Bellator 291 goes down this afternoon from Dublin, Ireland. There’s a massive welterweight unification bout that headlines the card, however, the promotion is making headlines even before the event starts.
President Scott Coker was speaking to MMA Junkie ahead of the event and revealed that the promotion has met with former UFC champion Francis Ngannou (17-3) this week. Ngannou’s contract expired with the UFC in January and the UFC has waived all rights to match.
Ngannou is free to go wherever he wants. Coker revealed that they are approaching the Ngannou talks discussing MMA and Boxing. Showtime is the broadcast partner for Bellator and we know their history with boxing. Of course, Ngannou has expressed his desire to step into boxing. However, he also has said he’s not done with MMA.
Bellator or PFL?
A couple of weeks ago, PFL’s CEO Peter Murray said that they were excited about the recent talks they’ve had with Ngannou. It now appears that the race for the services of Ngannou are narrowing down to these two options and both present very appealing options.
From an MMA perspective, Bellator is going to be the better option in terms of a fight they can offer him right away. I don’t believe there’s anyone in PFL’s heavyweight division that would equate to a bout between Ngannou and current champion Ryan Bader.
A lot of the talks will center around his boxing ventures. PFL has ESPN+ PPV backing which we know has put on some major boxing events. However, they don’t quite have the history that Showtime Boxing has. To me, this ultimately will come down to which promotion can offer him the best boxing bout out of the gate. If the money is equal or close, I’d lean towards Bellator as of now.