The UFC is close to finalizing the highly anticipated heavyweight debut of Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). As expected, the fight will be contested for the heavyweight title, but current heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou (17-3) is not going to be the opponent.
It appears that Jones will be taking on former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane (11-1) at UFC 285 on March 4th. All along, the UFC had hoped to get Jones – Ngannou done, but Ngannou doesn’t appear to be 100% yet after recovering from knee surgery.
Ngannou also hasn’t come to terms on a new contract with the promotion although everything is trending in the right direction. The UFC wants Jones to fight in March so they are moving forward with Jones – Gane. Earlier today, things started to leak out after a T-Mobile Center employee accidentally showed the advertisement for the fight outside the arena.
The interesting wrinkle to all of this is the fact that Helwani is reporting that the fight would be for the heavyweight title. Not the interim title, but he undisputed title. This would mean that the UFC is planning on stripping current champion Francis Ngannou.
Have to feel for Ngannou who is very close to returning from his knee injury and now it appears that he’s getting his heavyweight title stripped. Of course, if Ngannou re-signs with the UFC, he will be next in line following the Gane – Jones matchup in March. Expect that title fight to happen sometime in the summer.
The story is obviously still developing but absolutely massive news regarding Jones and Ciryl Gane.