Francis Ngannou is officially clear to sign a deal with someone else.
UFC president Dana White confirmed following UFC Fight Night 217 that they are going to wave any right to match and let him go elsewhere. He is no longer the UFC heavyweight champion. White said they offered him a deal that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight ever in the history of the company.
“We’ve been negotiating with (Ngannou) for more than two years,” White said, and added that Ngannou’s knee, which recently was surgically repaired, could be an issue for him, as well. “We offered Francis a deal that would’ve made him the highest paid heavyweight in the history of the company – more than (Brock) Lesnar, more than anybody, and he turned the deal down.”
Dana immediately also confirmed that A UFC Heavyweight Championship bout for the vacant title between former two-times UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and former interim champion Ciryl Gane will now headline UFC 285.
Former longtime light heavyweight champion Jones has been teasing a return to action for his heavyweight debut since heh vacated the 205-pound title in May 2020. Finally, he returns and will meet Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for the belt the UFC has stripped from Francis Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) after a contract dispute with the promotion.
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