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Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane Interim Heavyweight Title Fight Scheduled for UFC 265

July 3, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Derrick Lewis

The UFC confirmed earlier this week Derrick Lewis will challenge Ciryl Gane in a fight for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 next month. The fight card is slated for Saturday, August 7 in Houston, Texas.

Gane is turning around quick following a decision win over Alexander Volkov at last month’s UFC on ESPN+ 48. Gane is currently ranked No. 3 at heavyweight, boasting an undefeated record at 9-0 in MMA and 6-0 in the UFC. Meanwhile, Lewis has won his last four fights inside the Octagon and is currently the No. 2-ranked heavyweight in the division.

So, this begs the question: Why are Lewis and Gane fighting for an interim heavyweight title? ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that UFC attempted to book a fight between heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and Lewis last month for this event. However, Ngannou reportedly informed the UFC that he wouldn’t be ready to defend the title in time August.

Instead, the UFC opted to create an interim title anyway. UFC President Dana White claimed that he thinks both Gane and Lewis deserve a title fight. Derrick Lewis is the last man to defeat Ngannou in the UFC, winning a unanimous decision over Ngannou at UFC 226 in 2018.

In the co-main event for UFC 265, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will defend her title against Julianna Pena. Pena submitted Sara McMann earlier this year to gain a shot at the title. Pena, who also holds the UFC women’s featherweight title, looks to defend the bantamweight title for the sixth time.

UFC 265 will be held at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View. Prelims will be simulcast on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass starting at 6:00 pm ET. Prelims will continue on ESPN2 and ESPN+ at 8:00 pm ET. The main card will start at 10:00 pm ET. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, July 9.