Jon Jones will return to the Octagon for the primary time in three years, whereas now-former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has turn out to be a free agent, UFC president Dana White has introduced.
Jones is scheduled to struggle Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight championship at UFC 285 on March 5 (AEDT), whereas White introduced the UFC was unable to return to phrases with Ngannou on a brand new contract.
White stated the deal provided to Ngannou would’ve made the 36-year-old the “highest-paid heavyweight within the historical past of the corporate”.
“I’ve advised you guys this earlier than, when you don’t wish to be right here, you don’t need to be,” White stated on Sunday.
“I feel Francis is in a spot proper now the place he doesn’t wish to take lots of threat. He seems like he’s in a great place the place he might struggle lesser opponents and make more cash.
“We’re going to let him do this, launch him from his contract and quit our proper to match.”
Jones, in response to White, has signed an eight-fight cope with the UFC.
The 35-year-old has been absent since defending his mild heavyweight title with a win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020.
Jones, one of many biggest fighters within the sport’s historical past, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor home battery violence in September 2021, but it surely was finally dropped.
He holds a 20-1 document within the UFC, along with his sole loss coming by way of disqualification.
Gane’s final outing noticed him knock out Tai Tuivasa at UFC Struggle Night time 209 in September, along with his solely loss coming to Ngannou.
Initially printed as UFC heavyweight champ stripped, Jon Jones to struggle for belt