Doumbe & Dumber: PFL Outbids UFC For Striking Star

Badr vs Hesdy v GLORY 51 SuperFight Series
Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

PFL has landed the hottest French prospect in MMA, but Cedric Doumbe didn’t come cheap.

Hot French prospect, Cedric Doumbe, has signed with Professional Fighter’s League (PFL), ending months of speculation that the former two-time GLORY kickboxing champion would end up with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Doumbe comes into PFL with a 75-7 kickboxing record and an undefeated mixed martial arts (MMA) record (4-0). At one point his UFC status was seemingly certain after plans were revealed for his promotional debut at UFC Paris in Sept. 2022. In the end, a particular French commission rule preventing fighters with less experience competing against those with four more bouts killed the bout.

And now the popular Cameroonian has signed with PFL … for significantly more money than he would have made in UFC, too.

“Next fight: June 23rd. Atlanta. MMA – PFL,” Doumbe announced on Twitter. “I’m here to take over!”

In a YouTube video, Doumbe later explained the decision to forgo UFC in favor of PFL. The money was just too good with PFL: he’ll make $140,000 per fight with PFL versus a $20,000 to show, $20,000 to win contract with UFC.

UFC has proven to be very resistant to paying newcomers to its organization more than base pay. Even Paddy Pimblett — a legitimate star in the United Kingdom — came into the organization on a starter contract before earning much more after his first few fights. Doumbe has similar star status in France, where he was a popular contestant on the reality series “The Circle.” In addition, he has more than 500,000 followers on Instagram.

“Cedric Doumbe is one of the greatest athletes in the world and a tremendous addition to the Professional Fighters League global roster,” a statement from PFL president Ray Sefo said regarding the signing. “Cedric dominated the sport of kickboxing and is poised to do the same in MMA.

“He is one of the most talented fighters in the world and will make an immediate impact here in the PFL,” Sefo concluded.

While it’s too early to say whether Doumbe will be able to hang against top names in MMA, there’s no denying his star power. UFC could have used a fighter like him in its continued efforts to build a solid position in France.

UFC’s loss is PFL’s gain. Now, it’s up to Doumbe to prove he’s worth the hefty paycheck the rising promotion is paying him.

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