Former UFC heavyweight champion turned free agent Francis Ngannou has confirmed talks with Jake Paul on a possible PFL deal, though a timeline remains unclear.
At the start of 2022, Francis Ngannou was the king of the combat sports world. Having successfully defended his UFC heavyweight title against a surging Ciryl Gane, the power-punching phenom looked set to reign over UFC’s top division for quite some time.
However, disputes with the organization soon led to Ngannou’s departure without ever actually losing the belt. Now one of the hottest free agents on the market, options appear to be stacking up for The Predator.
While a switch to boxing appears to be on the top of his list to start, the door is seemingly open for a return to MMA, just not with the UFC. Instead, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), an upcoming competitor that just signed Jake Paul to an exclusive deal, could be Ngannou’s next home. In fact, he’s even talked to the younger Paul brother directly about such a move.
“It depends on where I am but I do think we can work together [with Jake Paul],” Ngannou said in a recent interview with TMZ Sports.
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on Esports, Gaming and more.
Seemingly his top priority at this stage is locking in a boxing contest of some sort. Be it against Tyson Fury or even a possible bout with the sport’s heaviest hitter Deontay Wilder, Ngannou is shooting for the top names. However, conversations are still ongoing with Paul and the PFL on a return to MMA.
“Also speaking of the PFL I have had a conversation with them too, so yes this is something in the near future that could happen very quick.”
Obviously, plenty of options are still on the table, so nothing is yet set in stone. However, with internet sensation Jake Paul walking away with millions of dollars every time he steps under the bright lights, a similar deal could be enough to entice Ngannou over to PFL. Especially given Paul’s new responsibilities leading the ‘SuperFight Division’ that seems to be unlike anything else in the sport today.
We’ll just have to wait and see where the UFC’s former best heavyweight ends up, but one thing is certain, Ngannou is in active talks with former YouTuber Jake Paul for a possible PFL tenure.