Why is Francis Ngannou not fighting for the title?

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Find out about why an interim title was carried out forward of UFC 265.

In an sudden flip of occasions, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Francis Ngannou wouldn’t be defending his UFC heavyweight championship towards Derrick Lewis, Jon Jones, or anybody on August 7.

This information comes simply three months after Ngannou grew to become the brand new heavyweight champion, as he knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 whereas avenging his authentic loss within the course of. Many media members believed that Ngannou would face the previous gentle heavyweight champion, Jones, or Lewis for his first title protection, however it seems that it must wait.

Why is Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane for the interim title?

In an Instagram publish from ESPN MMA, extra context was revealed concerning White’s determination to ebook Lewis vs. Gane for an interim heavyweight title whereas Ngannou nonetheless stays sidelined.

“UFC is including an interim heavyweight title combat between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane to UFC 265 on Aug. 7,” White informed Okamoto. “The promotion tried to ebook Lewis towards Francis Ngannou, however Ngannou knowledgeable them he wouldn’t be able to defend his title by August.”

Whereas it’s unclear as to why Ngannou wouldn’t be prepared, it creates a serious shake-up within the heavyweight division after Gane’s determination win towards Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 30. An interim title combat within the heavyweight division is, to say the least, rare, and will wind up delaying Ngannou’s return even longer relying on how the combat performs out.

Lewis put himself proper again into place for a title shot after shedding to Daniel Cormier at UFC 230. Because the loss, Lewis has gained 4 of his final 5 bouts, not too long ago knocking out Curtis Blaydes in Feburary.



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