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Dana White’s Close Friend Joe Rogan Vouches for Heavy UFC Competition as Francis Ngannou’s PFL Gets $100M Saudi Investment Amid Bellator Buying Rumors- “There Needs to Be Competition”

Published 09/25/2023, 10:49 AM EDT

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Francis Ngannou left the UFC earlier this year. He exited the world’s largest MMA promotion over disagreements on matters of fighter pay, health insurance, and personal sponsorships with the UFC and Dana White. At that time, Ngannou’s future was uncertain as he did not have any other professional contracts.

Within a few months, however, he was able to secure a lucrative contract with the PFL and a contract to box heavyweight champion Tyson Furyultimately coming out on top. And in a conversation with Joe Rogan, the Cameroonian discussed the PFL and the big moves it is making.

Joe Rogan and Francis Ngannou talk about the PFL

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Appearing on episode #146 of the JRE MMA Show, Francis Ngannou told Rogan that he did “like the PFL business model. Their structure as a business model”. The podcast host asked Ngannou about the PFL’s ongoing attempts to buy Bellator. Reports have suggested that the PFL is in talks to buy the promotion in a deal that could be worth up to as much as $500 million.

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“Looks like they’re buying Bellator, right?” Rogan asked the former UFC heavyweight champion. The Cameroonian agreed, but added that the deal had not been confirmed yet, and was puzzled at the amount of time it was taking. “Yeah. I heard that. Nothing has been confirmed. I don’t know why is taking so long. We should be hearing some news,” ‘The Predator’ answered.

Rogan thinks the UFC having competition is good

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Rogan felt the acquisition would be good for the PFL as it would mean the promotion would have access to a much better talent pool. Ngannou concurred with the stand-up comic and was agreeable to the prospect of the PFL and Bellator roster merging. Then, Rogan said something surprising.

“That would be very good. You’ve got this like [Bellator middleweight champion] Johnny Elben, who is a high-level middleweight, one of the best in the world. Some really good fighters over there. I like that. Importantly, for the fighters, there needs to be competition. There has to be options,” the UFC commentator said.

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Rogan told Ngannou that he liked that the PFL was buying Bellator. His close friend and UFC CEO Dana Whiteever the relentless businessman may not be very happy with this. But Joe Rogan is a man who admires and respects fighters a lot, and is not one to bite his tongue over fears of displeasing others.

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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Kanishk Thakur is an MMA writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in political science from Delhi University, his love for writing and MMA made him want to be part of telling the story of the sport. His journalist mother and love for philosophy and research inculcated a staunch rationalism in him, and the need to substantiate every statement he makes with good evidence.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen