PFL provide update on pursuit of ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou: ‘We have a very close relationship’

PFL update on signing Francis Ngannou we have a very close relationship

PFL (Professional Fighters League) CEO, Peter Murray, has provided an update on their pursuit of former undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, claiming the pair are currently enjoying a “very close relationship”.

Ngannou, a former undisputed heavyweight champion under the banner of the UFC, has yet to compete professionally in mixed martial arts since headlining UFC 270 back in January of last year.

Successfully unifying the heavyweight titles on that occasion, Cameroon striker, Ngannou defeated former interim gold holder, Ciryl Gane in a unanimous decision victory in their Anaheim, California clash.

Seeing his contractual obligations with the UFC come to an end in December of last year, Batié native, Francis Ngannou was handed his release from the promotion back in January, seeing his championship stripped as well as his removal from the official rankings. 

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Linked with a slew of potential future ventures ahead of his return to combat sports, Francis Ngannou has been welcomed to professional boxing by both former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder – as well as Matchroom Boxing leader, Eddie Hearn, however, the latter doubts the ex-UFC champion’s ability to compete at a high level.

In terms of a mixed martial arts return, Ngannou has been discussed as potential targets for both the above-mentioned, PFL, and the Singapore-based, ONE Championship.

As for the PFL, promotional leader, Murray, noted the positive relationship currently held between both parties ahead of a potential move.

“Hey, listen, Francis (Ngannou) make it very clear that he’s going to box,” Murray told MMA Junkie during a recent interview. “We’re excited to see how those plans materialize. We have a very close relationship and more to come on next steps on Francis, related to MMA.” 

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In the midst of a six-fight winning run, Ngannou had minted himself as the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion with a devastating second round knockout win over Stipe Miocic in the pair’s title rematch in March 2021. 

Dana White shuts down UFC return for Francis Ngannou

Furthermore, a potential future return to the UFC for Ngannou appears firmly off the cards for the former champion, with UFC boss, Dana White describing him as “absolutely impossible to deal with.”