Hot French prospect Cedric Doumbe has signed with the PFL, ending months of speculation that the former two-time GLORY kickboxing champion would end up in the UFC.
Doumbe comes into the PFL with a 75-7 kickboxing record and 4-0 MMA record. At one point his UFC status was seemingly certain after plans were revealed for his promotional debut at UFC Paris in September 2022. In the end, a particular French commission rule preventing fighters with less experience competing against those with four more bouts killed the bout.
And now the popular Cameroonian has signed with the PFL, for significantly more money than he would have made in the UFC.
“Next fight: June 23rd. Atlanta. MMA – PFL,” Doumbe announced on Twitter. “I’m here to take over!”
In a YouTube video, Doumbe explained the decision to forgo the UFC in favor of PFL. The money was just too good with PFL: he’ll make $140,000 per fight with the Professional Fight League versus a $20,000 to show, $20,000 to win contract with the UFC.
The UFC has proven to be very resistant to paying newcomers to their organization more than base pay. Even Paddy Pimblett, a legitimate star in the UK, came into the organization on a starter contract before earning much more after his first few fights. Doumbe has similar star status in France, where he was a popular contestant on the reality series ‘The Circle.’ He has over 500,000 followers on Instagram.
“Cedric Doumbe is one of the greatest athletes in the world and a tremendous addition to the Professional Fighters League global roster,” a statement from PFL president Ray Sefo said regarding the signing. “Cedric dominated the sport of kickboxing and is poised to do the same in MMA.
“He is one of the most talented fighters in the world and will make an immediate impact here in the PFL.”
While it’s too early to say whether Doumbe will be able to hang against top names in MMA, there’s no denying his star power. The UFC could have used a fighter like him in their continued efforts to build their position in France.
Their loss is PFL’s gain. Now it’s up to Doumbe to prove he’s worth the hefty paycheck the rising promotion is paying him.
This story originally appeared on MMA Mania