UFC 265 just got it’s headliner. On Monday, it was announced that Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane will be competing for an interim heavyweight title on August 7th. This comes just two days removed from Ciryl Gane’s dominant victory over Alexander Volkov.
It seems that the promotion in striking while the iron is hot. The pay-per-view event in Houston will draw a lot of attention having heavyweight gold on the line and The Black Beast fighting for a piece of it. Double champion Amanda Nunes will defend her bantamweight title against Julianna Pena in the co-main event.
It makes for an exciting card and clash of styles, but why in the world is a belt up for grabs? Francis Ngannou was crowned champion in March of this year and could likely fight again before Christmas. Is the UFC just this desperate for a PPV headliner? Or is there perhaps other factors swaying this decision.
Ngannou has been looking for a fight with Jon Jones but I find it hard to believe he turned down Lewis. After deciding not to pay Jones’ asking price the UFC likely offered the bout to Ngannou. This may all just be due to the champion not being available to fight that soon. Even if that were the case though I find it unfair to host an interim tile fight.
This also seems to indicate that Jon Jones will not take part in either of the next two heavyweight tile fights. A fight between Ngannou and Jones could be scheduled for after the August bout, but then it would look even more ridiculous having an interim champ in the fold.
Ngannou tweeted on Monday evening “Nothing has been right here” in response to his scheduling and treatment of late under the UFC banner.