The UFC heavyweight championship rematch between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis, which was widely expected to headline UFC 265 on August 7th. — is now unlikely to land on that pay-per-view card, with reports detailing how the promotion are likely to look at UFC 266, which takes place on September 25th.
According to a report this afternoon from Ariel Helwani, scheduling conflicts have forced the promotion to alter their plans to place Ngannou vs. Lewis II on the August 7th. UFC 265, which is preliminarily expected to take place at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas. As a result, the UFC are now looking at the possibility of fielding the heavyweight title clash the following month, likely at UFC 266 on September 25th. — which already features a championship doubleheader.
Initially meeting at UFC 226 in July of 2018, Ngannou suffered his second consecutive loss, in the form of a hugely forgettable unanimous decision defeat to Lewis. The Cameroonian was making his first Octagon walk since a unanimous decision shutout loss to two-time heavyweight best, Stipe Miocic in January of that year at UFC 220.
Headlining in his last outing, Batie native, Ngannou finally clinched the heavyweight title in a March UFC 260 re-run with Miocic, stopping the Ohio native in the second round with a brutal knockout victory, scoring the undisputed heavyweight crown.
For veteran one-time title challenger, Lewis, he’s in the midst of a four-fight undefeated spree, which most recently featured a main event tilt against common-foe, Curtis Blaydes in February at UFC Vegas 19 — stopping the Illinois native with a huge second round, one-punch uppercut stoppage.
UFC 266 takes place on September 25th. — and while a venue or event for the pay-per-view showcase is yet to be determined, a light heavyweight title fight between reigning titleholder, Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira is booked for the event. A featherweight title pairing between The Ultimate Fighter coaches, Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega is also expected to land on the card.