Adesanya: Ngannou's PFL deal 'can force the UFC to change'
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is "stoked" that Francis Ngannou has secured his desired contract from the PFL, and he believes his friend's move will have a major impact on the MMA industry.
The PFL announced earlier this week a groundbreaking deal with Ngannou, who - in addition to competing in MMA bouts on pay-per-view and being allowed to box outside the PFL - will have a seat on the promotion's advisory board and serve as chairman of the new PFL Africa expansion.
Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, parted ways with the promotion in January as a free agent.
"It's good for the game, I think," Adesanya said in a video on his YouTube channel. "What I really liked is how his opponent is guaranteed ($2 million). That's cool. ... How many fighters are going to be like, 'Right, I need to get to the PFL, I want to fight Francis,' because now Francis is the guy, he's a money fight. That's another twist on it that I like."
Adesanya, who's fought under the UFC banner since 2018, said the company will have to adjust in the wake of Ngannou's new deal, though he didn't mention specifics.
"The UFC, they're not dumb," Adesanya said. "They'll take notice. They know how to adapt. When something like this happens in another field, it creates a big ripple in the game. A big enough ripple that can force the UFC to change the way - even like a small change."
He added: "The UFC will make change. Rome wasn't built in a day or whatever. This is a big f-----g move. It causes a ripple that forces change."