UFC President Dana White made the announcement following UFC Vegas 67, where he also confirmed that Jon Jones will face Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285 in March.
White said that the UFC offered Ngannou a deal that “would’ve made him the highest paid heavyweight” in the promotion’s history, but the Cameroonian remained steadfast on his regularly voiced desire to explore opportunities elsewhere.
Ngannou’s UFC release brings to an end one of the most spectacular stints in the promotion’s history. The 36-year-old entered the UFC in December 2015 where he amassed a 12-2 record and now leaves as one of the most memorable heavyweights of all time.
On his way to capturing the heavyweight strap with a huge KO of Stipe Miocic in March last year, Ngannou established a name for himself as one of, if not the most terrifying heavyweights in history.
The Cameroonian gained the adoration of fans and sent fear into the hearts of many after his highlight-reel KO of Alistair Overeem in 2017, which saw him earn a title shot against Stipe Miocic in January 2018. He, however, went on to lose that encounter via a lop-sided unanimous decision, before suffering defeat against Derrick Lewis in one of the most underwhelming fights of all time.
But Ngannou soon recaptured his terrifying form to string together four knockout wins against the best of the division and earn a rematch with Miocic. Francis ends his heavyweight reign having defended his title just once, having defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 just under a year ago.
MMA Twitter Reacts To Francis Ngannou’s Free Agency
Now, let’s see how MMA Twitter reacted to Francis Ngannou being released from his UFC contract and stripped of his title.
What would you like to see Francis Ngannou to do next?