Jon Anik weighs in on whether top-ranked UFC heavyweights will move to PFL following Francis Ngannou’s signing
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou surprised the MMA community by signing with the Professional Fighters League (PFL). While other MMA organizations, such as ONE Championship, were interested in signing him, Ngannou chose an exclusive deal with PFL. His new contract not only allows him to compete in boxing but also guarantees a high seven-figure salary per fight and his own sponsors in the PFL cage.
One noteworthy condition in Ngannou’s contract is that his opponents will be paid a minimum of $2 million to face him. While it may be a high-risk fight against a knockout artist like Ngannou, potential PFL opponents have the opportunity to earn more money in one fight than they have ever made before. However, the big question surrounding Ngannou’s deal is who he will face in PFL that would generate interest from fans.
A challenging aspect of Ngannou’s contract is that his fights will be strictly on pay-per-view, which could be a tough sell to MMA fans. Additionally, PFL currently lacks heavyweights on their roster who are as popular as UFC heavyweights like Jon Jones. Many MMA fans were hoping to see a fight between Jones and Ngannou in the heavyweight division, which could have resulted in a bigger payday for Ngannou and added star power to PFL. Nevertheless, Ngannou made the decision to sign with PFL, opening up new opportunities as a fighter and potentially behind the scenes.
UFC commentator Jon Anik shared his thoughts on Ngannou’s decision on the John Anik and Kenny Florian Podcast. He expressed uncertainty about whether PFL can find a heavyweight opponent for Ngannou who would bring intrigue to the fight. He also doubted whether popular UFC heavyweights would be willing to move to PFL.
Speaking on the John Anik and Kenny Florian Podcast, he stated:
“There are some reports that Ngannou’s deal with the PFL is only a handful of fights, and sure, I’m not even going to start naming a UFC heavyweight that potentially would crossover or be on the tail end of the contract and have a big enough name. Like, you need the perfect storm, right? It’s like, I just think it’s ambitious to think that there’s going to be some relatively big-name UFC heavyweight that’s going to take the short-term play that is the PFL, but I love Francis Ngannou. I’m very happy that it’s the PFL because Ken-flo can get me tickets, but no, I think it makes a lot of sense, and I just hope the big fight materializes for him on the boxing side because otherwise, there were just a lot of big fights that could have happened in the UFC.”
“Who is he gonna fight?”- Conor McGregor claims lack of worthy opponents for Francis Ngannou at PFL may make fans lose interest
Francis Ngannou has joined the Professional Fighters League (PFL) after leaving the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at the beginning of the year.
The 36-year-old Ngannou parted ways with the UFC in January after failing to negotiate a new contract. The Cameroonian was anticipated to defend his heavyweight title against Jon Jones, but he turned down an $8 million contract to face the UFC legend in order to pursue other opportunities.
After months of negotiations, Ngannou will now compete for the PFL, with his debut in the promotion’s pay-per-view super-fight division scheduled for next year.
Conor McGregor was recently questioned about his opinion of Francis Ngannou accepting an offer to join another promotion (PFL) by Ariel Helwani in an interview. The Irishman said that he was pleased to hear that the former heavyweight champion had landed a lucrative deal, but that he thought the fighter should have stayed with the UFC. He said:
“I’m happy for Francis first of all, fair play…he done his thing. I still think he should’ve came to a resolution with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Who is he gonna fight? Who is he gonna fight that’s gonna capture the general public? There’s no one.”
“There’s no matchup that I can think of that I can even say to myself that it’s gonna do big…That is commendable for sure [Ngannou’s opponents receiving minimum $2 millon] and like I said, I’m happy for him. I just don’t see a buzz on an annoucement.“
Check out the interview below:
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