UFC President Dana White announced the news at a Saturday press conference following UFC Fight Night.
White announced that Ngannou has been stripped of the UFC heavyweight title and is a free agent. In a rare move, the UFC waived its exclusive negotiation window and there is no price match clause. This means Ngannou can negotiate with other promotions in MMA or boxing without interference from the UFC. White also announced that Ciryl Gane vs. Jon Jones will be contested for the vacant UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 285 in Las Vegas on March 4.
White accused Ngannou of wanting to face lesser opponents for more money and said Ngannou could do that outside of the UFC, adding that Ngannou probably wouldn't have been ready to compete from March onwards while still standing. recovering from an injury. Ngannou had repeatedly made it clear that he felt shackled by the UFC contract.
The 36-year-old Cameroonian is now free to engage in the discipline and with the organization of his choice. He had been world heavyweight champion since March 2021 (victory by K.-O. against Stipe Miocic) and had successfully defended his title once, against Gane at UFC 270 in Anaheim (California) a year ago. little less than a year.