Atlanta, GA — If the PFL can get Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul on the same card, they might just have one of the more successful Pay-Per-View events outside of the UFC on their hands.
Speaking with media outlets including Cageside Press on Friday at PFL 5 in Atlanta, “The Predator” addressed the potential of a double-header with the Youtube star. Both athletes recently signed with the Professional Fighters League.
“I think PFL is doing a great job in that regard to try to put things together. I’m sure they thought about [booking both names for a PPV event],” Ngannou, who vacated the UFC heavyweight championship earlier this year, stated. “They are cooking something.”
As for a potential opponent for Ngannou, nothing has been decided, and the African heavyweight appears open to multiple possibilities.
“Everything is possible. It could be the champion of the tournament, or it could be somebody from outside,” said Ngannou. “But as for right now, I don’t have a clear idea of who should be the opponent. That’s also a reason why we put everything back in early 2024, in order to find the right opponent.”
That, and Ngannou’s continued desire to pursue a big-money boxing match, have his attention at the moment. For boxing, late 2023 still appears to be the goal.
“Probably. We are working on something,” Ngannou teased. “Nothing has been defined yet, but we are still working on some potential boxing fight before 2024.”
Even without having fought, Francis Ngannou choosing to leave the UFC for a better payday elsewhere may pave the way for other fighters to follow suit, similar to a string of UFC stars exiting that company for Bellator in the mid-2010s, which resulted in a mini-free agency boom.
“I don’t know how it’s going to play out for others, because to be honest, it takes some nuts,” Ngannou said with a laugh. “Between all this pressure, sometimes you just feel like, ‘ugh I want to give up,’ maybe you put the pen on paper and sign for this fight basically.”
“With the way that I had to deal with my own situation, and it’s been a couple of years behind the scenes, very tough situation, I don’t think it’s a situation that many people would be willing to go after. It’s up to everybody. It’s possible, everything is possible, nothing is impossible if you want it and if you really think it’s what you want to do.”
Watch the full PFL media scrum with Francis Ngannou above.