UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is completely shocked by the news of the UFC seting up an interim heavyweight championship fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane at UFC 265.
A shocking announcement was made by the UFC regarding the state of the heavyweight division that took everyone by surprise and even the heavyweight champion of the UFC Francis Ngannou. According to president Dana White, UFC was not going to wait on Ngannou to get ready for his first title shot so they moved on and decided to make an interim belt for the division. Francis Ngannou won the belt at UFC 260 in march after he drafted Stipe Miocic in round two. Since then, UFC was gunning to make a fight between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou. The never got official as Jon Jones wasn’t ready to take the fight at a low paycheck than what he asked UFC for.
UFC then said that they will be on with the next possible option which was the no.2 ranked fighter Derrick Lewis. UFC wanted to make this matchup for August 7. Ngannou informed the UFC that he wouldn’t be ready to defend the title by August, so the promotion chose to create an interim title. White told ESPN the company believes Lewis and Gane are both deserving of a title fight. Lewis holds a victory over Ngannou from 2018 in a lacklustre three-round fight. He is on a four-fight win streak.
Francis Ngannou reacts to the interim title fight
In reaction to the news, Ngannou’s agent Marquel Martin released a statement saying he was “shocked” by the UFC’s decision to introduce an interim title. Francis himself seemed to be surprised that UFC wasn’t even ready to wait for a month. As the promotion offered him to fight in August he refused that. But he said that he was ready to fight Lewis in September but seems like UFC had some different plans.
I remember my interim title fight against Jairzinho …. oh wait 🙄
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 28, 2021
“I remember my interim title fight against Jairzinho …. oh wait,” Ngannou wrote.
His agent, Marquel Martin of CAA Sports, released a statement to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, which was posted on Instagram.
“This comes as a complete chock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. Francis is just now returning to the States to begin training, and he just won the title three months ago. We’re unsure of what the resoning is behind this, but we hope to get clairty soon and figure out something with the UFC soon. At the end of the day, they’re in control of these actions.”
The ‘Predator’ Francis was not happy with this news and it was obvious as he has just won the title a few months back. But seems like he’ll just have to wait for the winner of this fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane and then he can fight the winner for the undisputed belt.
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