July 11, 2024

[GIST] PFL unveils Africa competition, names Ngannou as chair

[GIST] PFL unveils Africa competition, names Ngannou as chair

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THE Professional Fighters League (PFL), the global mixed martial arts (MMA) franchise, has unveiled its plans to create a competition for Africans. This was announced at an event held in Lagos yesterday.
The newly established PFL Africa will introduce an engaging sports-season format with a regular season, playoffs, and championship featuring top African fighters at all events to be hosted on the continent for the first time.

Francis Ngannou, former UFC heavyweight champion, will chair the African league partnered with Helios Sports & Entertainment Group.
According to Peter Murray, the chief executive officer (CEO) of PFL, the African project will begin by the second quarter of 2025. He added that the bouts will be hosted in Nigeria and other African countries and are part of the plan to create a “Champions League of MMA”.
Murray said the initiative will ensure that African mixed martial artists do not have to leave the continent for elite training in the sport, adding “this will happen here in Nigeria and throughout the continent of Africa.”
“This is really about providing the athletes the opportunity to compete and earn a living as professional athletes. PFL Africa is an established African entity that will be led by an African management like Francis (Ngannou) It is a true African company that we are launching.
“In the long term, we will develop not only talents that we sign into the league but also amateur fighters and give them the opportunity to become professionals.

On his part, Tope Lawani, co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners, said the need to tap the underserved talent of African youth spurred the company’s partnership with PSL.

“We are looking forward to partnering with the PFL, a world-class organization, and with Francis Ngannou, who is a manifestation of the success of African talent on a global stage. This marks HSEG’s fourth investment following our successful partnership with the NBA in Africa.
We see several areas of direct synergies between PFL Africa and HSEG’s existing unique portfolio, and we are excited by the opportunities such collaboration can bring to the continent.”
Juliet Ukah, a Nigerian fighter in PFL, said the establishment of PFL Africa aligns with her dream of bringing MMA to young girls in the country.
“My dream is to have a gym here in Nigeria, train young girls to have confidence in themselves and make them proud,” she said.
“I am happy that the PFL is coming down to Nigeria, and I think this is a good dream to achieve.”

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