Ngannou-Gane title unifier set for UFC 270
UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou agreed to fight Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in January, Ngannou's manager told ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
"We're excited this date has been confirmed," manager Marquel Martin said in a statement. "Francis has been ready to defend his title for a while now. We're excited to prove who the undisputed heavyweight champion is, again."
The fight, scheduled for Jan. 22, 2022, is expected to headline the pay-per-view event and will become official soon, Okamoto adds.
Ngannou and Gane have been on a collision course ever since the latter captured the interim championship in August. Gane stopped Derrick Lewis in the third round to claim the temporary belt, improving to 10-0 as a professional mixed martial artist.
Ngannou last fought in March, knocking out Stipe Miocic in the second round to win the belt. The Cameroonian powerhouse has won his last five fights, all via knockout or technical knockout. He's 16-3 overall, with his only UFC losses coming against Miocic and Lewis in 2018.
UFC president Dana White previously acknowledged his desire to stage the highly anticipated heavyweight showdown in France, where Gane is from and Ngannou used to reside. However, it's unclear how soon the promotion will be able to get into France in light of COVID-19 restrictions. The UFC has yet to announce a location for its first pay-per-view of 2022.
UFC 270 is also expected to feature Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier in a pivotal clash of middleweight contenders. The UFC was rumored to be eyeing a middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker for UFC 270, but lockdowns in New Zealand have complicated the logistics.