The situation regarding UFC’s contract with their heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is far from over despite dying down. And now, another promotion is showing their interest in signing ‘The Predator’.
Ngannou’s contract with the UFC expires in December 2022 – unless the promotion were to strip him – in that case it would be severed immediately. He won his last fight by beating Cyril Gane at UFC 270 in January.
Ngannou is attempting to become a free agent – he’s testing the sunsetting clause that limits the length of time a contract can be auto extended. As per his own account – he will become a free agent come December of 2022.
Ngannou is currently still bound by the contract – not only is he unable to negotiate about a boxing date with Tyson Fury but he’s also unable to talk to other promotions.
Ngannou is now sidelined from competition due to recovering from his knee surgery.
PFL has shown interest in adding Ngannou to their roster. PFL might not be the most famous promotion out there – but it’s certainly paying it’s champions. Thanks to lucrative deal with PFL, Judo Olympic Gold medalist Kayla Harrisson is possibly the best paid female athlete in the sport.
PFL is known to sign former UFC stars. In the past they’ve signed Rory MacDonald, Anthony Pettis, and Fabricio Werdum among others.
In an interview with Hosheh MMA, PFL President Ray Sefo stated that he would sign Ngannou should things clear up.
“100 percent,” Sefo said. “If Francis is a free agent — Francis is my teammate [at Xtreme Couture], you know? So, when he becomes a free agent and he’s allowed to talk to anybody in terms of — should I say when he’s ‘shopping’ — then we’ll definitely sit down and talk.”
“Until then I don’t see him going anywhere, but anything’s possible, 100 percent. [50/50 pay-per-view (PPV) shares will attract all sorts], absolutely. That’s the key.”
UFC is unlikely to relent which means Ngannou will be the first champion to become a free agent since Georges St Pierre back in the day.