PFL announces African tournament, appoints Ngannou as president

PFL announces African tournament, appoints Ngannou as president

Global mixed martial arts (MMA) franchise, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), has revealed plans to create an African competition, the announcement was made at an event held in Lagos yesterday.
The newly established PFL Africa will introduce a compelling sports season format with a regular season, playoffs and championship featuring Africa's top fighters in all events held for the first time on the continent.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will become president of the African League, which has partnered with Helios Sports & Entertainment Group.
The African project is expected to begin by the second quarter of 2025, according to PFL CEO Peter Murray. He added that the bouts would be held in Nigeria and other African countries and were part of plans to create a “Champions League of MMA”.
Murray said the initiative would ensure that African mixed martial artists would not have to leave the continent for elite training in the sport, adding: “This will not just be here in Nigeria, but across the continent.”
“This is about giving athletes the opportunity to compete and earn a living as professional athletes. PFL Africa is an established African organisation led by African executives like Francis[Ngannou]. What we are building is a truly African enterprise.”
“In the long term, we want to develop not only the players who join the league, but also the amateur players and give them the opportunity to become professionals.”

Meanwhile, Tope Lawani, co-founder and managing partner at Helios Investment Partners, said the need to harness the underserved talent of Africa's youth prompted his firm to partner with PSL.

“We are excited to partner with the PFL, a world-class organization, and Francis Ngannou, who represents the success of African talent on the global stage. This marks HSEG's fourth investment in Africa, following our successful partnership with the NBA.”
There are several areas of direct synergy between PFL Africa and HSEG's existing unique portfolios, and we are excited about the opportunities this collaboration will bring to the continent.”
PFL Nigerian fighter Juliet Ukah said the creation of PFL Africa coincides with her dream of bringing MMA to young girls in the country.
“My dream is to have a gym in Nigeria and make young girls feel confident and proud,” she said.
“I am happy that PFL is coming to Nigeria and I think this is a good dream that should come true.”


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