UFC bombshell as Dana White confirms Francis Ngannou will be RELEASED from his contract and stripped of his title after heavyweight champ turned down mega deal
- Dana White confirms Francis Ngannou will be released by the UFC
- UFC boss says heavyweight champ rejected lucrative contract offer
- Jon Jones will now fight for heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane on March 4
UFC boss Dana White has announced Francis Ngannou will be released from his contract after turning down an offer that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time.
White spoke to the media following UFC Vegas 67 and announced Jon Jones will face Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title on March 4, and that Ngannou has been released from the organisation and stripped of his belt.
Ngannou has been stripped of his title after turning down an offer that UFC boss Dana White says would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time
White spoke to the media following UFC Vegas 67 and announced Jon Jones will face Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title on March 4, and that Ngannou (pictured with White) has been released from the organisation
‘We offered Ngannou a deal that would make him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time,’ said White. ‘He turned it down. We’re gonna release him from his contract. He can go and do whatever he wants.’
Ngannou had been trying to negotiate a new contract with the UFC for more than two years, and recent family photos sparked speculation that he could be about to jump ship to a rival promotion as one of his relatives was pictured wearing a Professional Fighters League T-shirt.
The UFC isn’t interested in trying to match any offer Ngannou (pictured after his win over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260) receives now that he’s been cut loose
Ngannou’s recent family photos sparked speculation that he could be about to jump ship to a rival promotion as one of his relatives was seen in a Professional Fighters League T-shirt
Ngannou is arguably the biggest free agent in MMA history and may now pursue his longstanding boxing ambitions. He finished his career with the UFC with a 12-2 record – winning his last six fights.
Former light-heavyweight champion Jones, who has signed an eight-fight deal, will now make his return to the octagon after more than three years away, facing Gane for the vacant title.
One of the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, Jones racked up 11 light-heavyweight championship defences during his time in the UFC, with wins over some of the best fighters to ever compete.
Former light-heavyweight champion Jones (pictured beating Anthony Smith in 2019) will return to the octagon after more than three years away as he faces Gane for the vacant title
Jones has been teasing a comeback at heavyweight since he vacated his 205-pound title in 2020, and is said to be tipping the scales at 255 pounds, just 10 pounds shy of the 265lb heavyweight limit.
‘Bones’ has a 26-1 record in the light heavyweight division, with one no contest because he tested positive for a prohibited steroid after his knockout win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July 2017.
Ciryl Gane (pictured kicking Ngannou in their title bout) is the No.1-ranked heavyweight and should be a big test for Jones
Gane is the UFC’s No.1 ranked heavyweight and is widely considered one of the best strikers in the world. He has only ever been knocked down once, by Aussie Tai Tuivasa, and has a record of 9-1 – his only loss coming to Ngannou last January.
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