The Next Step: Francis Ngannou’s future. Plus matches to make after UFC Vegas 67


While the UFC’s return to action seemed to coincide with a return to normalcy for the MMA community following a chaotic start to 2023, that all changed very quickly before Saturday came to an end as UFC President Dana White announced that Francis Ngannou was no longer the UFC heavyweight champion — nor a UFC fighter at all, for that matter — and that Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will fight for the vacant heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 285 on March 4 in Las Vegas.

On an all-new edition of On To the Next One, MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and Alexander K. Lee discuss Ngannou becoming an unrestricted free agent, predict who his next opponent could be, and what promotion he will fight for. Additionally, future matchups are discussed for Sean Strickland following his short-notice decision win against Nassourdine Imavov in the main event of UFC Vegas 67. Future matchups are also discussed for Dan Ige, Roman Kopylov, Raquel Pennington, Umar Nurmagomedov, and more.

Audio-only versions of the podcast can be found below, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and wherever you find your favorite podcasts.