Coup! PFL picks up kickboxing superstar one month after rumors of UFC signing

UFC? Nope. Cedric Doumbe has found a new home for his MMA career.

By: Jack Wannan | 4 weeks ago
Coup! PFL picks up kickboxing superstar one month after rumors of UFC signing
After people speculated he would join the UFC, Cedric Doumbe is heading to the PFL. | IMAGO / PanoramiC

For the longest time, it felt like Cedric Doumbe heading to the UFC was a situation of “when” and not “if.” But that all changed this week, as the accomplished kickboxer turned MMA fighter signed a deal with the PFL to join their welterweight division.

PFL announced their signing of Doumbe on Wednesday via press release. His debut for the promotion or if he will compete in their annual season structure is not known at the moment, although it is mentioned that he is expected to be in attendance when they head to Paris in September.

Cedric Doumbe’s UFC chronicles

Many will remember that Doumbe was reportedly expected to make his UFC debut against Darian Weeks when the promotion went to Paris, France for the first time last year. However, that plan was thrown out due to the local commission not wanting Doumbe, who had an MMA record of just two wins, to face Weeks, who had seven pro fights.

Doumbe was released by the UFC later that year. He has remained active in MMA since then, scoring a pair of finish wins in the regional French promotion MMA GP.

Rumors of Doumbe joining the UFC roster started to swirl once again last month. Posts on social media claiming that a deal had been reached between Doumbe and the promotion started to gain traction. Around the same time, Doumbe posted a meme that showed an incoming phone call from the promotion’s president, Dana White. What was likely lighthearted trolling was taken as a confirmation by many, furthering the hype that he had truly struck a new deal.

But he later cleared the air and stated that another deal with the UFC was never reached.

An accomplished kickboxer finds a new MMA home

Doumbe, 30, put together a successful kickboxing career that includes two different welterweight title reigns in GLORY Kickboxing. His last kickboxing appearance came in early 2021 when he scored a second-round stoppage against Murthel Groenhart to defend his belt for the third time. The title was vacated later that year.

Later that year, Doumbe started to pursue fights in MMA. He won his debut in November 2021, stopping Arbi Emiev at a Superkombat show. Then in July, he beat Phruethukorn Chaichonghcarden via doctor stoppage. While it felt like Doumbe would become one of the many high-profile kickboxers to make the jump over to the UFC after that victory, that’s not what ended up happening.

The many options for Doumbe in the PFL

Instead, Doumbe will be joining an organization that gives him many different options as a fighter. He could compete in PFL’s annual tournament, which has a grand prize of $1 million and allows fighters to compete as many as four times a year. He could appear on the promotion’s European shows, which just officially launched this year. Or, he could compete in showcase bouts like professional boxer Claressa Shields did during her run with the promotion.

“I am a unique fighter joining a unique organization in the PFL,” Doumbe said in the press release issued this week. “I look forward to great success in the PFL.”

There are lots of options for Doumbe in this new deal. The promotion’s season format, albeit a high-pressure one, allows fighters to rise up to a title shot within a year’s time. However, if he were to compete in one of the promotion’s seasons, he will have to wait some time. The welterweight regular season kicked off just a few weeks ago and the playoffs for the tournament are expected to conclude this fall. If we’re going to see him any time before then, it would likely be in a showcase contest.

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About the author
Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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