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For former Glory kickboxing champion and devastating knockout artist Cedric Doumbe, the UFC portion of his combat sports career was supposed to get started back in September of last year. That’s when multiple sources reported that the 30-year-old Cameroonian-born Frenchman had been signed to take on Darian Weeks at UFC Paris: Gane vs. Tuivasa.
Unfortunately, and despite the fact that Weeks himself was only carrying a 5-2 MMA record (alongside a 1-1 boxing career), the French MMA Federation nixed the booking, on account of Cedric Doumbe’s limited 2-0 bouts worth of experience fighting inside a cage.
The former Glory kickboxing star quickly turned to Twitter after news broke that he’d no longer be on the card, to tell fans that while his debut had been delayed, he was still effectively a UFC fighter. Whatever agreement he may have reached with the promotion, however, it’s clear that getting more experience before stepping into the Octagon was going to be key.
Doumbe competed twice more in MMA events, defeating 2-0 Florent Burillon via TKO last December and 4-1 Pawel Klimas on March 4th. Those wins took his record to a sparkling 4-0 in 4oz gloves, and it looks like the UFC has once again come calling.
Cedric Doumbe posted a photo of a call from UFC president Dana White
That tweet, along with an interview with French media outlet BeinSports, seem to have caused a lot of confusion, with several sites and pseudo-media accounts posting that Doumbe had now been signed to the UFC. Unfortunately, for fans hoping to finally see Doumbe test his skills on MMA’s biggest stage, it appears he’s still weighing up his options.
Cedric Doumbe has denied reports of a UFC deal
“I never said I signed to UFC” Doumbe wrote in a post to his Twitter account. “I said that the contract was signed (before #UFCParis) and that until I fight I’m not officially in the UFC so I can negotiate with other big organizations. You have to listen well when I speak.”
In a followup Tweet, Doumbe further clarified his stance, adding, “I know you all want to see me at #UFC. I really want to make you happy, but the choice offered to me is really not easy and at 30 [years old] it will be the last choice of my life. It’s not easy!”
Like Adesanya and Pereira, Doumbe was a dominant force in the kickboxing world
Having started his kickboxing career back in 2013, Doumbe put together a stunning 75-7-1 record over his eight years as a pro, including 45 wins by knockout. Having competed in major organization including Glory and K-1, ‘The Best’ holds victories over Murthel Groenhart, Brad Riddell, Nieky Holzken, and Thongchai Sitsongpeenong among many others.
Doumbe picked up his first Glory kickboxing welterweight title back in 2016, with a split decision victory over Holzken, defending it twice before losing the belt to Groenhart in 2017. In 2019, however, he regained the title, with a 3rd round TKO victory over Harut Grigorian. He defended that belt three times, with KO victories over Alim Nabiev, Karim Ghajji and an avenging win over Groenhart in January of 2021. After that win, Doumbe announced his retirement from kickboxing to focus on MMA.
“Kickboxing is done,” Doumbe told the audience at an October 2021 fight event. “My next fight should be in MMA.”
For the moment, Doumbe doesn’t appear to have another fight booked. When he does decide to return to competition, it may just be that he’ll do so with the world’s largest MMA promotion. But that outcome seems far from certain at the moment.
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