Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis added to UFC 226

Francis Ngannou, left, hits Alistair Overeem in the first round during a UFC 218 heavyweight mixed martial arts bout. (Jose Juarez/AP)

A tantalizing matchup between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis, perhaps the two hardest punchers in mixed martial arts, is in the works for UFC 226.

The knockout artists will meet in a featured bout at the July event, the UFC announced.

Ngannou (11-2) is looking to bounce back from his first loss in the UFC. The 31-year-old Cameroonian dropped a unanimous decision to current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic when they headlined UFC 220 in January.

Lewis (19-5 with one no-contest) is coming off a technical knockout win over Marcin Tybura in February and a win over Ngannou would put him back in the title shot conversation.

Before the UFC made an official announcement, Lewis hinted at the bout in a funny Instagram post, alluding to the fact neither fighter is known for their conditioning or defensive grappling skills.

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

Seventeen of Lewis’s 19 career victories have been by either knockout or TKO, while Ngannou has a 100 per cent finishing rate in his 11 wins.

UFC 226 takes place July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card is headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Miocic and current light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.