‘It’s Some Sort of a Weird Impasse’- Joe Rogan Contradicts the UFC’s Decision to Make an Interim Belt With Francis Ngannou on the Sidelines

Published 08/18/2021, 11:16 AM EDT


Ciryl Gane became the interim UFC heavyweight champion at UFC 265 as the Frenchman earned a finish over Derrick Lewis. It was a sensational performance from ‘Bon Gamin’. He completely nullified anything Lewis had to offer. He will now challenge Francis Ngannou in a unification bout.

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UFC color commentator, Joe Rogan, who wasn’t present at the event for broadcasting, heaped praise on the newly crowned champion.

However, Rogan was critical of the promotion’s decision to introduce the interim title for the main event in Houston, Texas. “He’s not injured. It’s just like the UFC and Ngannou, where it’s some sort of a weird impasse,” said Rogan while discussing the situation with Lex Fridman in a recent episode of the famous JRE Podcast.

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So they decided to make a interim title, which brings up all sorts of, you know, ethical discussions about what is what is an interim title? When is it? If the organization could just decide all the negotiations aren’t going so well, we’re just going to have an interim title,” Rogan added further.

Read this story: UFC Champions Who Never Successfully Defended Their Belts

Ngannou fought Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 at the end of March. He captured the belt by earning a stunning finish. It hasn’t been very long since his last fight. So, it’s understandable why Rogan doesn’t fully support the idea of the interim belt.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 27: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory over Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

But the UFC might just have made a smart business decision here. They desperately needed a main event for the card. The decision to make Lewis headline the event with the belt on the line served the purpose.

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When can the fans expect Francis Ngannou to return?

Ngannou was expected to face Derrick Lewis originally in his first defense. But Gane has taken the no.1 spot from ‘The Black Beast’. The former training partners will now clash in a unification bout.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 25: Ciryl Gane steps on the scale for the official weigh-in for UFC Vegas 30 on June 25, 2021, at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A fight for the heavyweight title will certainly be a pay-per-view main event. However, all slots are booked until December. So, considering the timelines, it’s unlikely fans will see ‘The Predator‘ back in action before the end of the year or the start of 2022.

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Apratim Banerjee

1191 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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