'The Predator' Francis Ngannou has revealed his mega-money deal with the PFL is the best decision he has ever made in his MMA career, while also opening up on the PFL's plans for Africa.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou confirmed his future earlier today, as the Professional Fighters League (PFL) announced that the former Cameroonian-French UFC heavyweight champion has signed an 'exclusive global MMA strategic partnership' with the organisation.
Ngannou who left the UFC after contract talks broke down has now signed with the PFL in what is reportedly ‘the biggest deal in MMA history.
The 36-year-old Cameroonian-French martial artist had been linked with a move to the WWE as well as the Professional Fighters League,while others tipped him to cross over to the boxing world as he had previously teased a fight against WBO champion Tyson Fury.
However, the Cameroonian fighter ultimately opted to sign an 'exclusive partnership' deal that will see him receive equity and take on leadership roles in the PFL whilst also being allowed to pursue boxing fights elsewhere.
Francis Ngannou: Former UFC heavyweight champion opens up a mega-money deal with PFL
The Daily Mail reports that Ngannou plans to make his PFL debut in mid-2024, with the Cameroonian keen to have one boxing bout before entering the SmartCage.
However, the 36-year-old Cameroonian has also opened up on why he signed with the PFL via a video posted on his official YouTube channel.
‘This is the best business decision I have ever done. At the beginning of my free-agency, I didn’t know that I could have a deal structure in this way.
‘I have myself a good guarantee which is more important….and most importantly I was able to have a guarantee of $2 million for my opening [fight].
‘Whoever I’m gonna fight next is going to make money too.
‘I have a seat at the table of the Fighter’s[PFL] advisory board. [I’m the] first active fighter to be sitting in this board, which is going to be a board that will be advocating for the benefit of the sport and the fighter - not for the promotion, but for the fighters because there’s always two parties on the table and most of the time we forget the other party which is even more important, the fighters.
Ngannou also confirmed some details of the deal amid speculation over his boxing career.
'This deal is exclusive MMA not combat sports, so we shouldn’t include boxing in it and that’s what we agreed on.’
‘But I can do boxing separately, whenever I want, If ever I want, and they are going to even going support me to do my boxing as that’s one of my biggest dream to do boxing matches.' he said.
Ngannou will take part in PFL's Super-fight division, which allows fighters to earn at least 50 per cent of the pay-per-view [PPV] revenue.
Compared with the UFC's 20 per cent cut for fighters, 'The Predator' also revealed that his new PFL contract was way better than what the UFC ever offered him.
'Let's just say, all-in my deal with PFL is more than anyone else offered'. Ngannou said.
‘The good thing is that I’m joining them on a goal that I have. It was a perfect fit. It is the best professional decision that I’ve ever made.’
Francis Ngannou opens up on PFL’s plans for Africa
Following the announcement of the deal with PFL, Ngannou also revealed that the PFL’s plans for Africa contributed to his decision to sign with the MMA company, who revealed that he will chair the promotion.
‘Besides all that we have a massive plan to develop the sport in Africa with this partnership.’ Ngannou said.
‘We are launching a PFL Africa, which is going to be a whole promotion based in Africa, to help develop fighters in Africa, to help build infrastructure, to help bring coaches in Africa to give those African fighters the same opportunities, the same resource as people here.
They[Africans] have talent. The problem now is the resources, the infrastructure and that’s something that PFL really cares about.’ he added.
While Jon Jones currently rules the UFC heavyweight division, Ngannou has reportedly targeted Deontay Wilder for his first boxing fight.
Although, it remains to be seen if ‘The predator’ will push for a fight against the ‘Bronze bomber’ before or after his PFL debut next year.
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