Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been a hot topic in the combat sports world ever since his release from the UFC.
And now, with two serious options on the table, it seems like ‘The Predator’ will soon make his plans for the return to the MMA scene.
As per Dan Hardy, exec for PFL Europe, Ngannou could potentially sign with the PFL in the near future. Hardy believes that PFL’s offerings match Ngannou’s demands, making it the perfect fit for the heavyweight king.
Hardy told Middle Easy:
“We’ll have Francis Ngannou in no time coming over and fighting for it,” Hardy said with confidence.
“I just feel it in my bones. I know he’s coming. I just know he’s coming. I can just feel it. It makes sense. His demands for the UFC is exactly what the PFL are offering. So everything that he was asking for from the UFC, it’s already on the table over here as long as the money’s on the table alongside to match the heavyweight king’s purse, then I think you’ll be happy and I think we can certainly do that for him.”
ONE Championship is also in the running for Ngannou’s signature. The Singapore-based organization has been making waves in the MMA world for years and is set to make its North American debut on May 5. If Ngannou were to sign with ONE, it could be a game-changer for the promotion and put them in direct competition with the UFC.
But ONE FC CEO Chatri Sityodtong wouldn’t give any updates during his recent press conference.
The 36-year-old Cameroonian-Frenchman claimed in a recent interview with ESPN he has had “serious conversations” with ONE, as well as the US-based PFL.
“I have no comment about that at all,” Chatri told media.
Sityadong was previously disparaging about Ngannou, insisting that his own heavyweight division has better talent. This was always a dubious claim considering it was a widely accepted belief that ONE FC had a lot of interesting talent in smaller weight class, while they lacked in the big leagues.
“I like Francis Ngannou but I think our heavyweights would smoke him,” Chatri told media backstage in Singapore after the promotion’s 10th anniversary spectacular, ONE X, when asked if he would be interested in signing him.
“Anatoly Malykhin – Russian national pedigree wrestler, dynamite in his hands. Much faster than Francis, much better ground game, black-belt level.
“He was also a submission champion in Europe. You look at Arjan Bhullar, wrestling, boxing. Francis is not very impressive on the ground. He’s got big, looping punches, he’s not as technical of a boxer as Anatoly or even Arjan.”
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.