Pros react after the UFC releases Francis Ngannou and books Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for the vacant title
Several pros have reacted after the UFC released Francis Ngannou and booked Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title on March 4.
Earlier this afternoon, rumors began to swirl about a ‘Jones vs. Gane’ title fight after a photo of the pair was seen advertised at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After several reports came out suggesting that a fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane had been verbally agree to for UFC 285, promotional president Dana White confirmed the news at tonight’s post-fight press conference.
“We offered Ngannou a deal that would make him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time. He turned it down. We’re gonna release him from his contract. He can go and do whatever he wants,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “Jon Jones is literally ready to fight anybody. He didn’t care who it was. We could have done a fight with Jones in October, November, December. But we wanted this fight with Francis.”
Not only is Francis Ngannou stripped and released, but Dana White noted that the promotion waived the exclusive negotiating window and no matching rights clause. That means ‘The Predator’ is now a free agent and can sign with whatever promotion he wants, as soon as possible.
Following the rather shocking news, several pros took to social media to share their respective reactions.
Check out what fellow fighters had to say below:
I can’t wait for that title fight
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) January 15, 2023
I feel like a UFC option should be on this
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) January 15, 2023
Let’s go @JonnyBones!!! #UFC285 https://t.co/uT9aOc8OZk
— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) January 14, 2023
Dream BIG 😤#UFC285 pic.twitter.com/JJE6hy04TU
— Ciryl Gane (@ciryl_gane) January 15, 2023
Always an honor to work with @JonnyBones, the greatest fighter in MMA history. Now it’s time for him to add to that legacy with his first UFC heavyweight title. Can’t wait for Jones v Gane! #UFC285 🦴🐐
More exclusive content coming soon to my YouTube!https://t.co/XAqzgQkzPx pic.twitter.com/h0lTNUnplm
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) January 15, 2023
Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane is confirmed for UFC 286 . What a nice Co Main to the Main event Blonde Brunson vs Dricus Du Plessis
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) January 15, 2023
Lfg!! Return of the 🐐 @JonnyBones pic.twitter.com/K5r27vKAgR
— AbeKawa.eth (@Abraham_kawa) January 15, 2023
From Feb. 20, 2022 – Scott Coker Open To Bringing @Francis_Ngannou To @BellatorMMA https://t.co/V9vSRqvv5E
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 15, 2023
Jon Jones (26-1 MMA) has not competed since successfully defending the light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February of 2020.
Meanwhile, Ciryl Gane (11-1 MMA) most recently competed back in September of 2022, where he scored a sensational knockout victory over Tai Tuivasa.
Where Francis Ngannou will wind up remains to be seen. ‘The Predator’ likely has many possible suitors including PFL, Bellator, ONE Championship, BKFC or perhaps something in Boxing.
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