The Heavyweight King might have already said goodbye to the UFC.
The Predator's contract was set to expire in December of 2022. With no formal announcement by the UFC or Ngannou himself, speculation on where he would end up has been a major topic in MMA. Ngannou has been outspoken with his dissatisfaction with how he has been paid as "The Baddest Man on the Planet".
Over the weekend, Ngannou shared photos on his social media celebrating the New Year with his family. In one of the photos, Ngannou's mother is wearing a PFL shirt. The picture could be completely coincidental. But with the recent news regarding Jake Paul and the "PFL PPV Super Fight Division", I highly doubt it.
Pay The Man
Being the Heavyweight Champ should give the Big Man some bargaining power. But it seems as if his concerns have been ignored. The writing has been on the wall. In August of 2022, The Predator released a series of tweets stating the UFC sponsorship restrictions prevented him from making a cool million.
While the certainty of Ngannou's free agency and potential venture to the PFL is unclear, all signs point to yes. And with the return of Jon Jones finally on the horizon, this would take a huge gust of wind out of the UFC's Heavyweight Division. The new money-making venture sponsored by Jake Paul leaves us asking, Did Francis Ngannou sign with PFL?
This could be a potential ploy to pressure the UFC. Although I don't see the UFC brass budging, I expect a huge backlash if they fail to satisfy Ngannou. I mentioned the potential for this when reporting on Jake Paul's deal with the PFL.
As a diehard, I'm chomping at the bit to see Ngannou vs. Jones. But if the UFC can't put the money on the table, it won't be under their banner. And what a colossal blunder that would be.