The fates of Francis Ngannou, Derrick Lewis, Ciryl Gane and the UFC heavyweight division as a whole rest on the outcome of Lewis vs Gane. As UFC 265 inches closer, Francis Ngannou has opened up about what led to the formation of an interim title bout instead of a fight featuring 'The Predator' himself.
Setting up an interim title fight while the champion of the division is completely healthy is unheard of. The fight between Lewis and Gane serves the purpose of picking the number one contender. Slapping the tag of an interim title fight on it while Francis Ngannou is looking for an opponent himself seems like an injustice. Echoing the same sentiment, the French-Cameroonian said:
"My only issue with that fight is that it's not a title fight. I'm the champ and I'm here, I'm not hurt. I was ready to go. Coming up with this interim pattern, that was like a slap, like a disrespect. You know like, the belt that I work hard for, be patient and get the title, and two months, barely three months after they were just matching it (Gane vs Lewis) like it was nothing. We can throw as many titles out there so you will not get the same value."
Francis Ngannou reveals who he wants to fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane
While both fights, Ngannou vs Gane and Ngannou vs Lewis, are excellent stylistic matchups, it is no surprise when it comes to picking a preference. In a bid to avenge his 2018 loss, Ngannou wants to fight the 'The Black Beast':
"I think I would want Derrick Lewis. Because that's the fight, I want to avenge that loss obviously. But Ciryl Gane too is a good potential for a fight," declared Francis Ngannou.
Over the course of his career in the UFC, Francis Ngannou has only suffered two losses: Derrick Lewis and Stipe Miocic. 'The Predator' vindicated himself against Miocic after he routed the former heavyweight champion with a KO at UFC 260.
He still has a score to settle with Derrick Lewis, though. If Lewis were to emerge victorious against Gane, Ngannou would be fighting for more than just his heavyweight title. He will be fighting for redemption.