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It was confirmed over the weekend that one of the biggest prospects in all of mixed martial arts, Irish lightweight Paul Hughes, has inked a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

The former Cage Warriors cheampion’s signing was confirmed by the organisation on Saturday, and came after intense speculation linking him to the UFC.

However, Hughes says that the UFC couldn’t compete financially with the PFL when it came to gaining his signature.

“Definitely not a meaningful offer,” he said of the financials put to him by the world’s leading MMA promotion. “They came in with an offer, you know, but I know my value in this game and the PFL are aware of my value in this game and they are willing to invest in me and that is why — people think it would be a hard decision, it was the easiest decision in my life. If you weigh up the contracts, it’s a very easy decision to go join the PFL tournament.”

Per the terms of his PFL deal, Hughes will fight three times in 2024 and will gain entry to both the 2025 and 2026 PFL lightweight tournaments, where the winner will be awarded a cheque of $1 million.

“To have a promotion like the PFL snap me up so quickly after testing free agency is just a testament to them,” Hughes said, speaking to Sky Sports. “They obviously believe in me, they believe in my skills, and look — at the end of the day I’m the best in the world so they’re quite right to pick me up and I’m happy I’ve reached a deal with them after less than two weeks since I fought. So I’m incredibly excited right now.

“The PFL million dollar tournament is in my opinion undeniably one of the hardest competitions in all of sports,” he added. “It’s four fights in the span of a 10 month period fighting for the ultimate glory: a million dollars and a world title. It’s an easy sell, man. I believe I’m the best in the world, I believe I have all the skills, and I believe that I will be a millionaire by the end of next year.”

Hughes, who joins Francis Ngannou, Jake Paul and upcoming Katie Taylor opponent Amanda Serrano as recent PFL signings, joins a lightweight roster that features the likes of Patricio ‘Pitfull’ Freire, Shane Burgos, Clay Collard and Brent Primus.