In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani in The MMA Hour, Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou revealed that he is "very close" to signing with another MMA promotion. The news has sent shockwaves through the MMA community, as Ngannou is widely regarded as one of the most dominant fighters in the sport.
Ngannou has not yet revealed which promotion he has agreed with, but he did provide some insight into his top options. According to Ngannou, he is considering offers from ONE Championship and the Professional Fighters League (PFL). But before that, he prefers to make his introduction to the boxing world first.
"I have made my decision. I haven't committed or got a deal done yet. I know what my next move is going to be. I know that I want to fight boxing first then after that I will fight MMA. I'm going to sign with one MMA promotion. I haven't made a decision on that yet. Very close, but I'll make my decision. It's not like I've been sitting out here empty-handed. I've been very busy."
When questioned about which promotion he was likely to pursue, Francis Ngannou replied:
"There's PFL and ONE FC that we are very close... We will see. Anyways, when there is information when I decide, you guys are going to know so don't worry."
ONE Championship is a Singapore-based promotion that has quickly become one of the biggest MMA organizations in the world. The company has a reputation for putting on high-quality events with a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and respect. With a global reach and a roster of talented fighters, ONE Championship could be a great fit for Ngannou as far as the competition is concerned.
While the PFL is a relatively new promotion that has gained a lot of attention in recent years by offering a unique format in which fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship. With a $1 million prize pool for each weight class, the PFL has attracted some of the best fighters in the world. The prize pool might become a major factor in deciding for the former UFC champion.
According to reports, Ngannou asked for three things: the freedom for fighters to sign sponsorship agreements, access to healthcare facilities, and the presence of a consultant at UFC board meetings. The former heavyweight champion also wanted to be able to compete in the exhibition boxing fights, but he was prepared to postpone those intentions. The Predator had to renounce his heavyweight championship and depart the company when the UFC turned against his request.
It remains to be seen which promotion Ngannou will ultimately choose, but fans are eagerly awaiting his decision. Ngannou has been a dominant force in the UFC, with impressive wins over top-ranked heavyweights like Stipe Miocic, Junior dos Santos, and Curtis Blaydes. If he decides to sign with another promotion, it could shake up the landscape of the MMA world and create new opportunities for up-and-coming fighters.
For now, fans will have to wait and see what the future holds for Francis Ngannou.