Francis Ngannou is ready to defend his heavyweight title.
A clash of heavyweight champions is set to go down in early 2022 as champion Francis Ngannou will defend his belt against interim champion Ciryl Gane. With Gane being the interim champion, a meeting between the two was bound to be set, but now there is an actual date in mind. According to the French news outlet, La Seur the bout will be headlining UFC 270 on Jan. 22.
The fact that this fight is now being made is good news for the relationship between the UFC and Ngannou. Recently Ngannou was growing frustrated with the UFC and how negotiations were going. Since becoming the champion back in March the rumors were that Ngannou would face off against Jone Jones. Jones had his own issues with negotiations and that fight was put on hold. With Ngannou only holding the belt for five months, the UFC went ahead and booked an interim title fight between Gane and Derrick Lewis.
Now that Gane is holding the interim title he will get his chance to unify it against Ngannou. Both men have strong connections to France, and with MMA being recently legalized in the country, France would be an excellent location. Unfortunately, that may not be possible due to COVID restrictions. The location for the event is not yet revealed but could be in Las Vegas or Fight Island, Abu Dhabi.
Gane is coming into this matchup undefeated. He has knockout power as well as skills on the ground. He may be the toughest test for Ngannou yet in his UFC career. As is known by any fight fan, Ngannou is the hardest hitter in the UFC and is very dangerous at any time in the fight. This could be the most anticipated heavyweight fight in many years.
This event will be the first Pay-Per-View of 2022 and has all the makings to be a huge one. The co-main event of this card will be a middleweight title showdown between champion Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.