Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (17-3) has been courted by PFL, Bellator, ONE Championship, and BKFC ever since he became a free agent. Earlier this year, Ngannou parted ways with the UFC after the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement.
Ngannou was requesting changes for all fighters and the UFC was not willing to meet his demands so the baddest man on the planet walked away from the table. Now, he’s been focused on what he was going to do next. We all know that he has a serious interest in boxing.
In fact, today on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour, he confirmed that his next combat sports venture would be in boxing. However, he is not done with MMA. In fact, Ngannou revealed that he’s narrowed his choice to two promotions and he’s very close to signing a new deal.
PFL or ONE Championship?
Ngannou revealed that he is close to signing with either PFL or ONE Championship for MMA. This news eliminates Bellator from the conversation. Scott Coker had revealed that the sides had been talking, but over the weekend he indicated that he wasn’t sure if they’d be able to get there to have Ngannou fight in Bellator.
Now we know they are out. Coker did mention that Showtime could secure Ngannou for boxing and Ngannou acknowledge that Showtime might be where he boxes. However, MMA is down to two choices. PFL and ONE Championship.
From the beginning, I thought PFL or Bellator would be the landing spots should Ngannou fight in MMA. I never gave ONE Championship a serious thought but maybe I should have. At this point, details of the offers aren’t known but both sides are very serious.
PFL’s CEO recently stated that they were very excited about their talks with Ngannou. Given the fact that they are in the final two and it was part of my original prediction, I’m going to say that Ngannou winds up in PFL for his next MMA bout.