Francis Ngannou signs deal with PFL

Former UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou has finally signed a new deal with the PFL.

Francis Ngannou has found a new home.

Professional Fighters League signed Ngannou to a multifight contract on Tuesday, which was announced via The New York Times. The signing ends a highly publicized free agency period for Ngannou.

Ngannou and the PFL are labeling the deal as a “strategic partnership,” which includes equity and leadership roles within PFL along with Ngannou’s ability to seek boxing fights outside of the PFL. Ngannou is expected to make his MMA debut for the PFL next year, but intends to fight in a boxing ring this year. The deal includes naming Ngannou the chairman of PFL Africa, which is an expansion initiative to produce events on the continent, along with serving on the company’s advisory board to represent fighter interests. 

“Let’s just say, all-in my deal with P.F.L is more than anyone else offered,” Ngannou said to the New York Times. “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.” 

Ngannou will fight in the Super Fight division, which includes Jake Paul and Kayla Harrison. The division allows fighters to have larger guarantees and larger cuts of pay-per-view revenue, which is not a common sight in MMA. 

Ngannou, 36, last fought against Ciryl Gane in Januray 2022, where he successfully defended his heavyweight title. Ngannou rose to heavyweight stardom by stringing together consecutive vicious knockouts in the UFC over some of the division’s top talent. Along with his success in the UFC, Ngannou has shown interest in fighting in a professional boxing ring as well. With the new deal, Ngannou will be able to pursue fights with some of heavyweight boxing’s biggest names. 

The Batie, Cameroon, native was once a young boy working inside sand quarries shoveling sand into trucks and during his pursuit of MMA experienced homelessness before reaching stardom. Prior to his UFC debut in 2015, Ngannou only fought professionally for two years.