Francis Ngannou: Cameroon fighter to make PFL debut against winner of Ryan Bader and Renan Ferreira

Francis Ngannou: Cameroon fighter to make PFL debut against winner of Ryan Bader and Renan Ferreira


Francis Ngannou will make his Professional Fighters League debut against the winner of Saturday’s bout between Ryan Bader and Renan Ferreira.

The 37-year-old joined the PFL last year but is set to box Britain’s Anthony Joshua in Riyadh on 8 March.

Ngannou lost narrowly to Tyson Fury on his boxing debut in October.

PFL chief Peter Murray told BBC Sport earlier this month Ngannou’s debut in the MMA promotion would likely be “in the second half of the year”.

American Bader, 40, and Brazil’s Ferreira, 34, are fighting in Saudi Arabia on Saturday in a PFL v Bellator Champions event.

Murray said: “Francis is a true combat sports icon with a global fanbase and appeal. We, along with the rest of the MMA world, will be watching to see who his first opponent will be, Ferreira or Bader.”

The show in Riyadh, which Cameroon’s Ngannou will be attending, is the first featuring both brands since the PFL acquired Bellator in November in a “transformative deal”.

The event continues Saudi Arabia’s investment in sport such as boxing and football, although the nation has long been criticised for using sport to deflect conversation away from its poor human rights record.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou has not fought in MMA since defending his title against Ciryl Gane in January 2022.

A knee injury then kept him out for a year and he was stripped of the title upon his departure from the UFC, before later signing a contract with the PFL.



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