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Francis Ngannou doesn’t appear to be pleased with the UFC’s decision to book an interim title fight in the heavyweight division.

After the promotion reportedly hit an impasse at finalizing a date for Ngannou’s (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) first title defense, it opted to move on and put together an interim championship bout between Derrick Lewis (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC 265 on Aug. 7.

Ngannou’s management told ESPN it was surprised by the fight considering “The Predator” is only three months removed from winning the belt from Stipe Miocic. Shortly thereafter, Ngannou took to social media and noted the organization’s unevenness when it comes to handling these situations, pointing to how he should’ve got his own interim title fight against Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 in May 2020 after then-champ Miocic had been out of action for nine months (via Twitter):

I remember my interim title fight against Jairzinho …. oh wait 🙄

Nothing has been right here

It’s been a dramatic shift for the heavyweight division from where things stood just a few months ago. Coming out of Ngannou’s knockout win over Miocic in their rematch at UFC 260 in March, all signs pointed to a superfight with Jon Jones being the next move.

Negotiations with Jones quickly deteriorated, though, and the UFC brass shifted to Lewis as the first challenger for Ngannou.

Fast-forward to the present day, and now neither Ngannou nor Jones will be involved in the next title bout at heavyweight.

Ngannou wasn’t the only one surprised by the decision. Check out how some others in the MMA community reacted to the Lewis vs. Gane news.


Belal Muhammad

Simon Samano

Ben Askren

Ariel Helwani

Mike Bohn

Derek Brunson

Matthew Wells

Aaron Bronsteter [vertical-gallery id=521509]