Former UFC champion Francis Ngannou reveals that he’s close to signing to next MMA promotion: “We are very close”

By Josh Evanoff - March 15, 2023

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has revealed that he will sign with PFL or ONE Championship.

Francis Ngannou

‘The Predator’ walked out of the UFC in January, as he declined to re-sign after fighting out his contract. As a result, the promotion stripped Ngannou of his title, and later set Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight championship.

‘Bones’ wound up defeating ‘Bon Gamin’ earlier this month at UFC 285 to claim the gold. With that, the UFC and Jones were able to resume business as normal. However, Ngannou has yet to do so, as he remains a free agent over two months from his exit.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Francis Ngannou gave fans a glimpse into what is next. The former champion noted that he will be boxing next, which isn’t a big shock. Ngannou has previously revealed talks with Deontay Wilder, with the pair aiming for a boxing match in Africa.

However, the former UFC champion also noted that his time in the cage isn’t over. Ngannou stated that while the deal isn’t done, he’s currently in close discussions with both ONE Championship and the PFL.

Francis Ngannou

Image Credit: @ufc on Twitter

“Yes [I’m close to making my decision].” Francis Ngannou revealed on The MMA Hour discussing his free agency. “I’m close, I’m not there. There’s PFL and there’s ONE FC, we’re very close. We’ll see, anyways, when I decide, you guys will know.”

He continued, “…I’m going to do what I’m doing, and what is interesting about it, obviously there is huge money down here, but also, most of this [new] deal has been viewed as a partnership, which is great for me. I feel well-respected and appreciated. It is different, it feels different.”

“Listen, I never thought there was an MMA promotion that pays more than UFC, or that has [more] money than the UFC. If the UFC wants to pay somebody, they will pay you, but the way that he comes, I’m not down for it. I’d rather get something with more value. My last three years weren’t so happy, so excited. Maybe at the end of the day, this is good for everybody.”

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