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Ciryl Gane of France reacts after defeating Derrick Lewis in their interim heavyweight title bout during the UFC 265 event at Toyota Center on August 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
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The Scorecard | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane

The Biggest Winners From The Toyota Center In Houston Last Saturday

Saturday’s UFC 265 event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Houston, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Toyota Center.

1 – Ciryl Gane

Ciryl Gane Post-Fight Presser Highlights | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
Ciryl Gane Post-Fight Presser Highlights | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
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What a story. A little less than two years after his UFC debut as a 3-0 prospect, Ciryl Gane is wearing a championship belt, the first native of France to do so, and while such a fast rise to the top in combat sports is usually accompanied by a series of 30-second knockouts that are soon followed by a rapid crash to Earth, Gane has the maturity, smarts, style and patience in the Octagon that makes it look right now that he may be sticking around at the top for a while. But to make that a reality, there’s business for the interim champ to take care of with a familiar face…

WHAT’S NEXT? Francis Ngannou. The reigning heavyweight champ, Ngannou and Gane once shared the same gym together in Paris, so while time has passed since they first threw hands with each other in sparring, there is a familiarity and a storyline there, even if there isn’t any bad blood. But beyond that, Ngannou vs Gane is one of the most intriguing stylistic matchups I’ve seen in a while, and I can’t wait for them to collide in the Octagon. And if it could take place in Paris? Epic.

2 – Vicente Luque

Vicente Luque Octagon Interview | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
Vicente Luque Octagon Interview | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
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I’m an original member of the Vicente Luque bandwagon – In fact, I’ve even been the driver at times – so Saturday night’s win by “The Silent Assassin” over Michael Chiesa was no surprise. What is surprising is that the Brazilian isn’t a megastar already. Sure, there have been a couple hiccups over the years, but no one can argue with 14 UFC wins, 13 finishes and eight post-fight bonuses. To do what he’s done at this level is remarkable, and I’ve said this before, but even though I get into the fights for free, I’d pay to watch Vicente Luque fight.

WHAT’S NEXT? I’d love to see Luque get a shot at the winner of the Kamaru Usman-Colby Covington rematch, but if he wants to stay busy, how about a title eliminator rematch with Leon Edwards or even better, a showdown with Jorge Masvidal for Florida bragging rights?

3 – Jose Aldo

José Aldo Post-Fight Presser Highlights | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
José Aldo Post-Fight Presser Highlights | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
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The King of Rio. There’s not much more to be said about Jose Aldo than that, but I will anyway. Even though he’s been written off by many in recent years, the future Hall of Famer was in prime form on Saturday against Pedro Munhoz. And that’s saying a lot because Munhoz is no joke, so to see Aldo doing what he did, that had to make those of us who remember him from the WEC days smile. I’m still smiling, actually.

MORE: Final Results | Bonus Coverage

WHAT’S NEXT? Aldo mentioned a fight with TJ Dillashaw, and I like that matchup, but you know what I would like even more? An all-WEC throwback fight between Aldo and Dominick Cruz. Maybe even do it with blue gloves like the old days.

4 – Rafael Fiziev

Rafael Fiziev Octagon Interview | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
Rafael Fiziev Octagon Interview | UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane
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I would have found a place for Rafael Fiziev here simply for his post-fight call-out of social media sensation Hasbulla, but thankfully, the punishing lightweight up and comer gets a spot here because of another exciting performance – this one a Fight of the Night scrap with Bobby Green. Green is a nightmare matchup for anyone, especially if the Californian is on top of his game like he was in Houston, and while there was no way that fight was a 30-27 win for Fiziev, he did earn the victory in a close fight that will serve him well when he gets to the upper reaches of the 155-pound division.

WHAT’S NEXT? Apparently, no one is lining up to battle Fiziev, not even Hasbulla, but if I had my way, a fight with Brad Riddell would be pretty interesting.

5 – Miles Johns

Highlight: Miles Johns Scores 3rd-Round Knockout | UFC 265
Highlight: Miles Johns Scores 3rd-Round Knockout | UFC 265
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After a 2020 loss to Mario Bautista, the first of his pro career, Miles Johns did some soul searching, responding with a pair of knockout wins over Kevin Natividad and Anderson dos Santos. That shows me not only that the loss didn’t hold him back at all, but that he cares about this and how he performs moving forward. On Saturday, Johns was firing on all cylinders against dos Santos, and his effort should have made all fight fans want to see him again ASAP.

WHAT’S NEXT? Hey, Johns beat the hottest prospect in the UFC’s bantamweight division – Adrian Yanez – in an LFA show back in 2018. Rematch anyone?