UFC heavyweight Alexander Volkov does not believe top-ranked Derrick Lewis is truly the best contender to challenge Francis Ngannou for the title.
No.5-ranked heavyweight Alexander Volkov is scheduled to face no.3-ranked Ciryl Gane in the main event of the upcoming UFC Fight Night card on June 26.
In an interview with RT Sport ahead of the fight, 'Drago' said that he believes Derrick Lewis is undeserving of the title shot and it should be either him or Ciryl Gane for the title - whoever wins this Saturday:
"To be fair, the situation in our division is complicated. But I hope it is a contender fight. Who else would fight for the belt if not one of us? Lewis? He is not the best contender in my eyes. I think Lewis himself understands that. He even said in one of his interviews that it would be something weird. Jon Jones might be there. Stipe Miocic with another title run. I don't know, but out of the active fighters - those who are ready to fight here and now with no hesitations and negotiations - I think that's me and Gane. I think we are the best actual options, if the champion wants to fight anytime soon," Alexander Volkov said.
Numerically speaking, Derrick Lewis sits at the top of the heavyweight division with a four-fight winning streak. His latest victory came against Curtis Blaydes via a stunning second-round knockout.
Alexander Volkov is on a two-fight winning streak, with TKO victories over Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. His first UFC loss came against Derrick Lewis at UFC 229, the pay-per-view made infamous by the historic fight and the brawl that followed between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov and their respective camps.
Ciryl Gane, on the other hand, is yet to be defeated in his MMA career. In the UFC, he is 5-0, with his last three wins coming against Tanner Bose, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Francis Ngannou defeated former champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 to be crowned the new UFC heavyweight king. The matter of who he will face for his first title defense has been up in the air, with Jon Jones preparing to move up to heavyweight, Derrick Lewis being the top-ranked in the division and Stipe Miocic being very well deserving of a rematch.
Dana White has confirmed Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis
Dana White has already confirmed that it will be Derrick Lewis who gets the title shot first against Francis Ngannou sometime around August. Ariel Helwani recently reported that a new date for the rematch will be fixed soon targeting September.
Due to the fallout over pay disputes, a heavyweight title fight featuring Jon Jones currently seems like a distant dream for MMA fans. However, Francis Ngannou is still hopeful about the superfight despite all the talk surrounding 'Bones'.