The UFC is going to introduce an interim heavyweight championship in August with a fight scheduled between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported the fight is scheduled for August 7th, according to UFC president Dana White.
The fight will take place at UFC 265 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The report states that the UFC opted to create an interim title when Francis Ngannou was unable to defend his title in June or August.
Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic this March at UFC 260 to become the UFC heavyweight champion. Despite the public clamoring for a fight between Ngannou and Jon Jones, White had been adamant that Derrick Lewis was going to challenge Ngannou next.
Okamoto spoke with Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin, who was surprised by the decision to create an interim title:
This comes as a complete shock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. We hope to get clarity and figure out something with the UFC soon.
For Gane, it will be a fast turnaround after he just fought this past Saturday and earned a five-round unanimous decision win against Alexander Volkov to improve to 9-0.
Lewis (25-7, 1 no-contest) has won his previous four fights and most recently knocked out Curtis Blaydes this past February.