Bellator analyst John McCarthy explained why Ciryl Gane vs. Derrick Lewis should not be fighting for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 265.
Gane vs. Lewis headlines UFC 265 next Saturday night at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The UFC creating an interim belt was controversial because UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou won his title back in March, so to create an interim belt just a few months later seems strange, and a lot of fans and media pushed back when it was first announced.
One person who is critical of the UFC’s decision to create an interim belt is McCarthy, one of the top MMA officials in history who is now a commentator for Bellator MMA. Speaking to The Schmo in a recent interview, McCarthy criticized UFC 265’s interim title fight.
“I have no problem with an interim title when you have a champion that’s out, you have a champion who is hurt and can’t compete. You don’t want that division put on hold. This is the one time where I’m going to look and say I think the UFC is wrong. Most of the time I think they’re right with their interim titles, but this one makes no sense, because it doesn’t matter who wins this fight, be it Ciryl Gane or be it Derrick Lewis,” McCarthy said (h/t MiddleEasy).
“They’re both very good fighters, and I really enjoy watching both of them. I’m not going to consider them a heavyweight champion. There’s a guy named Francis Ngannou that’s sitting there, and he’s waiting, and he’s got the real belt. It doesn’t matter what happens in this fight. You can take Francis Ngannou and not even have Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane, and put Jon Jones, and if Jon Jones wins, Jon Jones is going to be the heavyweight champion. It doesn’t matter who wins this fight, and that’s why it doesn’t make sense for me. As an interim championship, there was no need for it.”
Do you agree with John McCarthy that Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis should not be fighting for an interim belt at UFC 265?