Ex-UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou offered some insight into why he chose to sign with the Professional Fighters League over other promotions that were aggressively courting the heavy hitter.
After a lengthy and very public contract dispute with the UFC, the promotion opted to part ways with the Cameroonian in January 2023, freeing him to seek options elsewhere. For months, fans waited with bated breath as Ngannou met with multiple organizations. Just when it felt like maybe ‘The Predator’ was carrying around some unrealistic expectations, the announcement came that he had signed a ground-breaking deal with the PFL that would secure a big bag for himself and any other fighter that steps inside the Smart Cage with him.
Discussing his decision to sign with the PFL during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, Ngannou admitted to being very impressed with the contract offer he received right away but opted to take his time and field some other offers first.
“A couple days after [my first meeting with the PFL], they made a proposal,” Ngannou said. “When he made the structure of the proposal, I looked at it and thought it was good. You know, everything was being taken into consideration. There’s always going to be ways to negotiate in a contract. But the way they structured it, I was already happy… But we kept that contract, at that time I was like, ‘Why rush into anything, take some time’, no, I didn’t sign” (h/t BJPenn.com).
Francis Ngannou Discusses His Negotiations with ONE Championship
For a time, it appeared that Ngannou would end up with Asia-based promotion ONE Championship, but after a three-hour meeting with the promotion’s CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, the pair agreed to go their separate ways with Sityodtong noting that they weren’t “fully aligned on non-financial matters.
“Then, we got to Chatri,” Ngannou continued. “Chatri reached out, we talked, same thing. A couple of days [go by] and they send their own contract. But, when I was putting the contract next to the PFL one, it was day and night… Yeah, [the PFL’s was better].”
Before Francis Ngannou makes his PFL debut in 2024, he’ll step into the squared circle for a pro boxing bout with reigning WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury on October 28.