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Francis Ngannou vows to shape African MMA foundations as PFL Africa president amid rumours of combat sports return – FirstSportz

PFL Africa joins PFL Europe and PFL MENA in regional league extensions. PFL Africa will feature a playoff format following the regular season, which begins in 2025. Former UFC Heavyweight and PFL’s biggest signing, Francis NgannouHe will take charge of PFL Africa.

After a controversial end to his heavyweight sprint career, then-champion Francis Ngannou has called it quits and joined the PFL in May 2023. Former boss Calf White said he had received the most comprehensive deal for a heavyweight athlete. However, the French-Cameroonian thought differently. After several unsuccessful contract renewals, he joined the PFL, which already gave him capital and a leadership role.

I am excited and honored to serve as Chairman of PFL Africa, a league that will shape the very foundation of African MMA...As we have seen, there is a great wealth of talent in Africa just waiting to be given a global stage. I am so very proud to give back to my homeland and to provide great content to a region with such a passionate and diverse fanbase.

Francis Ngannou with his official press release

Ngannou’s PFL cage debut is still pending. Since parting ways with the UFC, Ngannou has fought twice in boxing. He lost narrowly to the former WBC heavyweight champion in the first bout Tyson’s RageIn early 2024, he suffered a KO defeat Anthony Joshua In March, many former colleagues pressured him to maintain his boxing-best athleticism.

Now, Renan Ferreira (13-3-3) awaits to invite him to the PFL canvas. Then comes a 21-second finish Ryan Bader He’s next in line in February. This partnership sees Ngannou fighting exclusively in MMA for the PFL’s new PPV Super Fight division, so as a minority owner, ‘The Predator’ could lead to strategic changes in the African MMA scene.

PFL management thanks Francis Ngannou for his new role in shaping African MMA

The PFL is MMA’s only season sporting event, with individual fighters competing in the regular season, playoffs, and championship each year. As a result, there have been quite a few minds that favored the promotion. Now, with Francis Ngannou and his superstardom, it’s moving even further as a result.

French-Cameroonian to pave the way for more MMA talentFrench-Cameroonian to pave the way for more MMA talent
The French-Cameroonian will pave the way for more MMA talent (Source: IMAGO/bbc.com)

According to new reports (Lagos, Nigeria, July 10, 2024 /H/T: prnewswire.com), Helios Sports & Entertainment Group invested and will partner with the promotion as Ngannou’s brand ambassador. PFL Africa will launch across linear, digital and mobile platforms in Q2 2025. With the recent tragedy befalling him, management commended Ngannou for stepping quickly into the role.

You have to give a ton of credit to Francis. Most fighters couldn’t go through what he went through this past year. He understands his value and has been extremely patient to get to this point. Now, not only is he the best heavyweight in the world, but he has a deal that is unmatched and will set him up for life.

Marquel Martin, President and Co-Founder of athlete and brand management company 3POINT0 Labs Inc. via Official press release

PFL MENA (Middle East and North Africa) held its first event earlier this year. Then, now the promotion has officially announced its third full league format with PFL Africa due in 2025. Ngannou’s star power could be crucial in bringing more African MMA talent to the forefront, creating more potential Ngannous in the future.

Francis Ngannou to bring ‘incredible’ new talent to MMA

Francis Ngannou’s steps into MMA are an inspiration to everyone, especially in his home country of Cameroon. Arriving in Spain on an inflatable boat, he risked a difficult journey from Africa to Europe, including a stint in prison. The transition from there to heavyweight champion and teenage boxer is immeasurable.

Frans Mlambo, Francis NgannouFrans Mlambo, Francis Ngannou
Frans Mlambo, Francis Ngannou (Source: irishmirror.ie/the-sun.com)

Ngannou has long praised his plans to launch an MMA league in Africa as the “masterpiece” of his new deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL). Now, he’s that much closer to that dream. The Dublin native French Mlambo, Conor McGregor His longtime sparring partner left his native South Africa 20 years ago. He is one of the most successful stars to emerge from the country. Team SBG Ireland gym.

Talk to BBC Sport AfricaZulu-Irish man says he was surprised by visit War Militia Gym in Johannesburg. When he returned years later, he met a new talent who took to him like a rag doll. Mlambo credits the fitness and determination of the fighters in Cameroon with inspiring Ngannou’s meteoric rise to fame.

Ngannou joins Nigerians Kamaru Usman And Israel Adesanya As UFC champions in 2021, the trio have raised the profile of MMA in Africa as much as McGregor did in Europe. Now that he has more freedom with PFL Africa, that could be doubly valuable in inspiring more talent.

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