Top prospect Paul Hughes ends free agency, signs with PFL

Top prospect Paul Hughes ended his free agency on Saturday by inking an exclusive deal with PFL.

PFL officials and Hughes confirmed the signing on social media.

A Cage Warriors veteran with an 11-1 record, Hughes hit free agency after a stunning first-round knockout over Fabiano Silva in his most recent fight in April. The lightweight, who fights out of Northern Ireland, has rattled off five wins in a row, including knockouts in his past two fights.

Hughes addressed his free agency when speaking to MMA Fighting after his latest win, discussing possible suitors like PFL or UFC to retain his services.

“Honestly, I’m open to everything, man,” Hughes said. “As I say, I had to do a deep dive and I had to ask myself, is it fame that I want? Is it just clout? Is it to say that I’m in the UFC? And to be honest, I don’t give a bollocks about that. I just turned 27 last week. I’m not that 21-, 22-year-old kid that has this dream of owning the UFC and I want to say I’m a UFC fighter.

“I’m at the stage now where I’ve had a lot of big nights in my career, I’ve done a lot of big things, and it’s not just about saying, ‘Oh, I fight in the UFC.’ Me, right now, the No. 1 thing [is] being the best fighter on the planet. There’s nothing to say I can’t do that. I can do that anywhere. I can still be the best fighter on the planet. But I need to get my value.”

In the end, Hughes ultimately decided to join the PFL roster, as the promotion continues to build and expand across Europe with stars like Cedric Doumbe.

There’s no word yet when Hughes will make his debut, but PFL obviously pounced on the opportunity to sign him as soon as he became available in free agency.

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