Cameroon’s Francis Ngannou Stripped of UFC Heavyweight Title and Released by Organisation
- Francis Ngannou was Africa's last remaining champion after Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya were beaten in 2022
- The Predator defended his Heavyweight title just once before needing to undergo surgery on an injured knee
- Ngannou was in the process of negotiating a new deal with the UFC and preparing for a possible Jon Jones clash
Francis 'The Predator' Ngannou is no longer the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
The Cameroon national has not fought in the Octagon since he defended the title against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022.
Ngannou underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he sustained during the fight, and was negotiating with the UFC during that time over a new contract.
The Predator often updated fans on the progress of negotiations and was looking forward to fighting in 2023, with a bout against Jon Jones the most likely prospect.
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As reported by MMA Mania, UFC have decided to release Ngannou instead.
“We are going to release Francis Ngannou from his contract. We are giving up the right to match. He can go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants,” UFC president Dana White said.
Ngannou's impressive career The Predator amassed a 17 and 3 record in the organisation, UFC Stats confirmed. He beat Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in 2021 to win the world title and was undefeated in his last six fights.
The last African champion Ngannou was also Africa's last reigning champion. Nigerian duo, Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya, both lost their titles in 2022, with Ngannou still carrying the flag high for the continent.
The rise of Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou is one of the most popular and feared fighters in the world but the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight titleholder didn't have the easiest road to get where he is.
Nicknamed The Predator, Ngannou was born in Batié, Cameroon, and grew up in poverty with no formal education, Sports Brief previously reported.
As he recalled in an interview with Joe Rogan, he had to search for food in bins as a youngster, often 'fighting' with rats for the scraps.
UFC vacates heavyweight title
Jon Bones Jones will make his long-awaited return to the UFC in March.
Bones will compete at UFC 285, where he will fight for the vacant heavyweight title, Sports Brief previously reported.
The title became vacant after the UFC officially released Francis Ngannou and stripped him of the belt.