Daniel Cormier applauds Francis Ngannou for “setting a new standard” in the free-agent market

By Susan Cox - May 17, 2023

Daniel Cormier is applauding Francis Ngannou for ‘setting a new standard’ in the free-agent market.

Daniel Cormier, Francis Ngannou, UFC

Ngannou  (17-3 MMA) left the UFC in January of this year after being unable to come to a contract agreement with the promotion.

As a free agent, ‘The Predator’ has been weighing his options and just yesterday, Tuesday, May 16th, he announced he had found his new home with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Along with signing with the PFL as a fighter, Ngannou has also been appointed the chairman of PFL Africa and will serve on the company’s advisory board representing fighter interests. Ngannou’s deal will give him the flexibility to box outside the PFL, and he is planning his boxing debut sometime this year.

Cormier, speaking on his ESPN show ‘DC & RC’ spoke about former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou landing a deal with the PFL:

“I want to make sure that we communicate to the world that this is not a normal situation. We’re talking about the heavyweight champion. You always knew that if anyone was going to set the standard for what is out there as a free agent, it was gonna be Francis. The moment he announced that he was gonna be moving on, you knew that the standard and the bar would be set by Francis.”

Continuing, Daniel Cormier, while applauding the UFC, believes Francis Ngannou will be competitive in the PFL:

“There is no organization that has talent on par with the UFC as a whole. But there are outliers out there in the world where guys can really compete. You’re seeing that now in Bellator. You saw it in Strikeforce because when all the Strikeforce people came, they became champions. Myself, Ronda Rousey, Luke Rockhold, Robbie Lawler, all these fighters came over and became champions. So, we always could compete. I think they have these outliers. To believe that Francis Ngannou is going to fight lesser competition is gonna be very difficult to prove, because it is tough out there.”

Francis Ngannou, Jon Jones

It’s true that Cormier had previously hoped that Ngannou would reconsider and come back to the UFC to fight Jon Jones  (27-1 MMA) – a fight the commentator and many fans would like to see.

Applauding Ngannou’s decision, Cormier said ‘The Predator’ has set a new standard (h/t MMAJunkie):

“There are fighters out there that can challenge you out in the world of mixed martial arts. As a whole, UFC is where it’s supposed to be, but Francis Ngannou has set a new standard. It kind of feels like go play less golf for more money … big deal for Francis Ngannou. Congratulations to the former UFC heavyweight champion on really setting a new standard for what is out there in the free-agent market. It feels real after this one. It makes MMA feel real after seeing what Francis Ngannou just did.”

Do you agree with Daniel Cormier’s comments concerning Francis Ngannou? Who would you like to see the heavyweight fight in his PFL debut?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Daniel Cormier Francis Ngannou UFC