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ENTERTAINMENT | May 17

Former UFC Champ Francis Ngannou Signs With PFL

Former UFC Champ Francis Ngannou Signs With PFL
Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

Is Ngannou the headliner PFL needs?

One of the worst-kept secrets in Mixed Martial Arts has finally been revealed, as former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou has signed with the Professional Fighters League.

 

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Ngannou, who left the UFC AS heavyweight champion during a financial dispute with the Endeavor (or New Whale) owned organization and now takes his talents to the company that features Jake Paul as an executive.

“The baddest man on the planet has officially joined (PFL) proclaimed Paul on Twitter on Tuesday morning upon Ngannou signing with the only other MMA organization to air on ESPN in the United States.

Ngannou’s role with PFL extends beyond the “Smart Cage,” as he will be a member of the league’s advisory board and the chairman of PFL’s Africa arm as the league looks to develop the MMA scene on a global scale.

While all of this is awesome for Ngannou and securing what will be a generational bag for himself and his family, we will not see him fight this year.

Ngannou will not enter the first fight of his deal until 2024 in PFL’sPay Per View SuperFight Division,” as he recovers from knee surgery that kept him out of opportunities earlier this year when UFC rumors of a Jon Jones fight were in the mix.

This signing is one of the biggest headlines in MMA news and in the League’s history going back to when it was known as the World Series of Fighting in the 2010s, but is it enough to sustain the league developing any momentum between now and 2024?

As well explore a variety of other martial arts odds here to win!

With Jake Paul and other fighters of varying notoriety, including former PFL Golden Child and Kayla Harrison, there is a chance for the league that considers itself the number 2 promotion in the sport (a claim made by every company but the UFC) to really engrain itself into the public’s consciousness.

With the PFL currently in-season (yes, the PFL features an annual regular season and playoffs leading to a one million dollar championship fight night in December), it will be interesting to see how the PFL markets Ngannou and themselves in the search of a worthy opponent of the man Ariel Helwani among others would claim to be the “lineal heavyweight champion” in the same way Tyson Fury campaigned himself upon his return to the sport.

Is Ngannou the lineal champion? Who should Ngannou fight? Is there another big free agency pickup the PFL can make to create a real “superfight” and create more PFL news buzz? Let me know what you think.

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