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Francis Ngannou next fight: ‘The Predator’ plans to face winner of PFL vs. Bellator heavyweight showdown

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Francis Ngannou has narrowed down the list for his mixed martial arts return. Ngannou and the Profesional Fighters League revealed that he will face the winner of an upcoming fight pitting the 2023 PFL heavyweight champion against Bellator’s heavyweight champ.

Ngannou announced he wanted to fight the winner of Renan Ferreira vs. Ryan Bader during Ngannou’s appearance Thursday on SportsCenter. PFL subsequently confirmed that Ngannou would fight one of the two men. Ferreira vs. Bader will headline PFL vs. Bellator in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The card features fighters from the two promotions competing against each other and marks the first major card since PFL purchased Bellator.

Ngannou is currently preparing for his second professional boxing match. The former UFC heavyweight champion will meet former two-time unified boxing heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua on March 8, also in Saudi Arabia. The doors were blown wide open for Ngannou to advance further in the boxing world after taking reigning WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury the distance and scoring a knockdown in October. Ngannou lost by split decision but made waves to secure a second big matchup.

Ngannou’s eventual return to MMA will mark the first time he’s competed in that sport since defeating former teammate Ciryl Gane to unify the UFC heavyweight titles at UFC 270 in January 2022. Ngannou vacated the heavyweight title and left the UFC in January 2023 after failing to agree on a new deal.

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