UFC President Dana White was tired of waiting around for heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to defend his 265-pound title, which is why matchmakers were directed to book Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane for the promotion’s interim strap.
Deal with it.
“If anything, this will make the title fight even bigger when these guys fight,” White told MMA Junkie. “It’ll be champion vs. champion and if Derrick Lewis wins, Derrick Lewis is the guy who beat him. Ciryl Gane has never fought him, and he’s undefeated, which means if he beats Derrick Lewis, the guy who beat Francis Ngannou, and he’s still undefeated going in against Francis Ngannou, that’s pretty fucking exciting.”
I guess that depends on who you ask.
Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) recently captured four straight, including last February’s destruction of Curtis Blaydes to keep his spot at No. 2 in the official rankings. As for Gane (9-0), ranked one spot below “The Black Beast” at No. 3, he’s fresh off his unanimous decision victory over Top 10 heavyweight Alexander Volkov, his sixth straight win under the UFC banner.
White insists he’s just doing his job.
“So why doesn’t everybody just shut the fuck up and let me do what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years?” White continued. “If you want to fight, I got fights every Saturday. If you don’t want to fight, no problem. Fly around the world, go on fucking vacation, do whatever the hell you want to do, and when you’re ready to fight, we’ll be here.”
Lewis and Gane will duke it out at UFC 265 in August.