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Not Francis Ngannou or Jake Paul, This PFL Star Ranked 2nd Only to Conor McGregor According to Ex-UFC Star

Published 11/20/2023, 10:00 PM EST

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Fans know a star right when they walk into the arena. This strikes true for big names such as Conor McGregor. The Irishman is perhaps the most popular star of the UFC in current standing. But is there someone who can parallel the cheers McGregor gets on an Irish stage?

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Just maybe there is a worthy ‘other’. Recently, the UFC veteran Dan Hardy opened up about a startling entrance on the MMA Hour Show. He spoke about this one star who filled up the arena with cheers and screams just like McGregor. So, the question is, is Cedric Doumbe really all the hype?

Dan Hardy reveals PFL counterpart of Conor McGregor


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Hardy is a seasoned veteran of the UFC. The former welterweight has seen the MMA world evolve and with it, the fighters. So when he spoke about Cedric Doumbe‘s PFL debut, he knew exactly what he was looking at. And it was nothing short of great fame.

“Cedric Doumbe did his work in kickboxing, so when he walked into the cage as a 4-0 MMA fighter, he was a superstar. I’ve literally only ever seen that reaction to a fighter one time, and that was McGregor in Dublin.”


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Doumbe made a brilliant career out of his kickboxing bouts. The French star could have been signed by the UFC itself but that didn’t quite happen much to Doumbe’s disappointment. However, as PFL accepted him with open arms, the people were nothing but pleased.


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“They did what they did,” Doumbe said about the UFC. “They f***** up. Now I’m part of the PFL. For me, the PFL is the future. They’re doing very great, we’ve got Francis [Ngannou] now, he’s part of the team. I’m part of the future.” And perhaps he is completely right about his assumption. In fact, not even Ngannou or stars like Jake Paul have had the fame he has.


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How upset is Doumbe with the UFC?

The multi-time GLORY champion wanted to break into MMA and the options could have been plenty. However, Dana White and Co. clearly didn’t show enough interest. Stars like Conor McGregor already spawn massive crowds for the promotion. Perhaps Doumbe could have helped the numbers even more.

“UFC Need to Review Their Contract Approach”: Dana White and Co. Faces Fans’ Wrath After Cedric Doumbe’s 9-Second KO Which Even Left Kylian Mbappe Shocked


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“They’re doing their thing, I’m doing my thing, I think I’m the best, they lost something, now PFL earned something. … Of course, for sure they regret.” The star was certain that the decision would return to haunt the UFC eventually. Now, like Ngannou, he’s signed to the PFL. Will the two ever cross paths with one another? Only time will tell.

Watch This Story: Conor McGregor Gives the Biggest Confirmation Yet for Michael Chandler Fight

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Written by:

Prit Chauhan


One take at a time

I'm Prit Chauhan, and I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. I've been in the writing business for three years, covering areas like mass media marketing, and even tried my hand at fiction. My experience includes research work at the University of California, Berkeley, which helps me spin fact-based stories about the world of Mixed Martial Arts effortlessly.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das