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PFL founder Donn Davis sees Ngannou fighting for his MMA promotion several times in the future.

Professional Fighters League (PFL) is still hyping Francis Ngannou’s return to mixed martial arts (MMA) despite the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion’s continued success in the boxing world.

Ngannou’s first announcement after leaving UFC was a deal to fight with PFL. A few months after that, though, Saudi Arabia stepped in and set up a massive boxing “super” fight featuring “The Predator” versus Tyson Fury. Ngannou shocked the world by nearly winning a split decision (watch highlights), and now he’s set to fight Anthony Joshua on March 8, 2024.

And he’s getting paid.

In addition, the winner of that bout is expected to fight the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury for the undisputed Heavyweight boxing championship. So, to say Ngannou is a little preoccupied with bigger things would be an understatement.

That hasn’t stopped PFL founder, Donn Davis, from talking up Ngannou’s eventual return to MMA.

“I’m 100 percent confident that Francis fights MMA for PFL – not just once, but several times,” Davis told The Independent. “And I’m confident that Francis will be our long-term business partner. I believe that he will ultimately prove himself to be the greatest athlete in combat sports – the Bo Jackson, if you will, of combat sports.

“I think Francis has an appetite to be a champion in boxing and to remain a champion in MMA,” he continued. “That’s so audacious that only someone of Francis’s character can set that goal, so I think you will see him continue to do both and continue to be successful at both.”

Winning another MMA title would certainly be a feather in Ngannou’s cap, but PFL will have to put forward a worthy contender for it to mean something.

That’s clearly an issue … still.

And Davis had nothing to offer other than the winner of the upcoming Heavyweight showdown between Ryan Bader vs. Renan “Problema” Ferreira at the “PFL vs. Bellator” event next weekend Sat., Feb. 24, 2024) inside Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“I believe the winner of ‘La Problema’ and Bader will interest Francis Ngannou,” Davis said. “I think whoever comes out of this has proven themselves to truly be the No. 1 contender in Heavyweight MMA – not just in our organization. Bader has ruled the roost in Bellator for five years. ‘La Problema’ is the toughest, most athletic opponent in the world.

“I don’t know who’s gonna win that, but I think whoever wins that can lay claim to challenge Francis – and I’m interested to see if Francis accepts that,” Davis added.

We have our doubts.

Ngannou is fighting the absolute biggest names in boxing right now. It would be extremely charitable for him to step back into the cage against Bader or Ferreira. But, Davis argued that there’s no one bigger … other than Jon Jones.

“I think outside of Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones, these are the two best heavyweights in the world,” he said. “But, the rest of the heavyweights in UFC are not particularly interesting. Stipe [Miocic] was, but he’s 41, he’s got one fight left. Then there’s nobody else on the rise there that’s any better or any more interesting than this match-up of ‘La Problema’ and Bader.”

Some have pointed out in the past that there’s nothing stopping UFC from co-promoting a “Jones vs. Ngannou” fight with PFL. But, let’s be real: UFC CEO, Dana White, isn’t doing that. So, Davis will have to hope Ngannou gets some downtime between all these legendary eight-figure boxing matches, and he’s willing to fight down to re-prove a point about his MMA credentials.

Good luck.


For all the latest PFL news and notes click here.

Staff
Author: Staff

Please go to MMAMania.com to read full article.

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