UFC president Dana White hailed Saturday’s controversial interim heavyweight championship fight between Derrick Lewis and Cyril Gane the “perfect” situation, even though said perfection doesn’t include UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou defending his belt.
“Yeah, I’m excited for this fight,” White told UFC Arabia’s Farah Hannoun. “Obviously, in the heavyweight division, you have the two best guys in the division, No. 2 vs. No. 3, with No. 1 being Stipe Miocic, who just lost. These are the two best heavyweights in the world, and we’ll find out who will fight Francis Nggannou.”
UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane takes place Saturday, August 7 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The main event showdown features hometown favorite Lewis in a battle against undefeated phenom Gane to crown an interim UFC heavyweight champion.
“It literally doesn’t get any better than this,” White said.
UFC Heavyweight Divison Stacked With Stars
White is arguably the best promoter in combat sports today. He built the UFC into one of the most popular promotional companies in the world, and he perhaps single-handedly vaulted MMA from the circus sideshow it was to a legit mainstream sport.
But it does literally get better than the No. 2 and No. 3 contenders battling out for interim gold.
Come to think of it, it could be a lot better. After all, Ngannou wanted to defend his UFC heavyweight championship next month, so if either Lewis or Gane deserved the next crack at the real champion, then the fight could and maybe should have been made in September.
And what about Miocic? He’s arguably the greatest heavyweight champion in MMA history, and he definitely wants a third fight with Ngannou. Knotted 1-1 with Ngannou, shouldn’t the most decorated UFC champion ever have the opportunity to grab his belt back?
Then, of course, there’s Jon Jones. The UFC’s pound-for-pound king vacated his light heavyweight championship last year so he could move up one division higher and compete for heavyweight gold. Jones wants to get paid for the move more than the UFC wants to give him, so now all Jones is doing is training and hoping a deal can be struck.
But wouldn’t Jones facing Ngannou literally be better than Lewis vs. Gane?
Heck, wouldn’t Jones vs. Lewis or Gane literally be better, too?
UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane Features Outstanding Heavyweights
Look, UFC 265 is an amazing fight.
Both heavyweight monsters are among the top fighters in the division today. Lewis is one of the hardest-hitting fighters in UFC history, and Gane’s fast rise at the highest level of the sport shows his phenom status is legit.
But UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane isn’t the best possible fight that can be made in the heavyweight division. It’s more like the best possible fight the UFC is willing to make and pay for right now.
White is excited bout UFC 265, and in a vacuum, he and everyone else should be, too.
“This guy [Lewis] is exciting,” White said. “He’s fun. He knocks people out. He’s got a win over the champion, and he’s against a guy who has never fought the champion and is undefeated.”
Gane was also praised.
“He’s got that style…his stand-up is unbelievable,” White said. “The guy is really smooth. He moves like a middleweight, and he’s going in against a guy who can put your lights out with one punch.”
But better fights could have been made, and hopefully will be in the future.
“It literally doesn’t get any more perfect than this” is what White said, but what he probably meant was something else.
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