Francis Ngannou signs ‘most valuable MMA deal in history’ after UFC exit
Offbeat news from the world of sport
We have more newsletters
Francis Ngannou has agreed a deal that has been called the 'most valuable athlete signing in MMA history' by joining PFL's PPV Super Fight division.
Ngannou, 36, was the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion when he walked away from the promotion in January following a row over sponsorships and health insurance for all fighters on their roster.
Having since held talks with Bellator and ONE among other promotions, Ngannou has signed a bumper deal with PFL to head their new Super Fight division.
READ MORE: 'I'm a Netflix star with 45 kickboxing knockouts – now I'm fighting for $1million prize'
Tuesday's announcement included three key details, with the first being that he has signed an exclusive MMA contract with the growing promotion – but will still be free to enter the boxing ring elsewhere.
Ngannou, who has been called the most expensive and valuable signing in MMA history, will also join the PFL global athlete advisory board.
In addition, the Cameroonian-French heavyweight has been announced as the chairman of new venture PFL Africa, while holding a minority stake.
Who would you like to see Francis Ngannou take on in the SmartCage? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Set to enter the SmartCage for the first time in 2024, he will be taking part in huge main event bouts, rather than in the PFL's regular season format.
Ngannou is set to pursue a blockbuster boxing bout in the meantime, having faced-off against Tyson Fury and talked up potential fights against both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Also signed up to the Super Fights division is YouTuber turned professional boxer Jake Paul, who expects to compete in his first MMA bout in either late 2023 or early 2024.
Ngannou has said: "I am very excited for this game changing partnership with the Professional Fighters League to continue my MMA fighting career in the PFL's PPV Super Fights Division.
"I believe in the PFL's "fighter first" culture and global vision including developing the sport in Africa.
"With that, I am also proud to announce that I will serve as Chairman of PFL Africa which will be the leading MMA organisation on the continent providing great African fighters the opportunity to compete on a global platform."
PFL CEO Peter Murray added: "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 fight for communities in Africa and around the world, inspired by his vision for the Francis Ngannou Foundation."
DAZN is a partner of PFL’s Super Fight Division and will distribute events on its PPV platform in Europe and other priority international markets.
'We offered Francis Ngannou $20million guaranteed – but the money wasn't enough'
'Me and Leon grew up under a tin roof in Jamaica – by 2024 we'll both be world champions'
'I did time during covid with no exercise and grim food – my job kept me out of trouble'
UFC superstar Conor McGregor shows off huge body transformation into 'super heavyweight'
- On Instagram
Source: Read Full Article