Francis Ngannou looks to make his first title defence in Derrick Lewis’s backyard.
According to UFC president Dana White in an interview with Yahoo Sports, the UFC are looking to book a fight in Houston, Texas for a title fight between the newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou and #2 ranked contender, Lewis.
No official fight announcement has been made just yet, but White insisted that “The Black Beast” was next in line for a shot at the title instead of Jon Jones. Jones was expected to be next when Ngannou became champion however a series of failed negotiations has put the former light heavyweight champion out of the picture as “Bones” revealed that he may return next year, delaying his heavyweight debut.
“Derrick Lewis is getting that fight, White said. “My people were just telling me that Jon Jones came out yesterday and said he’s not fighting until next year.”
After the success they had at UFC 262, the second time the UFC had a full capacity crowd since the “COVID era”, White revealed that he was looking to go there again.
“We just had a great experience in Houston,” White said. “I’ll probably take that fight back to Houston.”
This will be the second time Ngannou and Lewis face each other after their first bout ended in a unanimous decision win for Lewis back in July 2018 at UFC 226. The rematch is targeted to take place on August 7 at UFC 265.
Their first encounter was recognised by most people as a complete dud of a fight as both fighters were not as active as many thought they would be. Both were reluctant to engage each other which made the fight one of the most boring UFC fights in history. Lewis eeked out a decision win in what was a very forgettable fight for both fighters.
Since Ngannou’s loss to Lewis, the Cameroonian has gone on to win five in a row against the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Junior Dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, all by knockout and winning the championship belt in the process against Stipe Miocic.
Lewis was last seen in action at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis back in February when he viciously knocked out Curtis Blaydes with a brutal right uppercut. Currently riding a 4 fight win streak and ranked #2 contender in the heavyweight division, Lewis is the rightful next challenger for Ngannou’s belt.
The rematch taking place in Houston is in Lewis’s backyard which could “The Black Beast” that extra firepower and motivation.
Do you think the location and venue will have an effect on the rematch?