Did we really need an interim UFC Heavyweight Champion?
As a MMA nerd, I’m looking forward to the UFC heavyweight fight between Cyril Gane and Derrick Lewis, but I couldn’t help but ask if this really needed to be an interim championship instead of scheduling a regular heavyweight title defense.
After all, Francis Ngannou just won the belt on March 27, 2021, and Gane/Lewis is scheduled for a mere 133 days later.
A quick dive into the data, looking back at the scheduling of heavyweight title fights since 2010, confirms this.
- The average time between heavyweight title fights since 2010 was 233 days, or just under 8 months. And the average of time between the last 3 heavyweight title defenses was a whopping 291 days!
- The time between heavyweight defenses has only been less than 133 days 3 times since 2010.
- The shortest time between defenses turnaround was between Brock Lesnar’s win over Shane Carwin in 2010, and his subsequent loss 112 days later to Cain Velasquez.
In short, we could have just had a regular heavyweight title defense sometime in the next few months, and we’d still have been right on schedule.
Heavyweight Title Fights Since 2010
|Brock Lesnar||Shane Carwin||7/3/10|
|Brock Lesnar||Cain Velasquez||10/23/10||112 days|
|Cain Velasquez||Junior Dos Santos||11/12/11||385 days|
|Junior Dos Santos||Frank Mir||5/26/12||196 days|
|Junior Dos Santos||Cain Velasquez||12/29/12||217 days|
|Cain Velasquez||Antonio Silva||5/25/13||147 days|
|Cain Velasquez||Junior Dos Santos||10/19/13||147 days|
|Cain Velasquez||Fabricio Werdum||6/13/15||602 days|
|Fabricio Werdum||Stipe Miocic||5/14/16||336 days|
|Stipe Miocic||Alistair Overeem||9/10/16||119 days|
|Stipe Miocic||Junior Dos Santos||5/13/17||245 days|
|Stipe Miocic||Francis Ngannou||1/20/18||252 days|
|Stipe Miocic||Daniel Cormier||7/7/18||168 days|
|Daniel Cormier||Derrick Lewis||11/3/18||119 days|
|Daniel Cormier||Stipe Miocic||8/17/19||287 days|
|Stipe Miocic||Daniel Cormier||8/15/20||364 days|
|Stipe Miocic||Francis Ngannou||3/27/21||224 days|