Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has parted ways after the promotion was unable to meet his contract demands.

During the broadcast of UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Imavov, a banner on the T-Mobile Arena advertising a Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane heavyweight title fight began doing the rounds on social media. This quickly led to fans deducing that Ngannou had vacated his belt, and potentially parted ways with the UFC.

In the post-fight press conference, Dana White would confirm these theories, stating:

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“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.”

This, of course, leaves Francis Ngannou open to explore free agency in the world of MMA. Two promotions have already indicated they may have some interest in signing ‘The Predator.’

Bellator MMA president Scott Coker reposted a LowKickMMA article from 2022 that focused on Bellator being open to sign Ngannou in early 2022.

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PFL, who appear to be the most popular fan pick for Ngannou’s next destination, simply posted the following GIF.

PFL and Bellator do seem the most likely next steps for Francis Ngannou, although it is worth noting that only a year has passed since the now former UFC champ was heavily campaigning for a boxing match with Tyson Fury.

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Where do you think Francis Ngannou will go from here?

Combat sports journalist based out of the UK. Follow @frankbonada on Twitter for all things MMA and Boxing.