Derrick Lewis is about to get his first shot at UFC gold. On Saturday during the UFC 262 post-fight presser, UFC president Dana White himself confirmed that “The Black Beast” will be Francis Ngannou’s first challenger.
“Derrick Lewis is the next in line. He’s the guy who deserves a shot at the heavyweight championship. And yes, we will get that fight done,” White said.
“We’re not talking about it yet ‘cause it’s probably not gonna be ’til mid or late August.”
So where does that put Jon Jones? Nowhere, apparently, especially after rejecting the idea of fighting Stipe Miocic. Negotiations haven’t gone well, and White not only again questioned Jones’ desire to fight, he also says that the next title shot will go to Miocic instead.
“Jon made it very clear he won’t fight Stipe, so, yeah,” White said when asked if Miocic could face the winner of Ngannou vs. Lewis.
“If Jon Jones wants to fight, he can. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t have to. Nobody’s gonna force Jon Jones to fight.”
Ngannou and Lewis first fought at UFC 226 in 2018, with the latter winning by an uneventful unanimous decision.