Francis Ngannou and PFL: agreement explained, fighter's record, net worth - and why he left UFC

Francis Ngannou is reportedly in talks to sign for the PFL after his exit from the UFC in January

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Just a matter of months after he shocked the world when he walked out of the biggest mixed martial arts promotion, Francis Ngannou appears to have sealed his fighting future. The Cameroonian brawler has reportedly swapped the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) according to an MMA legend.

Francis Ngannou left the UFC as a free agent and was forced to vacate the world heavyweight championship back in January. The news came nearly eight years after the 36-yer-old made his debut when he beat Luis Henrique via knockout on 19 December, 2015.

Chael Sonnen, who is also a promoter and analyst, has come out to claim that Ngannou has swapped the octagon for the smartcage. He also went on to reveal that Bellator never submitted an official offer to sign the world champion fighter.

The announcement was made in a statement on Twitter on 2 May, as Chael Sonnen wrote: "Breaking news: Bellator never submitted an offer to Francis. PFL and Francis have come to an agreement...I cannot assure you that Francis is ever going to compete again, but if he does, it will be in the smart cage. You’re welcome"

Francis Ngannou has not competed since UFC 272 in March 2022 when The Predator earned an unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane to unify the heavyweight championship. He then went on to have knee surgery to fix a recurring injury problem before he headed for the UFC exit door.

Why did Francis Ngannou leave the UFC?

Francis Ngannou will reportedly fight at the PFL after his shocking UFC exit - Credit: GettyFrancis Ngannou will reportedly fight at the PFL after his shocking UFC exit - Credit: Getty
Francis Ngannou will reportedly fight at the PFL after his shocking UFC exit - Credit: Getty

Much has been said about Francis Ngannou's shocking UFC exit, but it all boils down to a contract dispute. The fighter was reportedly not a fan of the pay offer and believed that it did not give him the freedom he wanted to pursue other ventures, such as acting and boxing.

Ngannou revealed all in a video posted on his official YouTube channel. He also rubbished any claims that he left the company to avoid the heavily rumoured blockbuster octagon bust-up with Jon Jones.

In the video, Ngannou explained: "They have also said that I am scared of fighting Jon Jones or somebody else, which I don't know where they came from with that one. That sounds very ridiculous, in my opinion, with all due respect, because I have been calling for this fight for two years.

"I've been waiting for this fight forever and I have been fighting guys with one knee, with injury, and now, why do I be scared of them? Well, I feel even more confident, no, I'm not scared."

The Predator continued: "The only thing that I'm scared of is to be trapped, is not to lose my freedom, which I value very much. You guys know how the UFC contract can be restrictive and as an independent contractor, you don't really have a say in that contract.

"You don't even have a right so I can't, I can't do that... There's not really a lot of things that you want or you can when you are in that contract. They decide for you."

What is Francis Ngannou's fighting record?

Over nearly eight years at the UFC, Francis Ngannou was embroiled in 20 fights. He won 17, which includes 12 by TKO, four by submission and one by unanimous decision.

The Predator also lost three fights to Zoumana Cisse (2013), Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis (2018). All of which were by unanimous decision.

  • Wins: 17
  • Losses: 3
  • Draws: 0

What is Francis Ngannou's net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Francis Ngannou's estimated net worth totals to $5 billion.