PFL founder Donn Davis says Francis Ngannou will fight in MMA for his promotion in 2024.
The former UFC heavyweight champion in Ngannou signed with the PFL earlier this year and was expected to make his debut in 2024. Before he would make his debut, he would pursue a boxing fight.
Francis Ngannou ended up securing a boxing match against Tyson Fury, in a fight many thought he would lose with ease. But, Ngannou dropped Fury but lost a very competitive split decision.
After the fight, what Ngannou would do next was uncertain. But, according to Donn Davis, Ngannou is working on his next fight, but guarantees he will fight in MMA in the PFL in 2024.
“Francis is making plans. I heard him on your show saying he was going to make decisions in the next two weeks. We know what he’s working on,” Davis said on The MMA Hour. “I think there is a path that could go one of two ways. I think there’s a boxing path for him next, and I think there’s a mixed fight for him next, that will look a little different. It will go against somebody, it might be under mixed rules. I think the opponents in pure MMA are not that interesting right now. We’re just like the fans, we’re just like the fighters. We’re not like the other companies. ‘Let’s just do it because they’re our guys!’
“There’s only one guy in MMA who is interesting right now for Francis Ngannou: Jon Jones. One guy. Everybody says, what about Stipe? Maybe,” Davis continued. “Give him a half a point — 1.5 guys, who are compelling. I don’t want to say who could put on a good fight for him. There are three or four other guys who could put on a competitive fight for Francis. I’m not talking about a competitive fight, I’m saying compelling — 1.5 guys in MMA, in the world! And one is hurt for the next nine months, and the other one is under contract.
We’re realists. So what is the best fight for our fighter, Francis Ngannou, his career, and fighting fans? That’s the fight we should make, and that’s the fight we’re going to be partners to make. So will he fight in MMA in 2024? Yes, he will. Will that be his next fight? I don’t know,” Davis added.
As of right now, who that opponent will be is uncertain, but Donn Davis says Francis Ngannou’s PFL debut will be in March or December.
Donn Davis eyes Francis Ngannou vs. Deontay Wilder
After Francis Ngannou’s competitive fight against Tyson Fury, he will be ranked in the top 10 at heavyweight in the WBC rankings. With that, Ngannou will be able to secure another boxing match, and Davis is interested in that being Deontay Wilder.
However, Davis doesn’t want it to just be a boxing fight but rather hopes Ngannou vs. Wilder would be a mixed-rules bout.
“But what would I think would be fascinating? Deontay Wilder in a mixed-rules fight. I always say, what do I want to see? I know a lot about boxing and a lot about MMA, but I’m not a savant. I’m not a deep, deep, deep insider. So I like to test, what do I think millions of people would love to see? I think that’s the most interesting thing we could all see… I think Francis does Deontay Wilder, and I think it is a wild fight. Because what you know and what I know, is who Francis is. But now the rest of the world knows what he is, and he is a global superstar. And everyone is going to see that and not miss it. No one is going to sleep on him this time,” Davis continued.
Whether or not Ngannou vs. Wilder will happen is uncertain, but Davis is hopeful.