PFL Paris: Doumbe vs Chamsoudinov sells out in 20 minutes!

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PFL is coming out strong in 2024! After that supercard announcement, featuring multiple champion vs champion fights, PFL announced the signing of one of the most talented young fighters fighting outside the US – Baissangour ‘Baki’ Chamsoudinov

That’s not the end of it. Baki will square off against none other than his fellow countryman and a French superstar in the making – Cedric Doumbe! This will be your main event for that PFL Paris card, coming March 7th. ‘The Best’ and Chamsoudinov had a war of words in the past, talking about a potential fight (both in the interviews and on social media). 

The fight has now been signed and the whole arena with a capacity of 20 000 has been sold out, in less than an hour! This fight really means a lot to the French, which this extraordinary sell out shows. These are two fighters that are early in their MMA careers, but with rather different amounts of experience in the combat world and a totally different age. Let’s dive into the basics of why this is such an interesting fight.

Cedric Doumbe vs Baki Chamsoudinov is a treat for MMA fans, not only the French

Why has this fight brought so many eyes, even outside the French public? Let’s get to truly understanding the star potential of these two competitors.

Doumbe is an experienced, decorated warrior

Cedric Doumbe (as many already know) is a former 2-time Glory Kickboxing Welterweight champion, with multiple title defenses. In over 80 fights he has 75 wins, 7 losses and was never knocked out, while claiming 45 wins by way of KO/TKO. He had been the number #1 ranked welterweight kickboxer in the world, by various combat sports publications for years.

In October of 2021 the Frenchman decided to make a switch to MMA and later on signed with Superkombat Universe, where he had his first pro MMA fight (won by a 1st round knockout). After scoring another knockout victory, this time in MMA GP, Doumbe was signed to the UFC and slated to compete at UFC’s inaugural Paris event.

Doumbe was about to face Darian Weeks, but was pulled from the card by the French MMA Federation, as he was deemed ‘too inexperienced’ to compete, which conflicted with the rules of the commission. Later on, Doumbe would reveal that the MRI scan prior to the fight showed he had blood in his brain, which was another reason for the commission to pull him from the bout. He was eventually released by the organization.

After this, Doumbe continued advancing and after two more knockouts – came new offers. UFC was again one of the top bidders, but ‘The Best’ ended up with PFL, telling Ariel Helwani that their offer was ‘10 times better than UFC’s’. The Frenchman signed a two year deal and debuted on September 30th, finishing the fight in only 9 seconds, with an explosive KO of Jordan Zebo.

There were many superstars who could be seen in the crowd at the PFL Europe 3 event, including PSG superstars Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi, who were just in awe of Doumbe’s performance.

Baki Chamsoudinov is one of MMA’s brightest prospects

Baissangour is a 22 year old MMA prospect, training in the MMA Factory gym, under the tutelage of Fernand Lopez. He has a professional score of 8-0, with 3 TKO/KOs. In his last appearance, he absolutely dominated and finished a former UFC fighter – Efrain Escudero, via TKO in the 2nd round.

‘Baki’ has an obvious knack for wrestling, like every Chechen descendant. What makes him stand out is his great feel for the opponent’s balance and using that to trip them out, sending them to the ground. Chamsoudinov is not only a good grappler, but also has very slick striking, with a piston-like jab and powerful hooks he throws into his combos. 

He had quality opponents coming up the ranks, with almost every one of them having a positive record. That certainly puts him in a high standard when scouting out his potential. 

At one point last year, Chamsoudinov was invited and went on to train with UFC’s Khamzat Chimaev, in order to help him prepare for his Paulo Costa fight at UFC 294. At only 22 years of age, he got this call up to help one of the scariest UFC fighters in his preparations. This certainly speaks about Baki’s quality already.

Cedric Doumbe vs Baki – words exchanged and history with the trainer

At the end of last year, Doumbe gave an interview for the famous French magazine “L’Equipe” in which he said: “I called David (the manager of Doumbe) and I told him – Do me a favor, book Baki for the next fight at the PFL, that way they will understand.” Doumbe also stated that: “Eagles don’t fly with pigeons” and vowed to ‘destroy the future of French MMA’.

Chamsoudinov later responded by saying that he respects Doumbe’s accomplishments as a kickboxer, but that in MMA he ‘sees room’ and would surely defeat his countryman.

Cedric Doumbe vs Fernand Lopez – drama outside of MMA

It is well known that several years back, Doumbe trained at the MMA Factory – France’s most well known gym, which exported multiple UFC fighters. At some point he left the gym and the reason for that was revealed by him years after. 

In the moments after his KO win against Zebo, Cedric got on the mic in the post-fight interview and gave an anti-domestic violence speech, pointing to his former coach Fernand Lopez. Later on, he had revealed why he doesn’t like Lopez. It’s because of his involvement with Doumbe’s nutritionist and a count of domestic violence to go with it.

This fight has the French public absolutely buzzing, but fans all over Europe and the world are starting to catch up on the French MMA scene. So PFL Europe 1 should be a big stage for it to show its great potential.

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