Francis Ngannou [1296x729]
Francis Ngannou [1296x729] (Credit: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

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Former UFC champion Francis Ngannou will serve as chairman of PFL Africa, the Professional Fighters League's newest regional league.

PFL announced on Wednesday that PFL Africa would launch in 2025, following PFL Europe, which started in 2023, and PFL MENA (Middle East and North Africa), which began this year.

The international leagues, like other PFL franchises in the United States, follow a format of a regular season, playoffs and a championship.

"I am excited and honored to serve as Chairman of PFL Africa, a league that will shape the very foundation of African MMA," Ngannou, 37, said in a statement.

"As we have seen, there is a great wealth of talent in Africa just waiting to be given a global stage. I am so very proud to give back to my homeland and to provide great content to a region with such a passionate and diverse fanbase."

A native of Cameroon, Ngannou is a former UFC heavyweight champion who signed with PFL in May 2023 to have more equity and a leadership role.

Ngannou is yet to compete in PFL, but he has boxed professionally, losing to Tyson Fury by split decision in October 2023, and by knockout to Anthony Joshua in March.

PFL CEO Peter Murray said: "Africa is home to some of the greatest fighters in the world, including our league chairman Francis Ngannou, and some of the greatest fans in the sport.

"PFL Africa aims to serve the great fans with premium content while strengthening the PFL global footprint in what has for too long been an underserved market. Alongside our great investment and broadcast partners, we cannot wait to kick off PFL Africa league action in 2025."