Derrick Lewis now appears to be in pole position for a heavyweight title shot against Francis Ngannou after revealing that he’s been in contract negotiations with the UFC about the fight.
“I’m happy that they finally came to me and we might be getting a deal done,” Lewis told ESPN. “We might not. We’ll see. I told them my numbers, so we’re just waiting for a response back.
“We’re really just waiting on Francis. That’s all it is. We’re just waiting on Francis. I got the fight, so I’m really just waiting on Francis to pick what date he wants to get in on,” said Lewis. “They gave us some dates, some months, and so we’re just waiting for him to respond. That’s all.”
That appears to back up Dana White’s recent comments that he was moving on from trying to negotiate a superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones.
“We tried to work with Jon and we eventually have to move on because, realistically, in all honesty, Derrick Lewis is the guy who deserves the fight,” White told theringer.com podcast. “Derrick Lewis is a heavyweight. He beat Francis Ngannou. He’s looked good in his last couple of fights. He’s ranked in the top three, I think. He deserves the fight, so that’s the fight that should happen. We’ll just roll and do what we do. When Jon’s ready, he’ll let us know.”
In recent days Jones has parted ways with his long-time manager Malki Kawa though, so no doubt Lewis will be hoping that the UFC and Ngannou wrap up negotiations for a fight with him sooner rather than later in case ‘Bones’ suddenly has a change of heart over his financial demands.