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The UFC is back in Houston Texas with a stacked PPV event UFC 265. This PPV is headlined by Houston’s own Derrick Lewis and Cyril Gane battling it out for the interim Heavyweight Championship. The rest of this card is littered with top-flight fights and ones that will deliver come this Saturday. With that said let’s dig deep into the odds.
Casey Kenney (-115) vs Song Yadong (-105)
Starting off the main card is a banger in the bantamweight division with a fight between Song Yadong and Casey Kenney. Both fighters are looking to get some momentum going and get back into the win column.
Casey Kenney is coming off of the wrong end of a split decision loss in his most recent bout against Dominick Cruz. Kenney had some trouble with the timing of Cruz which threw him off throughout the fight. Lucky for Kenney, in this matchup against Yadong he will not have to chase him to land meaningful strikes.
Song Yadong is coming off of arguably his worst showing inside the octagon in a loss to the surging Kyler Phillips. Yadong was just a step behind Phillips the entire fight and was beat to the punch. He is still an exceptional athlete that packs some heat in his strikes which will make for one exciting fight here against Kenney.
There’s a reason why the odds indicate this fight as a pick ’em and that’s because it’s an extremely close contested fight. Both fighters excel in this type of matchup where each will just meet in the middle and throw down. Kenney’s durability and the ability to mix things up should help get past Yadong and back into the win column.
The Pick: Casey Kenney (-115)
Tecia Torres (-142) vs Angela Hill (+116)
In the Strawweight division, we have a fight between two veteran UFC contenders in #10 Tecia Torres and #12 Angela Hill. A win by either fighter could put them just a few more fights away from a potential title fight.
Tecia Torres is riding high off of two dominant performances against Brianna Van Buren and Sam Hughes. Torres has the size and strength advantage in this one and is going to need to utilize that to keep her win streak going.
Angela Hill finally got back into the win column her last fight out against Ashley Yoder. Hill is an exceptional striker that does very well at out striking her opponents at range. She will need to keep her distance and her back off the cage if she wants to get back on a win streak.
This is yet another closely contested matchup that could go either. With that said, it’s easier to believe that Torres could go strike for strike with Hill all while racking up some control time against the cage. Torres should be able to do just enough to edge out a narrow victory on the judge’s scorecards.
Vicente Luque (-110) vs Michael Chiesa (-110)
We have a marquee matchup in the Welterweight division between #5 Michael Chiesa and #6 Vicente Luque. Both fighters have been on an absolute tear and are looking to put their name at the top of the list for a title shot with a big win here on Saturday night.
Michael Chiesa has hit the ground running since his move up to the Welterweight division going 5-0. He faces his stiffest competition yet against the dangerous striker in Vicente Luque. Chiesa will need to use his much improved striking to get on the inside and drag Luque into deep waters to get the job done.
Vicente Luque is coming off of 3 stoppage victories against top-notch competition. He is dangerous anywhere this fight takes place as he has 11 wins by knockout and 8 wins by submission. Luque will need to keep this fight at range and punish Chiesa as he tries to close the distance to keep out of his reach and to get his hand raised.
This is exceptional matchmaking right here between two of the division’s best. One thing to note, Luque has yet to face a high-level grappler like Chiesa in his time in the UFC. Chiesa has shown vast improvements in his stand, up to the point where you can’t just worry about his grappling. That has made him even more dangerous and the complete package. As long as Chiesa is able to avoid the power of Luque and drag him into deep waters he can be victorious and put his name in the mix for a potential title shot.
The Pick: Michael Chiesa (-110)
Jose Aldo (-112) vs Pedro Munhoz (-108)
Due to Amanda Nunes contracting Covid-19 our new co-main event is a banger in the Bantamweight division between #5 Jose Aldo and #9 Pedro Munhoz. Both fighters are looking to keep the winning going to have one more shot at fighting for the title.
Pedro Munhoz is coming off of a dominant performance against Jimmy Rivera his last time out. Munhoz is as tough as they come willing to throw down with anyone that’s in front of him. That toughness and cardio that he possesses will need to come in handy against the dangerous Jose Aldo and could be enough to get him the victory.
Jose Aldo finally gets his first win in the Bantamweight division against Marlon Vera his last time out. It was the first time that we saw Aldo need to lean on his grappling to get the win. Aldo needs to pressure Munhoz early, often in the attempt to get him out of there before potentially fading as the fight goes on.
This is a very close fight as the odds indicate. Munhoz has a pretty sizable volume advantage in this fight as he is attempting 13.02 strikes per minute compared to Aldo attempting 7.67. But with that volume comes the defensive lapse as he takes a ton of damage. Aldo is by far the hardest hitter that Munhoz has faced in his career and that will be the difference-maker in this one. Expect the power and damage to take their toll on Munhoz and Aldo walking away with his hand raised.
The Pick: Jose Aldo (-112)
Cyril Gane (-355) vs Derrick Lewis (+270)
In the main event for this stacked PPV we have a fight for the interim Heavyweight Championship with #2 Derrick Lewis and #3 Cyril Gane. This is going to be one slobber knocker of a fight that you will not want to miss!
Cyril Gane comes into this fight undefeated at 9-0 and has the second-fastest fight time to a title shot in UFC history. Gane is the complete package as he is the most technical striker in the entire Heavyweight division and has a very underrated ground game. He has shown the ability to stick to a game plan and execute it to perfection. If he is able to keep that fight at distance and not get into a bar brawl against Lewis then it’s his fight to lose.
Derrick Lewis just defies the odds that are stacked against him and keeps on winning. He’s currently riding a 4 fight win streak that has seen brutally knockout Curtis Blaydes in his most recent effort. It’s tough to see Lewis winning rounds against Gane so he’s going to need bring the brawl out of Gane and land that right hand of his to secure the Heavyweight Championship.
Lewis is one of the most dangerous fighters we have ever seen in the Heavyweight division. With that said, it’s hard to envision Lewis getting the win here against the far superior athlete and all-around mixed martial artist in Cyril Gane. As long as Gane fights his fight and avoids the power of Lewis he should have no troubles out striking him for a wide decision.
The Pick: Cyril Gane (-355)