Francis Ngannou’s contract status with the UFC has remained in limbo dating back to January of last year when the Cameronian was heading into his first world title defense at UFC 270. Ngannou would defeat Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision to retain the championship, but the larger “and still” was the remaining doubt about if he’d ever defend the title in the promotion again.
These doubts were due to that being Ngannou’s fight on his contract and his outspokenness about being disgruntled with his relationship with the UFC. Prior to his victory at UFC 270, Ngannou clarified that he would be a free agent after he either defended the title three more times or after a year elapsed.
Last month, as 2022 drew to a close, there was a report that Ngannou may already be a free agent. If this report is true, then “The Predator” may have just hinted at his next target.
Francis Ngannou Heading To PFL?
On December 12, around the time of Ngannou’s potential free agent status being reported, he stated that his “second chapter” was about to begin.
That statement carried many potential interpretations, from as simple as stating he was prepared to start afresh after his renewed health post-knee surgery, up to some speculating that he was going to venture into boxing, which has long been one of his goals.
However, a social media post over the weekend has many now wondering if his contract status is on the verge of being resolved after all — but with the PFL, not with the UFC.
As Ngannou welcomed the new year, he dropped a social media post with him dining with family. Among the seated guests at the table was a woman conspicuously wearing a PFL t-shirt while the other visible women in attendance wore traditional African attire.
You can view the full Instagram post here, and two of the aforementioned images below.
“Starting the best year ever!!!
Happy NEW YEAR 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣ to y’all 🎉✨️#family,” the post read.
Some observers have concluded that this woman’s choice of attire is not coincidental, and that it may be a sign of a blockbuster announcement to come.
It must, of course, be pointed out that this is circumstantial evidence at best of a Ngannou/PFL deal. Among the many possible explanations behind the photo is that this is merely a subtle negotiating maneuver by Ngannou and his team to continue putting pressure on the UFC to meet his terms.
Then again, this could be a harbinger for more shocking news in what has already been a frenzied 2023 cycle.
Last week, the MMA world was completely blindsided by the PFL signing Jake Paul to its roster. So perhaps we all will be hit with more historic news courtesy of PFL, with the rising promotion potentially signing a reigning UFC champion.
MMA News will keep you posted on the latest updates regarding Francis Ngannou’s next move.
What do you think? Is this a sign that Francis Ngannou is joining the PFL? Is it a negotiation tactic? Or is the woman in the photo just a die-hard PFL fan?
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