Ciryl Gane captured the interim heavyweight strap by smashing Derrick Lewis at the UFC 265 pay-per-view (PPV) event earlier this month in Houston, and will now attempt to unify the 265-pound titles at the expense of reigning division kingpin Francis Ngannou.
So when is that fight expected to happen?
“We’re working on it right now,” UFC President Dana White told TMZ Sports. “Actually, yesterday was matchmaking and that fight was obviously talked about a lot in the matchmaking meeting yesterday. So yeah, we’re working on it.”
Early reports put Ngannou vs. Gane in late 2022 or early 2023.
The promotion hastily created the interim belt because Ngannou was unable to make his first title defense in a timely manner. Not surprisingly, that decision only further strained the promotion’s relationship with “The Predator.”
The winner of Ngannou vs. Gane may be paired off against former champion Stipe Miocic, unless former 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones can resolve his pay plaint with UFC and get back into the Octagon within the next few months.