An interim heavyweight title bout between no. 2 ranked heavyweight Derrick Lewis and no. 3 ranked contender Ciryl Gane will take place Aug. 7 at UFC 265, according to a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
Quite frankly, this is completely out of left field.
Much of the discussion surrounding the heavyweight title picture was based around who would be next in line to challenge UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou between Lewis and Jon Jones, with White previously saying Lewis was up next for Ngannou.
However, it is apparent that Ngannou was unavailable to defend his title in June or August, subsequently leading to the UFC’s decision to make an interim title fight between Lewis and Gane at UFC 265.
Ngannou’s management also felt a similar sentiment of this announcement coming out of left field. In Okamoto’s report, Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin said he hopes to find clarity with the promotion and “figure out something soon”.
Gane (9-0) is currently coming off a unanimous decision victory over no. 5 ranked heavyweight Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC Vegas 30.
Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) is currently on a four fight winning streak. Most recently, ‘The Black Beast’ defeated Curtis Blaydes with a brutal second round knockout in the main event of UFC Vegas 19.