Ciryl Gane says that he doesn’t feel bad for Francis Ngannou that an interim UFC heavyweight title was created for him and Derrick Lewis.
Ngannou was fully expected to fight Lewis in the main event of UFC 265 in August, but the UFC did an about-face this week and created an interim title fight between Lewis and Gane for the event instead. According to the UFC, Ngannou wasn’t able to fight in August and the promotion already had an event booked in Houston, Texas, and needed Lewis to fight on the card. With Gane coming off of a great win over Alexander Volkov in a fight where he didn’t absorb much damage, the UFC matchmakers called up Gane to quickly turn around and fight Lewis for the interim belt. Of course, Gane said yes right away to the fight.
While Gane and Lewis are happy they are fighting for an interim belt, Ngannou has made no secret that he is not happy that an interim belt was created. Gane, though, believes that his former training partner at the MMA Factory has no reason to worry. Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Gane said if he was Ngannou, he wouldn’t care about the interim belt.
“I can understand (where Francis is coming from) but (I don’t feel bad for him). It’s just an interim title, so the champion is still Francis. Not really (feeling bad) for Francis. If I was Francis, this would be nothing for me,” Gane said.
The winner of Gane vs. Lewis seems likely to face off against Ngannou sometime either later this year or in early 2022 for the undisputed heavyweight title. While Ngannou is understandably upset about the whole situation, it’s just another example of why timing comes before anything else when it comes to doling out UFC title shots.
Do you agree with Ciryl Gane that Francis Ngannou shouldn’t worry about the creation of the interim UFC heavyweight title?