The Professional Fighters League has officially signed Francis Ngannou, arguably the best heavyweight fighter in mixed martial arts. After vacating the UFC heavyweight title for free agency months ago, Ngannou announced his signing on Tuesday.
A promotional debut is expected for Ngannou by mid-2024. His role will also be to represent fighters on the Global Advisory Board of the PFL. Additionally, Ngannou will be an equity owner and chairman of the upcoming PFL Africa.
Ngannou leveraged his name value for a PFL deal that will also benefit his opponents. The next opponent of Ngannou will earn a guaranteed base purse of $2 million. Unlike in the UFC, Ngannou will also be able to manage his own sponsorship deals.
The PFL deal allows Ngnanou to pursue boxing opportunities, another roadblock he faced on the UFC roster.
Ngannou and UFC announced their split on Jan. 14 after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract. The UFC waived Ngannou's one-year matching rights clause, making him an unrestricted free agent. Following his departure, Ngannou detailed some of the requests UFC allegedly declined. Fighters should receive health insurance, be able to acquire sponsors, and have an advocate present at all contract negotiations, according to Ngannou.