Ngannou launched, Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gann for the vacant title
Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC), a former longtime gentle heavyweight champion, has been teasing a return to motion for his heavyweight debut since vacating the 205-pound title in Could 2020. It’s now set to remaining. He’ll meet Gann (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) who stripped the UFC of his belt. Francis Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) after a contract dispute with the promotion.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the matchup on Saturday after UFC Battle Evening 217 after a photograph of a digital billboard connected to the T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas surfaced on social media. The identical venue hosts the March 4 occasion, which can air on pay-per-view following the anticipated prelims for ESPN and ESPN+.
White mentioned Ngannou has been launched from his UFC contract and is free to battle elsewhere.
“We have been in talks with (Ngannou) for over two years,” White mentioned, including that Ngannou’s knee, which was lately surgically repaired, could possibly be an issue for him as properly. “We supplied Francis a contract that will make him the highest-paid heavyweight within the historical past of the corporate — greater than (Brock) Lesnar, greater than anyone, and he turned the deal down.”
Jones, thought-about by many to be one of many biggest fighters in MMA historical past, has not competed since UFC 247 in February 2020. Narrow and controversial decision Over Dominic Reyes in his thirteenth profession title battle at 205 kilos.
Shortly thereafter, Jones dedicated to shifting as much as heavyweight, one thing he had been plotting for greater than a decade. He wished a greater deal from the UFC, nonetheless, and held out in hopes of getting one. It’s unknown if Jones has renegotiated his proposed contract or if he’ll battle below his earlier phrases.
For a lot of Jones’ transition to the division, Ngannou and Stipe Miocic have been the 2 names most continuously linked to his heavyweight debut. As a substitute, he’ll meet former interim champion Gann, who’s coming Third round knockout of Tai Tuivasa at UFC Battle Evening 209 in September. Gaine misplaced a title unification bout to his former teammate Ngannou at UFC 270 in January 2022.
The newest UFC 285 lineup now contains:
- Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gann – for the vacant heavyweight title
- Derek Brunson vs Drickus du Plessis
- Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmanov
- Vivian Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas
- Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett
- Jessica Penn vs. Tabatha Rickey
- Farid Basharat vs Da’mon Blackshear
- Julio Arce vs. Cody Garbrandt
- Mario Bautista vs. Guido Canetti
- Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Julian Marquez
- Kamuela Kirk vs. Esteban Ribovics
For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub UFC 285.
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