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Francis Ngannou took a big gamble in 2023 and it paid dividends.
Ngannou didn’t come to terms with the UFC and ended up signing with PFL, which gave him equity and a leadership role within the promotion. He was also given the flexibility to box, where he stunned the masses by dropping Tyson Fury in a controversial split decision loss in Saudi Arabia. He was reportedly paid eight figures for that fight.
Despite the loss, Ngannou’s star has never been bigger as the former UFC heavyweight champion has an array of big opportunities both in the ring and cage. Ngannou reflected on the process, where many promotions wanted to sign him.
“I had a lot of controversial opinions about my career decisions because most of those things was about my career this year,” Ngannou said on his YouTube channel. “Then negotiations with different organizations that were interested. A lot of them were just trying to navigate the narrative and potentially get some promotion. We have a lot of different people – some two faces.
“It’s part of the business and that’s something that I learned this year – how this business can be nasty. You have people who pretend to be something that they are not. But it’s a good part of the learning process. Becoming a fighter and stepping into that position is something you are not educated about. Most fighters never get educated, and that’s wh,y for the most part, fighters keep getting screwed.”
The likes of ONE Championship and BKFC showed interest in signing Ngannou, but for “The Predator,” PFL was a no brainer.
“I’m lucky I got into the position where I had to learn that, and then comes the PFL with a great offer, a great contract and a great opportunity that I couldn’t turn down,” Ngannou said.
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