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Dana White says Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis Is Still Being Planned

May 12, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Dana White says the UFC hasn’t abandoned their plans for Francis Ngannou to defend his title against Derrick Lewis. White spoke with ESPN and said that while the company is still in talks with Jon Jones, the plan is currently to have Lewis be Ngannou’s next title defense.

The comments back up what White has said several times over the past couple of months that Lewis was likely to be the first contender for the title. Ngannou won the heavyweight title with a knockout win over Stipe Miocic in March.

“I haven’t [spoken to Jones], but [CBO] Hunter Campbell has a great relationship with Jon, and I know those two have been talking,” he said. “Listen, Jon is one of the best ever. If he wants to fight, we’ll get a fight together for him, but he’s got to want to do it.”

Jones has been vocal about wanting to fight Ngannou, but also wants to renegotiate his contract. If that can happen, White suggested that Jones could fight Miocic. “[Miocic] is the heavyweight GOAT,” White said. “The guy has put in the work and done all the things you need to be the heavyweight GOAT, so that’s a fact. And I don’t know. We’ll see what’s next. I like that he’s fired up and wants to fight again. Listen, we could do Jon and Stipe, too.”

White noted that there’s no timeframe for when Ngannou’s first title defense may happen at this time.