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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:

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.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM