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UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is finally set to defend his belt for the first time in January next year.

Having dethroned Stipe Miocic, who many regard as the greatest heavyweight in history, Ngannou has been frustrated by the UFC dragging their heels in terms of matchmaking.

He was baffled when they granted an interim heavyweight title fight between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis back in August.

The Frenchman won that showdown at UFC 265 and will now take on Ngannou for the legitimate title in January at UFC 270, as first reported by La Sueur.

Both fighters have verbally agreed to the fight taking place early next year but contracts are yet to be signed.

Ngannou vs Gane was the only logical fight to make next at heavyweight once Gane had won the interim title.

The 31-year-old is only 10 fights into his professional career but has not suffered a single defeat yet.

His style is calculated and sharp, causing problems for heavyweights with less athleticism than he does but Ngannou will be by far the biggest test.

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The champion returned to his native Cameroon to parade his belt after he beat Miocic and has been enjoying the fruits of his labour but will no doubt be desperate to get back into the octagon.

To make matters even more interesting, Gane and Ngannou are former training partners and know each other well.

At present, no location has been announced for the fight, with Paris an option for the UFC, but it is more likely to take place in the United States.

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