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PFL adds Francis Ngannou as strategic partner to fuel Africa expansion

Former UFC heavyweight champion named minority equity owner and chairman of PFL Africa.

17 May 2023 Josh Sim

Getty Images

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has announced a strategic partnership with former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to support the mixed martial arts (MMA) series’ expansion into Africa.


  • Ngannou to fight exclusively in MMA for the PFL’s pay-per-view (PPV) Super Fight Division
  • 36-year-old to serve in a leadership role on the PFL global advisory board, becoming the first active fighter to do so
  • Ngannou becomes minority equity owner and chairman of PFL Africa
  • PFL Africa events to be staged in ‘key countries on the continent’ live in primetime


Ngannou left the UFC in January after the two parties failed to agree a new contract. The 36-year-old cited a lack of freedom for his exit, claiming requests for health insurance and tailored sponsorship deals for fighters had been rejected. He is also the latest athlete to take a minority stake in the PFL after YouTuber-turned-prizefighter Jake Paul struck a deal to compete in the MMA promotion.


“I believe in the PFL’s ‘fighter first’ culture and global vision including developing the sport in Africa,” said Ngannou.

“With that, I am also proud to announce that I will serve as chairman of PFL Africa which will be the leading MMA organisation on the continent providing great African fighters the opportunity to compete on a global platform.”

Coming next:

Ngannou is set to make his PFL debut in mid-2024, with his opponent yet to be named.

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