This Is What Dana White Plans To Do While Francis Ngannou Recovers
Dana White thinks another interim title fight could be held in the heavyweight division.
Francis Ngannou just defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 and became the undisputed heavyweight champion. It was later revealed that Ngannou suffered injuries to both his knees; he recently underwent surgery and is expected to be sidelined for at least nine months.
“It’s very possible,” White said. “We find out this week [how long he’s out].
“If nine months is true, if it’s going to take nine months for him to get cleared to start training again. That’s almost a year before he would fight. So yeah, we would do an interim title.”
Gane became the interim heavyweight champion when he defeated Derrick Lewis in August via KO/TKO. This fight was set up because Ngannou was unable to make his first title defense.
His first title defense was against Gane, who he dominated with his shocking wrestling skills.
Now, it seems Ngannou will have to make his second title defense against another interim champion.
There are lots of prospects rising in this division. Tom Aspinall just made a massive statement by serving a first-round submission loss to Alexander Volkov; There is Tai Tuivasa, who just defeated Lewis and remains as the No. 3 ranked contender; and Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones also have asked for title fights.
It is, however, still unclear if Ngannou has made progress in agreeing on a deal with the UFC. His manager said that while Ngannou heals from knee surgery, his team will negotiate a new UFC contract.