Cedric Doumbe was one of the hottest free agents on the market, briefly linked to the UFC, when he eventually signed on with the PFL earlier this year.
Now, as the decorated kickboxer prepares to make his promotional debut at PFL Paris on Saturday, Doumbe (4-0 MMA) has opened up about his transition between sports.
Doumbe admitted during a virtual media session this past week that he had planned for his crossover to go quicker. “When I started to make the transition, I thought I would do it faster than that. But I realized that MMA is a completely different sport,” noted Doumbe. “It’s a real sport, it’s not only kickboxing and sprawl. It’s a real sport, and it’s very tough, it’s not that easy to be a good MMA fighter. So that’s why I’m taking my time and I’m not rushing.”
As to his stalled move to the UFC — he was signed briefly in 2022, only for the French athletic commission to nix a fight at UFC Paris due to what was believed at the time to be an experience mismatch — Doumbe says he had a number of offers on the table after that.
“We had a lot of proposals, like three proposals, and we decided to choose PFL because it’s like an investment. PFL is the future. We can see the big guys, big names like Francis [Ngannou], Jake Paul. PFL for me is really the future. They just signed a really good fighter, French fighter Abdoul Abdouraguimov.”
As to what he offers the promotion, “I think Cedric Doumbe, the name Cedric Doumble in PFL is just going to make PFL improve better. I think I made a good choice. Also the PFL pays me well, way better than other organizations. I cannot hide that. So that’s the best choice for me.”
Meeting Jordan Zebo in the main event of PFL Paris, Doumbe believes he can capitalize on the match-up. “I think it’s a good match-up for me to show my power, to show my skills to the audience, to the people,” said Doumbe. “I really like this opponent.”
Watch the full PFL Paris media day session with Cedric Doumbe above.