lewis // TKO (punches) Round 3 4:11

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Stupid, sexy Ciryl Gane re-arranging faces for fun. | UFC 265
Stupid, sexy Ciryl Gane re-arranging faces for fun. | UFC 265

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UFC 265: Co-Main Event

Jose Aldo (29-7) vs Pedro Munhoz (19-5)

Bantamweight (135)

Jose Aldo

A certain Hall of Famer, and an unquestionable GOAT candidate, Jose Aldo continues to duke it out with the elite in his career twilight. Continuing after a decent win over Marlon Vera, Aldo showcased his experience and class. Snapping a three-fight slide, Aldo out-wrestled Vera and kept himself away from Vera’s hurtful strikes in the clinch. Even Aldo’s back to back losses were not damning. Volkanovski out-game-planned the Brazilian, Moraes eeked out a very dubious decision victory, and Yan was dragged into a 50/50 battle for the first 2-3 rounds of their championship war.

Munhoz isn’t a fighter that twilight Aldo can walk down, however. Early aggression can certainly secure rounds, yet there will not be first-round finishes in the same vein as Renato Moicano or Jeremy Stephens. Key to the match-up is Aldo’s willingness to call upon his leg kicks. Pulling them out of his locker against Yan after a long absence, Aldo proved the power was still there. While Munhoz’s leg kicks remain a constant issue throughout fights, they lack the one-shot leg killing power that Aldo possesses. Still, there is a clear fall-off in Aldo’s output after the first couple of rounds. Yan and Holloway pushed freakish paces against Aldo, causing the Brazilian to wilt by the championship rounds. Gassing will only be more evident if Aldo attempts to take Munhoz down. Vera is a durable fighter, but Aldo’s famous power at Featherweight has so far been missing at Bantamweight. With a greater focus on wrestling, Aldo is calling upon his questionable gas tank to carry him through rounds.

Pedro Munhoz

After riding his early UFC career on the back of a wonderful guillotine choke, Munhoz has carved out a decent boxing base. Frequent jabs, a thunderous calf kick and an unbreakable chin combine to create a Terminator-like style. Walking opponents down and throwing regular naked low kicks, Munhoz backs himself to break opponents. There will be ample opportunity for Aldo to counter Munhoz’s low kicks, yet Munhoz’s chin may prove the former champ’s kryptonite. If Munhoz backs his chin, he can drag Aldo into extended exchanges that the Brazilian will struggle to keep up with by the later rounds. Aldo’s technical supremacy means little if he fails to capitalise on early attempts to crack Munhoz’s chin. 

Max Holloway found great success with his jab against Aldo, tiring the champion by drawing out his powerful counters with subtle feints. Up until now, Munhoz hasn’t shown the ability to build combinations off the jab, however. Defensively, Munhoz may also come undone on the scorecards. Restricted behind his high guard, Munhoz absorbs hard initial strikes, yet combination works break the guard. Aldo’s liver shots and bodywork may not break Munhoz’s armour, but it will certainly win over judges. Despite this, it only takes one well-timed leg kick from Munhoz to change the fight dynamic against an ageing opponent. With the ability to keep this fight standing, Munhoz remains a threat from start till finish.

Predicted Result: Aldo Decision

Either Munhoz’s pace, durability and pressure kill Aldo late, or the former champ pips a decision based on cleaner technique. Although Aldo is well within his career twilight, he snapped a three-fight slide by out-wrestling and out-experiencing Vera. The key to the match-up is Aldo’s willingness to call upon his leg kicks. Pulling them out of his locker against Yan after a long absence, Aldo proved the power was still there. Munhoz’s consistency with low kicks, often throwing them naked, may well break Aldo before himself, however. Despite being primed to counter Munhoz’s telegraphed shots with combinations that break Munhoz’s high guard, Aldo worryingly gasses by the later rounds. Early wrestling and Munhoz’s reliance upon his chin to drag Aldo into extended exchanges will only speed up the process. Aldo’s more diverse arsenal is still being backed, but this could be a razor-thin decision that comes down to personal stylistic preference.

Result: Aldo def. Munhoz // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

After such a long and successful career, Aldo continues to produce the goods - care to show us the fountain of youth? | UFC 265
After such a long and successful career, Aldo continues to produce the goods – care to show us the fountain of youth? | UFC 265

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UFC 265: Main Card

Vicente Luque (20-7-1) vs Michael Chiesa (17-4)

Welterweight (170)

Vicente Luque

Counter-puncher supreme, Vicente Luque deserves some damn respect put on his name. With a money left hook, the Brazilian sits in the pocket, trusts his chin and sneaks his left hook in. In the first round against Wonderboy, Thompson was regularly stunned by Luque’s left hook off the cage. Only a brief scan of Luque’s career evidences his stellar chin. Through his complete confidence in out-enduring opponents, Luque’s volume on the inside breaks opponents physically and mentally.

Chiesa represents a test that Luque hasn’t often faced. Perhaps the Leon Edwards fight was Luque’s greatest showcasing of his defensive grappling. TDD has never been shown to an extended degree, however, due to Luque’s tendency to finish fights early. There were decent scrambles against Woodley, but the former champion had been a shadow of himself for the last few fights. If Chiesa snatches the back of Luque, the American’s freakishly long limbs may prove too much.

Michael Chiesa

The most clear-cut case of a grapple-wrestler, Chiesa faces a juggernaut on the feet for the first time. Obviously, RDA is a fine striker, but he is undersized at 170 and utterly vulnerable to wrestlers. Chiesa’s freakish size and improvements to his striking have benefitted the transitions to shot takedowns. No longer reliant upon the cage to force the fight to the mat, Chiesa’s aggressive straight shots keep opponents preoccupied with striking defence and leave their lower half-open.

Despite riding a four-fight streak, however, Chiesa only really has one notable victory. Neil Magny is a fellow, awkward lengthy Welterweight with decent hands and solid wrestling. Chiesa was able to back-pack his way to an easy decision in the end, however. If Luque can keep himself standing for three rounds, Chiesa will be dismantled on the feet, but there isn’t much evidence to back this hypothesis. Far more likely is Chiesa wraps up Luque early and grinds out another decision against a dangerous opponent.

Predicted Result: Chiesa Decision

Counter-puncher supreme, Vicente Luque deserves some damn respect put on his name. The Brazilian’s money left hook was no more apparent than during the first round against Wonderboy, regularly catching the elite striker with the counter hook off the cage. Chiesa represents a test that Luque hasn’t often faced. Showcasing decent defensive grappling against Leon Edwards, Luque’s only real evidence of TDD came against the aged Tyron Woodley. If Luque can keep himself standing for three rounds, Chiesa will be dismantled on the feet, but there isn’t much evidence to back this hypothesis. Far more likely is Chiesa wraps up Luque early and grinds out another decision against a dangerous opponent.

Result: Luque def. Chiesa // Submission (d’arce choke) Round 1 3:25

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Tecia Torres (12-5) vs Angela Hill (13-9)

Women’s Strawweight (115)

Tecia Torres

A rematch from 2015 from which Torres claimed bragging rights, both ladies have developed their games immensely. Torres’ original tactic of regular takedowns and extended periods of lay n pray remains a viable avenue to victory. Of course, Torres has found success on the feet recently, but her tiny stature leaves her vulnerable to damage at range. Moreover, allowing Hill to settle into a comfortable pattern on the feet seems like a fast pass to head trauma. While Hill’s knees and elbows are dangerous intercepting tools, Torres should still be aiming to rush out the blocks and grind Hill to the mat.

Angela Hill

Hill has made huge strides in her defensive grappling, evidenced by her success against the cage and on the mat against Michelle Waterson. Renewed strength in the clinch enables Hill to keep the fight standing for longer periods with greater opportunity to showcase her electric striking. Lightning-fast hand speed couples with sharp combinations, often built around a ramrod jab. Ashley Yoder may be somewhat finished in the UFC, but Hill left the typically durable fighter on jelly legs several times during their recent bout.

Predicted Result: Torres Decision

A rematch from 2015 from which Torres claimed bragging rights, both ladies have developed their games immensely. Torres’ original tactic of regular takedowns and extended periods of lay n pray remains a viable avenue to victory. While Hill’s knees and elbows are dangerous intercepting tools, Torres should still be aiming to rush out the blocks and grind Hill to the mat. Hill, of course, has made huge strides in her defensive grappling. Regular stuffing Michelle Waterson’s takedowns, and holding her own in the clinch, Hill is able to keep the fight standing longer. Lightning-fast hand speed coupled with sharp combinations, often built around a ramrod jab, will out-class Torres’ tiny stature at range. It isn’t likely that Torres will choose to trade on the feet, however.

Result: Torres def. Hill // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Yadong Song (16-5-1) vs Casey Kenney (16-3-1)

Bantamweight (135)

Yadong Song

An elite athlete, Song Yadong is too often let down by questionable decision making and a lack of creativity. For all of the awkward technical expertise of Kenney, Yadong has the potential to clean Kenney out through power alone. A telegraphed pressure fighter, Yadong is a prospect that hasn’t shown much improvement over the past five fights. Failing to use angles, Yadong launches into combinations on a straight line as if it were pad work. Flurries of heavy hooks are dangerous in any weight class, though, especially when combined with the occasional takedown. If the twenty-three-year-old Yadong can piece together a more nuanced arsenal, he can still make waves at Bantamweight.

Casey Kenney

A wicked volume fighter who pushes a relentless pace, Kenney is only hampered by an athletic ceiling and lack of power. Still, Kenney’s creativity on the feet and mat is a delight to watch. The American’s chin may well be able to hold up against the power of Yadong, having survived a back and forth war with fellow prospect Nathaniel Wood. Better yet, Kenney’s incredible scrambles mean he is more than capable of keeping this fight standing. By pushing a hard pace against Yadong, he can tire his more explosive foe and win cleaner rounds later down the line. Kenney is somewhat susceptible to gassing late, but Yadong isn’t a cardio machine to expose this.

Predicted Result: Kenney Decision

A telegraphed pressure fighter, Yadong is a prospect that hasn’t shown much improvement over the past five fights. Failing to use angles, Yadong launches into combinations on a straight line as if it were pad work. Flurries of heavy hooks are dangerous in any weight class, though. For all of Kenney’s awkward technical expertise, Yadong has the potential to clean Kenney out through power alone. The American’s chin may well be able to hold up against the power of Yadong, having survived a back and forth war with fellow prospect Nathaniel Wood. A wicked volume fighter who pushes a relentless pace, Kenney can tire his more explosive foe and win cleaner rounds later down the line.

Result: Yadong def. Kenney // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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UFC 265: Preliminary Card

Rafael Fiziev (9-1) vs Bobby Green (27-11-1)

Lightweight (155)

Rafael Fiziev

Fiziev is only a couple of highlight-reel finishes away from becoming an easily marketable product for the UFC. An aggressive kicker, Fiziev’s aesthetic technique and knockout power are key factors behind star power. Although questions remain over Fiziev’s ability on the mat, the Kyrgyzstan native has a canny knack for dragging fighters into wars on the feet. Baiting Moicano to test himself in the striking department, Fiziev escaped the Brazilian’s awesome BJJ and instead secured a clean stoppage.

Bobby Green

Green faces a horrible stylistic match-up. The counter-punchers low volume could see Fiziev drown him in pace on the scorecards. Forever underrated, Green isn’t as likely to be outclassed on the feet as some are presuming. If Green targets the body early, he will drain Fiziev’s gas tank and put a plug on the explosive shots. Unfortunately, Fiziev isn’t likely to test his mettle in the pocket, however, and Green will be left stranded at range while Fiziev dances around with kicks. While Green does have wrestling in his locker, he often neglects it as a potential route to victory. Groundwork to seal rounds would be an excellent weapon, but it just isn’t likely when considering a fighter who loves a technical battle up close.

Predicted Result: Fiziev Decision

Fiziev is only a couple of highlight-reel finishes away from becoming an easily marketable product for the UFC. Although questions remain over Fiziev’s ability on the mat, the Kyrgyzstan native has a canny knack for dragging fighters into wars on the feet. Green’s low volume counter-punching is a horrendous stylistic match-up against the relentless pace of Fiziev. Fiziev also isn’t likely to test his mettle in the pocket, leaving Green stranded at range while Fiziev dances around with kicks. Groundwork to seal rounds would be an excellent weapon, but it just isn’t likely when considering a fighter who loves a technical battle up close.

Result: Fiziev def. Green // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Drako Rodriguez (7-2) vs Vince Morales (9-5)

Bantamweight (135)

Drako Rodriguez

The far more technically polished and well-rounded fighter, Rodriguez only needs one chance on the mat to finish this. Of course, forcing Rodriguez to fight anything other than his opponent’s preferred fight is the greatest struggle. If Rodriguez settles into a one-pace battle in the pocket, Morales can easily out-box Rodriguez to a comfortable decision. With more tools in the locker than his opponent, however, Rodriguez is the safer pick.

Vince Morales

Damn, this is the bout between two men who have both fallen to Aiemann Zahabi. Dangerous in the pocket, Morales quickly becomes lost in any other area. Thankfully for Morales, Rodriguez possesses some of the worst decision-making in the UFC. Rodriguez can be easily coaxed into a war on the feet, effectively negating his dangerous grappling. A questionable chin is an issue, but hey, it remains Morales’ only viable path to victory.

Predicted Result: Rodriguez Submission Round 2

Damn, this is the bout between two men who have both fallen to Aiemann Zahabi. Dangerous in the pocket, Morales quickly becomes lost in any other area. Thankfully for Morales, Rodriguez possesses some of the worst decision-making in the UFC. Rodriguez can be easily coaxed into a war on the feet, effectively negating his dangerous grappling. A questionable chin is an issue, but hey, it remains Morales’ only viable path to victory. With more tools in the locker than his opponent, however, Rodriguez is the safer pick.

Result: Morales def. Rodriguez // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Ed Herman (25-14) vs Alonzo Menifeld (10-2)

Light Heavyweight (205)

Ed Herman

The clinch will be the key to Herman’s success. If the veteran can remain defensively savvy during a scary first-round, Herman can eventually snatch up a clinch against a plodding Menifield. Athletically, Herman has certainly declined from an already low ceiling, leaving Herman particularly vulnerable to Menifield’s limited game. It is unlikely the vet will be able to cheat his way to victory once again.

Alonzo Menifeld

A first-round ball of explosive power, Menifield is a fun fighter to watch despite most of his fights descending into car crashes. Having made strides to iron out his pacing issues, Menifield still owns a highlight reel loss to the scraps of OSP. Securing a Von Flue choke over Fabio Cherant was pretty amusing, but it also showed Menifield’s more rounded game. Stronger wrestling and a powerful top game, perhaps there is still potential left for a rapid career rebuild.

Predicted Result: Menifield TKO Round 1

The clinch will be the key to Herman’s success. If the veteran can remain defensively savvy during a scary first-round, Herman can eventually snatch up a clinch against a plodding Menifield. Menifield remains a fun fighter to watch despite most of his fights descending into car crashes. Having made strides to iron out his pacing issues, Menifield has also shown a more rounded skillset following a dominant wrestling and grappling performance over Fabio Cherant. Herman is a level above, but the forty-year-old is athletically shot and difficult to back.

Result: Menifield def. Herman // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-6) vs Jessica Penne (13-5)

Women’s Strawweight (115)

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

If Karolina loses this, there is no hope of a return for the former title challenger. Stylistically, Kowalkiewicz should be able to unleash a clean striking clinic against Penne – an utterly hittable opponent. Since her knockout loss to Jessica Andrade, Kowalkiewicz hasn’t looked comfortable in the octagon. Albeit, Kowalkiewicz’s losses have been to solid competition. Yet the Poles’ incremental decline in opposition still hasn’t enabled her to return to the win column. After a year out, perhaps Kowalkiewicz has recovered mentally to approach the twilight of her career with renewed energy.

Jessica Penne

Although stylistically Penne shouldn’t have a chance to win, by virtue of being less broken goods, Penne can win this on activity and bravery. An energetic grappler, Penne could use her size to takedown the Pole and hold on for dear life. Kowalkiewicz strong TDD indicates this could be a fifteen-round kickboxing affair, but it is impossible to say how far gone Kowalkiewicz is.

Predicted Result: Kowalkiewicz Decision

Stylistically, Kowalkiewicz should be able to unleash a clean striking clinic against Penne – an utterly hittable opponent. Since her knockout loss to Jessica Andrade, though, Kowalkiewicz hasn’t looked comfortable in the octagon. After a year out, perhaps Kowalkiewicz has recovered mentally to approach the twilight of her career with renewed energy. An energetic grappler, Penne could use her size to takedown the Pole and hold on for dear life. Kowalkiewicz strong TDD indicates this could be a fifteen-round kickboxing affair, but it is impossible to say how far gone Kowalkiewicz is.

Result: Penne def. Kowalkiewicz // Submission (armbar) Round 1 4:32

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Miles Johns (11-1) vs Anderson dos Santos (21-8)

Bantamweight (135)

Miles Johns

Johns is a wrestle-boxer with a solid jab that lacks a ‘wow’ factor. Unless he can put together a string of victories, his style doesn’t play into a highlight reel style hype. Sure, the uppercut KO over Natividad was a beauty, but it seems to be more of a once in a blue moon shot that landed cleanly. Johns uses his lead hand well, parrying incoming damage, yet that means his jab isn’t thrown with the volume necessary to dictate rounds on the feet. Securing regular takedowns has also been an issue, evidenced by his 31% takedown average.

Anderson dos Santos

Dos Santos is a bang average fighter but that doesn’t mean he isn’t fun to watch. Flying out the blocks early, the Brazilian aims to break opponents with pressure. Flurries of strikes in the pocket and wishful submissions combine to drown opponents. Periods of inactivity are interrupted with huge overhand blitzes before clinching opponents against the cage. The formula is simple but it’s a decent style that gatekeeps the poorer prospects.

Predicted Result: Johns Decision

Dos Santos is a bang average fighter but that doesn’t mean he isn’t fun to watch. Flying out the blocks early, the Brazilian aims to break opponents with pressure. Periods of inactivity are interrupted with huge overhand blitzes before clinching opponents against the cage. Johns is a wrestle-boxer with a solid jab that lacks a ‘wow’ factor. While the uppercut KO over Natividad was a beauty, Johns more often fights behind his jab after failing to kickstart his wrestling.

Result: Johns def. dos Santos // KO (punch) Round 3 1:16

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Victoria Leonardo (8-3) vs Melissa Gatto (6-0-2)

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Victoria Leonardo

Slow, methodical and doesn’t shine in any one area. Still, Leonardo has activity on her side, having fought eight times while Gatto sat on the sidelines. Falling to a stoppage defeat over the rampant, Manon Fiorot, is not a huge slight on the record, but the lack of speed is. While Gatto isn’t the hard-hitting striker to expose Leonardo’s striking defence, it will hamper her attempts to climb out of unranked obscurity. Solid enough TDD to keep away from Gatto’s scary grappling, and win an awkward decision on the feet.

Melissa Gatto

Gatto needs a big win to create some waves, having been away from MMA since 2018. Following a string of cancelled debuts in the UFC, Gatto finally gets the shot to showcase her exceptional submission skills. Rusty striking is a red flag, as is the time off for drug bans.

Predicted Result: Leonardo decision

Following a string of cancelled debuts in the UFC, Gatto finally gets the shot to showcase her exceptional submission skills. Rusty striking is a red flag, as is the time off for drug bans. Since Gatto’s last fight, Leonardo has fought eight times. Although Leonardo is Slow, methodical and doesn’t shine in any one area, she still remains the favourite. With a solid enough TDD to keep away from Gatto’s scary grappling, Leonardo can win an ugly decision on the feet through virtue of less awful striking.

Result: Gatto def. Leonardo // TKO (doctor stoppage) Round 2 5:00

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Prediction Accuracy

UFC 265

Winner: 6/11

Method: 4/11

Round: 4/11

2021 MMA Season

Winner: 179/303

Method: 148/303

Round: 136/303

MMA Overall

Winner: 370/607

Method: 285/607

Round: 262/607

Takeaway comments: Jose Aldo is the gift that just keeps giving!


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