Francis Ngannou has finally found a new home.
Back in January, UFC president Dana White officially announced that Ngannou was let go of his deal and he was free to sign anywhere. Yet, during his negotiations, it was revealed that ONE Championship and Bellator both backed out of the running, and many started to wonder if Ngannou made a mistake going to free agency.
However, on Tuesday, the PFL announced they have signed Ngannou to a deal that they call a partnership.
“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,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “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 fight for communities in Africa and around the world, inspired by his vision for the Francis Ngannou Foundation.”
“PFL has an expansive plan to become the first true global league in sports, with international regional leagues spanning all continents,” said PFL Founder and Chairman Donn Davis. “PFL Europe’s launch in 2023 has been a huge success, and we will have six more PFL international leagues operating by 2026 to form the first ever “Champions League of MMA” to spark national pride and determine the actual best in the world via the PFL sport-season format of “win and advance” meritocracy.”
‘Really Came as a Partner’
According to the press release, Francis Ngannou will fight exclusively in MMA for the PFL’s new PPV Super Fight Division, joining combat sports superstars Jake Paul and Kayla Harrison. As well, Ngannou is targeted to make his debut in 2024 and he says the deal will pay him more than any other promotion offered.
“Let’s just say, all-in my deal with PFL is more than anyone else offered,” Ngannou said to the New York Times. “The past few months have been a very interesting time to understand and see the landscape but I’m very excited about this deal with the PFL because they basically showed what I was expecting. They didn’t just show up as a promotion that was looking for a fighter, but really came as a partner that sees more value in you as a person.”
Francis Ngannou has signed with the PFL.
Per The NY Times, the deal gives Ngannou “equity and leadership roles” in the PFL. He’s expected to fight in the promotion’s super-fight PPV division next year, while competing in boxing this year. The PFL deal is an… pic.twitter.com/kloDrYxkEK
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 16, 2023
In addition to signing with PFL for MMA, Francis Ngannou’s deal also grants him the opportunity to participate in a boxing match, something he has expressed his desire for.
Ngannou hasn’t fought since January of 2022 when he defeated Ciryl Gane by a decision to defend his belt for the first time.