Aug 6, 2021
UFC 265 Pre-Fight Press Conference Transcript: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane
The UFC held a news conference leading up to UFC 265 where the main card is Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane. Dana White, Lewis, and Gane all spoke at the press conference.
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Welcome to the UFC 265 press conference from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, the home of this Saturday’s championship Heavyweight headliner.
First up, a rising contender from Arizona and an accomplished judo black belt. Here is Dana White Contender Series alum, Casey Kenney. Kenney faces a promising young star from China, a 23-year-old who’s already racked up three performance awards in the UFC. Welcome, Song Yadong.
Moving on to the women’s Strawweight division, one of the most active fighters in the sport who will fight anyone anytime, anywhere. Looking to avenge the first loss of her pro career and show how much she’s evolved in the sport, here is Angela “Overkill” Hill.
She faces the Tiny Tornado. Riding back-to-back wins and ready to reclimb the mountains into title contention, she is a karate black belt. Please welcome Tecia Torres.
Business picks up in the Welterweight division in a must-see matchup between top-six contenders. Number six in the world, a Brazilian mauler, 20 wins, 17 finishes. Fresh off his destruction of former champion Tyron Woodley, this is the silent assassin, Vicente Luque. And his opponent, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, the grappling ace from the Pacific Northwest has found his home at 170 pounds. With wins over Carlos Condit, Rafael dos Anjos, and Neil Magny, here is Michael “The Maverick” Chiesa.
Moving on to a Bantamweight scrap that promises to deliver, an all-action Brazilian fighter who’s been awarded three Fight of the Night bonuses in his last four fights, including a win over former champ, Cody Garbrandt. On Saturday, he looks to dethrone another former UFC champion. This is Pedro Munhoz.
There is no bigger star in Brazilian MMA than this man. An Octagon legend and surefire future hall of famer, the former Featherweight king. Introducing Jose Aldo.
And, in the show closer, the interim UFC heavyweight champion will be crowned. A rising star from France is ready to paint a masterpiece inside the Octagon this Saturday. He’s an undefeated Muay Thai specialist who has dominated every UFC fall to date. Please welcome Ciryl Gane.
Finally, he is one of the most exciting and engaging fighters in UFC history. The UFC’s all time knockout leader, fighting in front of his hometown crowd, repping Houston, Texas, here is the Black Beast, Derrick Lewis.
Speaker 1: (04:05)
What’s up, Houston? How are you, guys? We’re back. Thank you, guys. We appreciate all the support, here. Who’s got the first question?
Interviewer 1: (04:14)
For Derrick. Derrick, obviously you mentioned you envisioned this moment, fighting for the title and in front of your city. Now you’re here, big stage, crowds here. What does it feel like right now at this moment, to be in front of the city?
Derrick Lewis: (04:28)
Feels crazy, man. Feels crazy.
Interviewer 1: (04:30)
You fought for the title, of course, before, in 2018. I’m just curious if there were any lessons, anything that you took out of that fight week or that experience that you can apply here to help you get over the hump this time around?
Derrick Lewis: (04:42)
Just train harder this time around. Shit, I got to represent Houston now. All I want.
Interviewer 1: (04:51)
Last thing, Derrick. I know you said that you see Ciryl as a boring fighter, but is there anything that he does that’s dangerous or that you’re concerned with in this matchup?
Derrick Lewis: (05:00)
No, I’m not concerned with nothing he got.
Interviewer 1: (05:06)
Ciryl, I’ll ask you too. Obviously a big moment in your career. Big stage, big press conference. What’s your emotion like right now?
Ciryl Gane: (05:14)
I’m a little bit nervous. That’s cool. That’s my first time, but I’m okay.
Interviewer 1: (05:19)
Very nice. Big opportunity, but, honestly, you have a child coming in a couple of weeks. I’m wondering, has this been a difficult time for you to focus on the fight only when you know you’ve got big things happening in your family as well?
Ciryl Gane: (05:32)
At first it was a little bit difficult, but now I did my choice, and now I’m really focused on my target. I have, just, my daughter waiting for me.
Interviewer 1: (05:41)
Nice. Your last two fights, very dominant wins, but decisions, and you got some criticism for it. I’m curious. Do you feel like you can’t just win here, you’ve got to get a knockout or a big finish so people really look at you as a champion?
Ciryl Gane: (05:56)
Yeah. Some people like this style, but, for me, is really not my style. When you look at guys like Mayweather, or some fighter like this, nobody talk about this like that. But I’m a young fighter. I’m going to do my way, and the people are going to like me like I am.
Interviewer 1: (06:16)
Maybe they won’t boo you afterwards. We’ll see.
Interviewer 1: (06:19)
Vicente, I wanted to ask you … Nine and one in your last ten. But when people talk about the title, you’re not in that top level of names yet. Do you feel disrespected at all, that maybe people aren’t putting you in there with those other top fighters in the division?
Vicente Luque: (06:36)
Man, I don’t really care about respect or not. I care about doing my job, going out there, putting on the best fights I can. I know the fans respect my fighting style. That’s what I’m going to bring every single time.
Vicente Luque: (06:47)
I think now I’m getting a great opponent. Mike was a tough guy, coming off four wins. This is a big fight. I think one of us, whoever wins, is definitely going to be in that title picture.
Interviewer 1: (07:00)
With that in mind, do you feel like it’s important, again, not just to go out there and get a win, but to go do something dominant? Really make a statement here, so that maybe they’re talking about your name a little bit more?
Vicente Luque: (07:10)
Every single time I got to do something dominant, and that’s what I do every single fight. I go out there and throw everything I can. I try to finish every single fight. I think only one of my wins wasn’t by finish, so that’s what I’m going to do Saturday night. That’s what I’m going to do every single fight I get in there.
Interviewer 1: (07:29)
Mike, I’ll ask you. Longest winning streak of your UFC career right now. It just seems like everything’s clicking. What’s the key to your success right now?
Michael Chiesa: (07:38)
Welterweight. When I was killing myself to make 155 pounds, now I’m able to train adequately, absorb the knowledge more, and took a lot of maturing as well.
Michael Chiesa: (07:46)
I think that, as I got older, I just grew up a little bit and just kept myself a little more humble. I think that that’s really paid off. I’m not focused on what comes next. I’m not going to let my pride get in the way. I’m going to stay focused on the moment. I’m going to stay humble, maintain my humility. I think that’s very important, going into this fight.
Interviewer 1: (08:06)
That said, you said, “I don’t want to look forward. I don’t want to say what I’m guaranteeing.” But do you feel like it’s important to not just get a win, but to go out there? Because your last one was a very dominant win, but you didn’t get the finish. I know it’s tough to finish Neil Magny. Do you feel like you got to go out there and not just win, but you have to get a finish to prove what you deserve?
Vicente Luque: (08:21)
Winning is everything. A five-five win streak would be great. But, like I said, I’m not going to let my pride get in the way of me looking ahead at what comes after Vicente Luque. I’m going to stay humble. Like I said, I’m going to stay in the moment, maintain my humility, and just take it one day at a time.
Vicente Luque: (08:33)
Right now I’m just focused on making weight. Tomorrow I’m focused on stepping on the scales. Saturday is the fight. I’m not looking at anything beyond that.
Interviewer 2: (08:43)
Derrick, over here on your right. Derrick, you said in the past that the belt doesn’t matter, but you’re fighting at home. You’ve never lost in Houston. How big of a pressure is it with the belt on the line and also fighting for these fans?
Derrick Lewis: (08:59)
Of course it’s a little pressure, because Houston never had a … I had-
Derrick Lewis: (09:03)
… a little pressure because Houston never had a heavyweight champion before, so I want to be the first one. I want to make history, and they got to go down.
Speaker 2: (09:10)
Wow. Why in the world would you take up a fight against this guy, outside of the money, knowing full well that you already beat Francis Ngannou and that’s the guy you’re going to fight after this? So why would you take this fight?
Derrick Lewis: (09:21)
It don’t matter who it is. They’re all going to end the same way: looking up at them lights.
Speaker 2: (09:27)
Thank you. Ciryl. [French 00:09:34].
Ciryl Gane: (09:34)
Speaker 2: (09:34)
[French 00:09:34]. On Saturday, you stand a chance to actually be the first UFC fighter to win for France. How big is that going to be in the streets of Champs-Élysées, Saint Denis, to see you actually carry that belt?
Ciryl Gane: (09:49)
You like my country, huh?
Ciryl Gane: (09:51)
Yeah. It’s a big opportunity-
Derrick Lewis: (09:52)
I noticed that bullshit, too.
Ciryl Gane: (09:54)
Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. Yes, it’s just a big opportunity for me. I’m a young guy. I have a young career, and the UFC put me on the headline, and I want to do this for me, for my country, for my team, and for my family, for my fans, and I want to do my best for this.
Speaker 2: (10:14)
Now, you’re fighting a guy that’s never lost at home. You’re the favorite in his city. Is there any pressure going in that fight?
Ciryl Gane: (10:21)
No, no, no. No pressure. Every time I got a challenge on my young career, every time, more experienced guys, every time, sometime in Canada, as well as in front of the hostile fans like that, so no, no, no. I’m okay with this situation.
Speaker 2: (10:38)
All right. [French 00:10:39].
Ciryl Gane: (10:40)
Speaker 3: (10:43)
Question for Angela. I’m curious, what’s the biggest difference in the fighter you are today than the one who fought Tecia last time?
Angela Hill: (10:50)
Hello. What’s up Houston? This is my first press conference. It’s kind of weird. I usually don’t have makeup on when I talk to people, but I think the biggest difference is I’m just a better fighter now. I’m more mature. I’ve left the UFC, come back stronger, come back more educated on the ground, educated in my striking game and my foot work. I’m just a better all around fighter, and I feel like my last six fights have proved that. And yeah, we’ll see what happens.
Speaker 3: (11:30)
You said yesterday that you wanted to make sure this fight was exciting. What do you have to do to make that happen on Saturday?
Angela Hill: (11:37)
Just put the pressure on, try to hit her more than she hits me, try to keep her stuck more than she can keep me stuck. I think the main reason our first fight was boring was because I didn’t know how to get up. I was even holding her on top of me so she couldn’t hit me. So being more aggressive, being more dominant. We’re both going to come at it, so I’m ready to put it on her this time.
Speaker 3: (12:03)
And for Tecia, have you seen improvements from Angela that makes you feel that she will be able to do that, she’ll be able to combat your wrestling?
Tecia Torres: (12:10)
I’ve definitely seen improve … Well, hello, everybody. Hi. I’ve definitely seen improvements in her. You know, it’s been six years since we first start. In this game, you have to evolve, and fortunately for her she’s evolved and left UFC, come back. So she’s a great fighter, but do I think she’s at my level? No. Wherever the fight goes, standing, ground, wrestling, I’m going to dominate. I don’t think she has anything for me. She’s a tough fighter. She’s not going to be an easy win, but I’m coming out victorious.
Angela Hill: (12:37)
I got something for you. Don’t worry. I got something.
Tecia Torres: (12:42)
Oh, you got something for me. I’m sure you do, but …
Speaker 3: (12:49)
Speaker 4: (12:49)
Wanted to ask, start with Casey and Song, for a long time, the lightweight division and the welterweight division in the UFC was always kind of viewed as the two top divisions, but it feels like 135 has kind of emerged as maybe the best division in the UFC. Pedro and Jose are out here, too. Casey, do you think that that bantamweight has kind of eclipsed those divisions, and now bantamweight is the number one division in the UFC?
Casey Kenney: (13:23)
Yeah, exactly. It’s been the first time in history, really, the lightweights got some respect, and this is one of the best divisions in the UFC and that’s the division I want to be a part of.
Speaker 4: (13:34)
And what about you, Song? Do you think that bantamweight is now the best division in the UFC?
Song Yadong.: (13:46)
Yes, it is.
Speaker 4: (13:48)
Thanks, Song. I appreciate your brevity. For Vicente, I know that if you beat Michael on Saturday night, you’ll be very close to a title shot, but there’s another guy that I know that you’ve talked about, and he’s talked about you, and that’s Nate Diaz. I was wondering, if you win, might you call out Nate Diaz on Saturday night?
Vicente Luque: (14:08)
Man, I’m always down to fighting Nate Diaz. I think that’s the kind of fight that will always excite me, will always, make me train harder, and yeah, if that fight happens, I said it before. He likes five rounds. We could go six rounds, seven rounds, how many rounds he wants, and that would be a pleasure for me.
Speaker 4: (14:27)
And would you want to do that before the end of the year, do you think? Before the end of the year?
Vicente Luque: (14:31)
Yeah, man. I got to focus on this fight first. I got Chiesa. I don’t know how I’m going to get out of that fight, if I’m going to be healthy, but if I am, yeah, I would fight this year again.
Speaker 4: (14:41)
Thanks, Vicente. And I just wanted to go back to Angela and Tecia because I sensed a little simmering tension between you guys. I know it was very respectful for the first fight when you guys fought seven years ago, but is there a little personal tension going on right now between the two of you?
Angela Hill: (14:54)
I don’t take it personally. I don’t know. Is it personal, Tecia?
Tecia Torres: (15:01)
I don’t think there’s any tension, but there’s been comments that were made prior to me signing this contract for the second time. Since I signed my contract, it’s been crickets from you, but prior to signing the contract, you were talking some shit, so I just thought that was funny. There was two comments that … One, you said I was scared. I fought all the champions at our weight class. Never scared of one of them. Two, you said I beat you pre-USADA. Well, I’ve been tested by USADA, probably one of the most tested athletes in USADA. For me, it’s a compliment. Thank you. My body is beautiful, I know.
Tecia Torres: (15:40)
I feel like when girls talk about me and talk about how I look and want to say comments like pre-USADA, post-USADA, they’re jealous. They envy me for my awesome physique. So going into this fight with you, post-USADA, six years later, I’m just going to tell you right now, you’re getting the best of me. It’s so exciting that I get in there and get to fight you. It doesn’t matter if it’s you or someone else. I’m just super pumped for this fight. And like I said, the comments that were made, I just think are ridiculous, but-
Angela Hill: (16:15)
So it’s personal. The main reason I haven’t talked any shit since you signed the contract because that’s the reason I was talking shit. I was annoyed that you said I didn’t deserve to fight you, even though we were scheduled to fight. I had to pull out, unfortunately. I got COVID. And when they tried to re-book it, you said no. So that’s why I said that you were running, and you haven’t fought since. You haven’t fought. You haven’t been able to fight since. So now that we’re finally matched up, there’s no beef. Let’s go. Let’s go.
Tecia Torres: (16:48)
I don’t know if it’s love, though. The whole scared thing, I get, but you talking pre-USADA, I beat you, that’s some bullshit there.
Derrick Lewis: (16:56)
Why you started that bullshit? Why you started that bullshit? You started it!
Angela Hill: (17:03)
I heard old teammates of yours confirm that you were doping, and that’s why they kicked you out of the gym, but that was a long time ago.
Tecia Torres: (17:10)
I’ve never been kicked out of any gym, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Angela Hill: (17:13)
That was a long time ago. Hey, it’s-
Tecia Torres: (17:15)
No, there’s no long time ago.
Angela Hill: (17:17)
Dana White: (17:18)
That’s a yes. There’s some tension. There’s definitely tension.
Angela Hill: (17:23)
TJ Dillashaw has a juice bar. It’s all right. Nobody cares if you’re doping or not.
Tecia Torres: (17:27)
Speaker 4: (17:30)
Okay. Just one last question for Dana. There’s a rumor that CM Punk, of course, UFC veteran CM Punk, coming back to pro wrestling. I’m not sure if … have you spoken with him recently? Have you guys had a chat at all? CM Punk? You and CM Punk?
Dana White: (17:42)
No. No, I haven’t.
Speaker 4: (17:44)
Is he still under UFC contract?
Dana White: (17:46)
That I don’t know. I don’t know that off the top of my head, but obviously, if he’s going to go back to wrestling, he’s more than welcome to do that.
Speaker 4: (17:53)
Dana White: (17:54)
Speaker 4: (17:54)
Thank you guys.
Dana White: (18:01)
Speaker 5: (18:37)
[foreign language 00:18:37].
Jose Aldo: (18:37)
[foreign language 00:18:37].
Yeah wait Jose.
Speaker 6: (18:38)
So there’s an interview recently from you in which you mentioned that you actually went to hot and heavy for the title when you actually move it to division and you decided to go more step-by-step. Does this mean step by step right now? And then there’s Pedro Munoz and you’re on your way. Does that mean you’re going step-by-step towards the title.
Jose Aldo: (19:19)
[foreign language 00:19:19]
Speaker 7: (19:19)
That’s how I feel? I actually feel that I went kind of hot and heavy for it. I went to straight at the title and I do feel that right now, this fight means I’m going step-by-step and that’s why we want. I’m looking for the title.
Speaker 5: (19:58)
[foreign language 00:19:58]
Speaker 6: (19:58)
A lot has been said as well of you being a complete fighter and becoming a more complete fighter. You’ve actually proven in the past categories and actually previous fights that you’ve been a champion in other categories. Are you a more complete fighter now? Is your ground game improved?
Jose Aldo: (20:16)
[foreign language 00:20:16]
Speaker 7: (20:16)
Yeah, a lot of my last fights before were standing up and a lot of striking, and we’ve always talked about being a more complete MMA fighter, really being an MMA fighter. And that’s what we looking for actually, become more complete in the process.
Speaker 5: (20:50)
[foreign language 00:20:50]
Speaker 6: (20:50)
And Pedro basically it can be said that you’re going the opposite way as he’s doing, instead of going step by step or going straight for a former champion to just go straight at a shot.
Pedro Munoz: (21:17)
Yes. So first should I respond in Portuguese or in English? I’m going to respond in English for this group here. Whats up Houston? First of all, I’m very excited to be back and fighting in front of the crowd. You know, that’s something that I always enjoy because that type of fight that I always bring to the table, very entertaining. So I was missing actually the crowd my last five fights, three fights of the night. So I’m very excited to fight Jose Aldo. Like I say in the previous interview, “He’s a hell of a fighter.” And I take… Like Jose Aldo was saying, I take step by step. You know? And every time UFC offered me a fight, I’m always saying yes, I’m the type of fighter that I’m always ready to go any time. And Saturday is going to be a firework.
Speaker 5: (22:19)
[foreign language 00:22:19].
Pedro Munoz: (22:32)
[foreign language 00:22:32].
Speaker 5: (23:13)
[foreign language 00:23:13]
Speaker 6: (23:31)
The previous two fights, you’ve actually fought champions twice, once knocking one out from once losing by decision. Can you say what two questions right now? One is, can you say that this is the most important fight that you have with Jose Aldo and also is he the biggest name in the fight?
Pedro Munoz: (23:47)
Yeah. When I fought Cody, he was definitely a big name back then, the fight that was knowing he had the knockout power in the division. So was definitely a big step up for me in the division. When I fought Frankie Edgar, I was just rushing there to knock him out, five rounds, I was right on top of him. And definitely Aldo is another big name, very popular in Brazil. You know, a people champ, so it’s something that I admire a lot and I’m very excited, man. I’m very excited for this opportunity. In answer to your question, it could be one of the biggest names that I am going to fight. Yeah,
Speaker 6: (24:25)
Speaker 8: (24:27)
This questions for Derek. Derek, obviously you’re beloved here in the city of Houston. What specifically about your personality, your fighting style do you think makes you so beloved not just here in the city, but throughout the country and the world as well.
Derrick Lewis: (24:49)
It’s probably because I’m real. I’m not fake, like everyone else is in this sport. I speak my mind. I don’t care what you think of me. I’m going to still speak my mind no matter what.
Speaker 8: (25:00)
What are your plans for after the fight here in Houston?
Derrick Lewis: (25:04)
We’re going to a Little Woodrow’s Sunday, Sunday, buy five shots. You already know I’m not buying you shit. So come on out.
Hey This question’s for Dana. Where’s Amanda at Dana? Where’s Amanda?
She has COVID.
It’s not too late to get her here. I heard that she tested negative.
Oh yeah. I didn’t know that. Soon, honey, you’ll be fighting soon. Sit back, enjoy the fights this weekend, and you will be fighting very soon.
When? I heard December. Is that true?
I don’t know if that’s true or not. We’ll see. We’ll see how this plays out. Soon. As soon as we can make it, we’ll make it.
All right. Thanks.
Thank you. Good to see you.
Speaker 9: (26:05)
[foreign language 00:26:05] How excited are you to come to H-town and beat your opponent in front of his own fans? [foreign language 00:26:14].
We have a French… What did you say? Go ahead and say…
Speaker 9: (26:18)
I’ll translate. As I said, how excited are you to come to H-town and beat your opponent in front of his own fans?
Ciryl Gane: (26:31)
Yeah. No, I’m really excited.
Speaker 9: (26:33)
[foreign language 00:26:33].
Ciryl Gane: (26:33)
[foreign language 00:26:33] I’m really excited about this fight. I’m really excited about this fight and if tomorrow I win, I’m going to be pride. I’m just going to be pride. I’m a simple guy. Yeah, so of course I want to win. I want to beat Derek. Of course. I want to do the show for the fan. I want to feel the fight before the end, and I want to have the belt. Go to the next step, and I don’t want to do this, all of this for me, for my family, for my country. That’s it.
Speaker 9: (27:02)
What would be the next step? Because…
Cyril Gane: (27:03)
Speaker 10: (27:03)
What would be the next step? Because the next step would be probably your former training partner, Francis Ngannou.
Cyril Gane: (27:09)
Exactly. Exactly. But I just want to focus on my fight against Derrick Lewis at the moment. I’m really focused on my target and that’s it.
Speaker 10: (27:16)
Derrick, how would it feel to get beat by a Frenchman in front of your fans?
Derrick Lewis: (27:28)
You’re going to have to excuse my French, but fuck you, and fuck him.
Speaker 10: (27:37)
We’ll remember that on Saturday night.
Derrick Lewis: (27:41)
Write that shit down. Take a picture. I don’t give a fuck.
Dana White: (27:48)
Thank you, Houston. We’re going to rip this stuff out of here and square these guys for some photo ops. We’ll see you at the weigh-ins. Thank you.
Speaker 11: (27:55)
Dana White: (28:06)
Casey Kenney: (28:06)
You’re going to owe me 75 Saturday, huh? You know this fight’s going to be [inaudible 00:30:59].
Dana White: (28:12)
Michael Chiesa: (28:12)
Fucking love you guys.
Dana White: (28:12)
Be cool. We going to be cool?
Dana White: (33:14)
Thank you. [inaudible 00:33:14]
Dana White: (33:14)
Thank you, Cyril.