Former UFC champ Francis Ngannou officially signs with PFL MMA

Former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou has ended his long journey through the wild of combat sports free agency and has officially signed an exclusive contract with the Professional Fighters League.

Francis Ngannou is one of, if not the biggest free agent in combat sports currently. After defending his UFC title successfully in January 2022, the 36-year-old took off the rest of the year to rehabilitate his surgically repaired knee to try and hammer out a new long-term contract with the MMA world leader.

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Unfortunately for him, the two sides could never agree on a contract and the UFC decided to release their heavyweight king. Allowing him to test his value on the market. After flirtations with fight sports companies like Bellator, Bareknuckle Fighting Championship, ONE Championship, and even talks of a move to boxing “The Predator” has finally chosen where he will fight next, PFL MMA.

Francis Ngannou end combat sports free agency journey

francis ngannou
Credit: PFL MMA
  • Francis Ngannou record: 17-3 (12 KO, 4 submission)

On Tuesday morning, the league officially announced that the heavyweight star had agreed to a deal to compete exclusively in their Super Fight Division. The new division features a roster of athletes who will compete exclusively on pay-per-view cards as they earn 50% of the revenue from those events and already features YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul and two-time women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison.

Francis Ngannou’s base pay per fight has not been revealed, however, in the pact he will also have a leadership role on the PFL Global Advisory Board and serves as an equity owner for PFL Africa to further the league’s international expansion to push the brand in Africa and find more talent on the continent.

“The PFL is excited to announce its groundbreaking strategic partnership with Francis Ngannou, the greatest heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. Ngannou will anchor the PFL’s star-studded PPV Super Fight Division, serve on PFL’s Global Athlete Advisory Board, and will be Chairman and an equity owner in PFL Africa. Beyond working with Francis to advance the sport of MMA and scale PFL globally, I’m personally looking forward to supporting Francis in his commitment to fighting for communities in Africa and around the world, inspired by his vision for the Francis Ngannou Foundation.”

– CEO Peter Murray

Francis Ngannou is not expected to make his PFL debut until 2024, which could still leave the door open to his debut in boxing. Paul also will still compete in boxing and his exclusive deal with PFL is just for MMA fights.

After earning his journalism degree in 2017, Jason Burgos served as a contributor to several sites, including MMA Sucka... More about Jason Burgos

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