The UFC will create an interim championship at UFC 265 on August 7 with a fight between top contenders Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane.
Just days after he bested Alexander Volkov, undefeated UFC heavyweight Ciryl Gane has been booked for an interim title fight against Derrick Lewis on August 7. The two will serve as the main event of UFC 265 in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas. ESPN was first to report the news.
Nothing has been right here https://t.co/SIeM9uEfBG
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 28, 2021
Per sources, reigning undisputed heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was not ready to fight on the August 7 date. Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Ngannou had accepted the September 25 pay-per-view date for a bout with Lewis. Ngannou competed roughly three months ago in March where he defeated Stipe Miocic to become the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. Per Ngannou’s agent Marquel Martin:
“This comes as a complete shock. 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 reasoning is behind this, but we hope to get clarity soon and figure out something with the UFC soon. At the end of the day, they’re in control of these decisions.”
Derrick Lewis (25-7) will be looking to record his fifth victory in a row after defeating Blagoy Ivanov, Ilir Latifi, and Aleksei Oleinik. In February, Lewis recorded the biggest victory of his career with a second round knockout of Curtis Blaydes to secure the next shot at the UFC title. Lewis previously fought for the title in 2018, fighting Daniel Cormier on short notice. Lewis lost via second round submission.
Ciryl Gane (9-0) has exploded in a short amount of time into one of the top fighters in the heavyweight division. A professional only since 2018, Gane entered the UFC at only 3-0 and has burst into title contention behind victories over Tanner Boser, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Alexander Volkov. Gane defeated Volkov roughly 48 hours ago via unanimous decision.
Tickets for UFC 265 have not gone on sale yet. The card is also scheduled to feature bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes against Julianna Pena in the co-main event.
The full UFC 265 Fight Card:
- Ciryl Gane vs Derrick Lewis
- Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena
- Ed Herman vs Alonzo Menifield
- Jose Aldo vs Pedro Munhoz
- Vince Morales vs Drako Rodriguez
- Johnny Munoz vs Jamey Simmons
- Casey Kenney vs Song Yadong
- Angela Hill vs Tecia Torres
- Michael Chiesa vs Vicente Luque
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Jessica Penne