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UFC: Ngannou part ways with Company, loses heavyweight crown

On Saturday, hours after T-Mobile Arena accidentally revealed Jon Jones would be fighting Cyril Gane for the heavyweight championship at UFC 285 on March 4, Dana White confirmed the title bout and revealed Francis Ngannou is no longer a part of the company.

White, 53, explained his side of the failed contract negotiations, saying Ngannou is trying to make more money while facing lesser competition.

“I’ve told you guys this before — if you don’t want to be here, you don’t have to be,” White said. “I think Francis is in a place right now where he doesn’t want to take a lot of risk.

“He feels like he’s in a good position where he could fight lesser opponents and make more money. We’re going to let him do that, release him from his contract and give up our right to match.”

Ngannou, 36, did not accept a deal that would have made him the “highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the company,” according to White.

Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gane confirmed
Jones, 35, is set to make his first appearance inside the octagon since February 2020 when he successfully defended the light heavyweight belt against Dominick Reyes.

The announcement comes days after Gane called out Jones, who has a 26-1 career record and is considered among the greatest fighters of all time.

Jones was only 23 years old when he became the youngest UFC champion ever in 2011.

He held the light heavyweight championship title on and off from 2011-2020, vacating the belt following his win over Reyes to move up in weight.

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