Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santo commended Francis Ngannou for sticking to his guns and making a deal that not only benefitted him but the whole of the sport.

‘The Predator’ made his blockbuster announcement on Tuesday, revealing that after months of negotiations and secrecy, he had signed on the dotted line with the Professional Fighters League. Aside from securing himself a big bag of cash, Ngannou advocated for his opponents and fighters under the PFL banner. The Cameroonian will also be the chairman of the promotion’s latest expansion, PFL Africa.

Congratulating Francis Ngannou on his historic deal is former opponent Junior dos Santo. During an appearance on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast, Trocação Franca, ‘Cigano’ was proud of the way Ngannou got exactly what he was looking for, not only for himself but for the betterment of mixed martial arts.

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JDS Says Francis Ngannou Should Be Congratulated For Ground-Breaking Deal

“Ngannou’s actions are admirable because you know for sure it comes from a person that has values and won’t change those values for small gifts of whatever it may be,” dos Santos said. “Why did anything like this never happen before? Because people focus on themselves first. [They say], ‘I’ll get something for me and screw the rest.’ It didn’t feel that way with Francis Ngannou. It felt important for him to make a difference…

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“Honestly, I don’t care to know how much he’s making, what really matters is that it’s being done, and it’s being done in such a cool way,” dos Santos continued. “The least we can do is congratulate Francis Ngannou for his actions and for sticking to them. Many others would have bent to the system like we’ve seen many times before. He wanted it on his terms, and he’s doing it on his terms (h/t MMA News).

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Francis Ngannou and JDS squared off inside the Octagon in 2019. The Predator’ was coming off back-to-back losses against Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis when the two heavyweight superstars met. Ngannou scored a 71-second knockout of dos Santos which would be the beginning of a five-fight losing streak for JDS.

Ngannou is expected to make his first Smart Cage appearance in 2024 following his professional boxing debut which is expected to occur before 2023 comes to a close.

Craig Pekios is a freelance writer born and raised in Bettendorf, IA. Joining LowKick MMA in May 2022, Craig has more than 2,500 articles published that focus on the world of mixed martial arts and boxing, including news, event previews, results, analysis, and op-eds. Aside from working with LowKick MMA, Craig has contributed to news outlets Overtime Heroics, Sportskeeda, and MiddleEasy.