According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, the heavyweight duo will headline the UFC 265 card, which is scheduled to take place on August 7.
Reacting to the news, 'The Predator' recalled the time when he requested the UFC to book an interim title clash between him and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, but the Dana White-led promotion didn't entertain his idea.
"I remember my interim title fight against Jairzinho... oh wait," Ngannou wrote on Twitter.
Ngannou expressed interest in fighting for the interim championship at a time when he wreaked havoc in the heavyweight division, knocking out the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in the first round.
He did fight Rozenstruik but an interim title wasn't at stake. Ngannou made quick work of his opponent, finishing 'Bigi Boy' in the opening 20 seconds of their fight at UFC 249.
During his interaction with MMA Fighting last year, 'The Predator' reflected on his disappointment with the UFC:
"We even requested (an interim title) to the UFC, but actually they weren’t interested in all that. The fact is nobody knows when it’s going to be decided for the title in the heavyweight division again. It’s soon going to be one year, which is something very frustrating and makes me (not) want to think about it," said Francis Ngannou.
The UFC wanted Francis Ngannou to defend his belt in June or August
According to ESPN's report, the reason why the UFC decided to book an interim title fight between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis is that Francis Ngannou was not willing to defend his belt in June or August of this year.
The promotion reportedly wanted Ngannou to take on Lewis at UFC 265 but the 34-year-old declined the offer, forcing the UFC to book the aforementioned clash.
Francis Ngannou dethroned Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March. He recently visited his home country and didn't appear to accept the fight with Lewis on little over a one-month notice.