The MMA world was rocked with some hard-hitting heavyweight news on Monday when it was announced that there will be an interim title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 on August 7.
It has come straight from Dana White on multiple occasions that the next heavyweight championship fight would be a rematch between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis. Ngannou’s public response to this expectation was that he couldn’t care less about Derrick Lewis and only wanted to fight Jon Jones for his first defense of the title. With ESPN Reports This sudden reservation of an interim title fight, it seems that the UFC has decided not to wait any longer for Ngannou.
ESPN also provided the following statement from Ngannou’s agent, Marquel Martin, who was as surprised to hear today’s news as the general public:
“This is a total shock. Doing an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it’s a surprise. We hope to be clear and discover something with the UFC soon, ”says Martin’s statement.
Aside from Ngannou hoping that Jones is possibly the cause of this UFC move, there is also the possibility that Ngannou is healing some injuries and will not be available for a while longer. This could also be a simple case of scheduling conflicts and the UFC desperately searching for a main event for UFC 265 pay-per-view.
Whatever the reason, to the point of Martin, Francis Ngannou only became champion three months ago at UFC 260, so this is undoubtedly a blind decision by the UFC on many fronts.
Ironically, Lewis and Gane expressed a mutual interest in fighting each other in March. Little did they know they would get their wish with the added prize of an interim heavyweight title at stake. Win just defeated Alexander Volkov last Saturday (June 26) at UFC Vegas 30 and insisted he would sit down for a title shot. His sit-in lasted less than 48 hours.
Derrick Lewis is currently the No. 2 heavyweight in the world, and Ciryl Gane is one spot behind him at No. 3. Stipe Miocic, the # 1 contender and consensual HW GOAT, is also conspicuously absent from this title pair.
When we learn more about the momentum of this sudden interim heavyweight title fight, we’ll bring you the scoop right here on MMANews.com!