Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is headed to the PFL.
After months of negotiating with a variety of organizations, Ngannou has signed a take care of PFL, promotion officers announced Tuesday morning. Ngannou gained’t participate within the 2023 common season, which is already midway completed and, like Jake Paul, will as an alternative compete within the PFL’s pay-per-view superfight division.
In response to a information launch, Ngannou signed a “strategic partnership” that provides him fairness and a management position inside the PFL.
“The PFL is happy to announce its groundbreaking strategic partnership with Francis Ngannou, the best heavyweight MMA fighter on this planet,” PFL CEO Peter Murray stated in an announcement. “Ngannou will anchor the PFL’s star-studded PPV Tremendous Combat Division, serve on PFL’s World Athlete Advisory Board, and will likely be Chairman and an fairness proprietor in PFL Africa. Past working with Francis to advance the game of MMA and scale PFL globally, I’m personally wanting ahead to supporting Francis in his dedication to battle for communities in Africa and all over the world, impressed by his imaginative and prescient for the Francis Ngannou Basis.”
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
“The Predator” @francis_ngannou is PFL certain!
He’s set to battle within the PFL’s PPV Superfight division https://t.co/Jal3clCZhW pic.twitter.com/5RRaG7oFwr
— PFL (@PFLMMA) May 16, 2023
In response to The New York Times, Ngannou’s deal will permit him to field, a stipulation he insisted on whereas he was nonetheless beneath contract with the UFC. Ngannou plans on making his boxing debut later this 12 months and return to MMA in mid-2024. As a part of the deal, Ngannou will grow to be chairman of PFL Africa and serve on the corporate’s advisory board to symbolize fighter pursuits.
Citing sources with data of the state of affairs, MMA journalist John Nash reports that Ngannou’s contract is for 2 or three fights, ensures a “excessive seven-figure purse” for every one, the correct to have his personal sponsors within the cage, and a minimal wage for his opponent that could possibly be as a lot as $1 million. The boxing phrases of his deal are non-exclusive.
“I’m very excited for this recreation altering partnership with the Skilled Fighters League to proceed my MMA preventing profession within the PFL’s PPV Tremendous Combat Division,” Ngannou stated in an announcement. “I imagine within the PFL’s ‘fighter first’ tradition and world imaginative and prescient, together with creating the game in Africa. With that, I’m additionally proud to announce that I’ll function Chairman of PFL Africa, which would be the main MMA group on the continent offering nice African fighters the chance to compete on a worldwide platform.”
Ngannou failed to return to phrases with the UFC on a brand new deal after asking for necessities resembling the power to field and medical insurance for fighters. In response to UFC president Dana White, Ngannou turned down a suggestion that may have made him the best paid heavyweight in UFC historical past.
After Ngannou’s departure, White later went on to say that he will never come back to the UFC.
Ngannou, 36, hasn’t competed since unifying his heavyweight belt in opposition to former coaching associate Ciryl Gane in January 2022. He entered with a knee damage and underwent surgical procedure to restore the injury after the battle.