UFC releases Francis Ngannou, Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for vacant heavyweight title

Francis Ngannou has been release by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC president Dana White made the announcement during the UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference on Saturday.

“We’ve been working on a new agreement for Francis for like two years now. We had gotten to a point where he was going to fight Jon Jones, and money who believe, including me, he’s (Jones) is the best of all time, for the heavyweight championship. And Jon Jones has been willing, ready, and able to fight anybody. He didn’t care who it was. It would have been anybody in the heavyweight division. He was ready to go,” White said.

“We offered Francis a deal that would have 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,” continued White. “We’re going to releases him from his contract. We’re going to give up our right to match and he got do wherever he wants and do whatever he wants.”

“We can’t continue to hold up the division and not come to an agreement with this guy. We did everything we could to make this fight happen, but he’s got it in his head that there are bigger opportunities outside of the UFC with lesser opponents.”

The news of Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane headlining UFC 285 in March was leaked on Saturday. Jones confirmed the news and White officially made the announcement.

“This is for the official heavyweight title,” said White.