Dana White strips Francis Ngannou of UFC Heavyweight title

Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou

…Jon Jones, Ciryl Gane to fight for vacant title

Jon Jones is set to face Ciryl Gane for the undisputed heavyweight title at UFC 285 on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Rumours about a title fight between Jones and Gane began to swirl on Saturday when a digital billboard from the UFC 285 venue circulated on social media.

L-R:: Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane
L-R:: Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane

During his UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference, White confirmed the fight is on before revealing that Francis Ngannou has been released by MMA’s premier promotion after rejecting a historically lucrative new contract offer.

The UFC president said: “We offered a deal to Francis that would’ve made him the highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the company, more than Lesnar, more than everybody. And he turned the deal down.”

“We’re going to release him from his contract, give up our right to match. He can go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants.”

White believes his now-former heavyweight champion no longer wants to compete at the highest level and is more interested in taking easy money fights outside of the UFC.

He added: “I think Francis is at a place right now, where he doesn’t want to take a risk. He feels like he can fight lesser opponents and make more money.

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“The guy weighs over 300 lbs, just had knee surgery, hasn’t had a real training camp. I think that probably has a lot to do with it. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen with his knee, he’s not getting younger.

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