Francis Ngannou wanted the UFC to promote his May 9 heavyweight scrap with Jairzinho Rozenstruik to an interim title fight. From the sounds of it, the promotion isn’t interested.
Ngannou’s request actually had some merit, as reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has not fought since August, and has not yet given a clear timeframe for his next Octagon appearance.
Considering the promotion recently booked an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje — all while undisputed champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is healthy and just a few months away from fighting again — Ngannou’s request is even more justifiable.
Unfortunately for Ngannou, the UFC didn’t bite.
“We even requested [an interim title] to the UFC, but actually they weren’t interested in all that,” Ngannou told MMA Fighting. “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.
“Let’s say after May 9 happens and I beat this guy, what’s next?” Ngannou continued. “It’s just kind of a blind spot out there, the UFC has to clear that out and let the heavyweight division know exactly what is the plan, what they’re going to do. I don’t think we’re going to be waiting for people. No disrespect for Stipe or [Cormier], but I don’t think it’s fair that we just sit here and wait to fight. As I said, I requested that, but there was no interest. So why wouldn’t I be down for that since I asked for it? I think the division should move on.”
Do you think the May 6 fight between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik should be for the interim heavyweight title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/24/2020.