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Francis Ngannou teases next move in May 16 announcement

UFC 281: Hooker v Puelles Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Francis Ngannou is teasing his next move four months after he became the highest-profile free agent in MMA.

The former UFC heavyweight champion will apparently make an announcement about his future on May 16, according to a video he released Saturday on social media.

In the video, Ngannou addresses the many critics of his move away from the UFC to the open market. The 36-year-old Cameroon native left the industry-leader seeking better pay and benefits as well as the option to fulfill a dream to box.

Major MMA promotions like Bellator, PFL and ONE Championship were among known MMA suitors for Ngannou’s talent; he also was linked to potential bouts with Deontay Wilder and heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, whom he once faced off with inside the squared circle and were reportedly in negotiations.

Of the MMA possibilities, the Asia-based ONE Championship announced this past week that it had moved on after the heavyweight allegedly passed on a $20 million guarantee over other contract demands that allegedly included the right to determine his opponent’s pay.

Reports from Dan Hardy and Chael Sonnen, who both work for PFL as fighter development and commentary, respectively, have said Ngannou will sign with the tournament-based promotion. After his free agency, Ngannou’s mother was spotted wearing a PFL T-shirt during his visit to Cameroon.

Ngannou included a “shush” emoji as a caption and apparent response to those who’ve accused him of wasting a golden opportunity. After leaving the UFC, he said he left the promotion because it wouldn’t entertain the possibility of granting health insurance and a advocate for fighters in negotiations.

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