Ngannou failed to come to terms on a new deal with the UFC and eventually signed with the PFL – a deal that allows him to box and gives him equity and a leadership role within the promotion.
Ngannou’s past two octagon bouts were a title-winning knockout of Stipe Miocic, followed by a title unification bout with Ciryl Gane at UFC 270, where he fought through a torn ACL to score the decision win. But Ngannou’s departure meant relinquishing the heavyweight belt, and Rogan doesn’t see too many viable opponents for him outside of the UFC.
“It’s a big loss in my mind, like, him going over to the PFL,” Rogan said on a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” “It bums me out. I understand it. I’m happy he’s going to get paid, I’m happy he’s going to get to box, but I loved watching this guy fight in the UFC. He was a f*cking monster. He was so good, and he is so good. It’s going to be interesting. I just don’t know who they’re going to have him fight.”
With Ngannou no longer on the UFC roster, Jon Jones claimed the vacant belt with a quick submission of Gane at UFC 285 in March.
Ngannou is expected to box before making his MMA return in mid-2024.