Francis Ngannou explains why PFL debut isn’t slated until 2024

By Josh Evanoff - May 16, 2023

PFL heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou has explained why his promotional debut won’t happen for a while.

Francis Ngannou

‘The Predator’ has been out of the cage since a unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane in January 2022. That bout was the last of his contract with the UFC, and he became a free agent earlier this year. For months, fans and fighters alike wondered where Ngannou would sign.

Earlier today, the former UFC heavyweight champion made his decision. On social media, Ngannou announced that he signed with the PFL. Terms of the detail include an ability to box names such as DEONTAY WILDER, a role as a part of a fighter advocacy board, and the ability to earn over seven figures per fight.

Following his signing, there were naturally questions regarding Francis Ngannou’s PFL debut. During an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the former UFC champion answered a few of those questions. Furthermore, he revealed that his promotional debut won’t happen until 2024.

In the interview, Ngannou stated that he’s currently looking to make his boxing debut before fighting in the PFL. Furthermore, he explained that the delay would allow for the company to potentially sign another top-tier heavyweight. It’s worth noting that Ngannou’s contract will call for his opponent to earn over ONE MILLION DOLLARS against him.

“First of all, it’s my life,” Francis Ngannou stated in the interview. “I will live it on my way if you’re happy, good. If you’re not, oh no, I’m sorry… Also, PFL will also need time to find an opponent for me. To build up the opponent, right? Because I’m not going in next month to fight, and also, there’s the boxing component. That is still in consideration.”

He continued, “We don’t have an announcement, but as I’ve said, I’ve spent a lot of time on this. We can have a big fight or not, or just a tune-up fight sometime soon. That’s what I’m hoping to have, the boxing fight before I fight in the PFL. That’s also one of the reasons why 2024 is the best fit.”

What do you make of these comments? Who do you want to see Francis Ngannou fight in his PFL debut? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!

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Francis Ngannou