January 16, (THEWILL) – UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been stripped of his title and released from his contract.
This comes after the 36-year-old refused an offer from the Championship that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time. UFC President, Dana White, announced the news and expressed his disappointment with Ngannou’s decision.
According to White: “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.”
Ngannou had been locked in negotiations with the UFC since 2021, as the organisation had been promoting a potential fight between him and Jon Jones for the heavyweight title. Now, as the biggest free agent in MMA, Ngannou is being heavily speculated to join the Professional Fighters League, which has reportedly been courting him.
With a mixed martial arts record of 17 wins and 3 losses including 12 knockouts, Ngannou is a formidable fighter who will no doubt be a valuable addition to any organisation. Fans of the sport will be eagerly watching to see where the former champion will end up next.