Reaction: Grading Francis Ngannou and PFL’s blockbuster partnership announcement

The long wait for Francis Ngannou’s free agent decision is over as the former UFC heavyweight champion announced Tuesday and that he is the newest member of the PFL roster and the chairman of the league’s PFL Africa expansion.

Ngannou’s signing ends a 16-month wait to see where the Cameroonian-French star would take his talents. The No. 1 heavyweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings fought his last fight at UFC 270 and then officially parted ways with the UFC this past January amid plenty of speculation as to what lay ahead for him: A mega boxing match with Tyson Fury? Would he simply head over to another top MMA promotion? Will he ever fight Jon Jones? Add in that Ngannou’s rift with the UFC was due to wanting several unprecedented contract stipulations and it’s fair to say that he was the most intriguing free agent in MMA history.

MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee and Jed Meshew react to the breaking news, grade the deal for Ngannou and the PFL, discuss whether criticism of Ngannou’s decisions were justified, and what this means for other UFC stars who may want to explore life outside of the octagon.