Here’s When Francis Ngannou, Cris Cyborg Will Likely Fight Next, Per PFL’s Donn Davis

Las Vegas — Following PFL 2, PFL founder Donn Davis insisted that scheduling an event in Las Vegas the day before UFC 300 was merely a coincidence, with scheduling based on the needs of ESPN.

Still, the benefits were clear, with a bigger media turnout than might otherwise be expected for the second regular event of the year.

Davis, the brains behind the operation, had a variety of topics to cover on Friday. Among them, the newly rebranded Bellator Champions Series, which will run eight cards in 2024.

“Fights have more meaning,” Davis told media outlets including Cageside Press of the Bellator brand. “The fights are bigger. The fights are staged better. I believe it’s going really well, but I always like to figure out what the fighters are thinking, and I think so far it’s really, really delivered. And obviously the distribution in the United States on MAX, HBO MAX is better distribution, and around the world we’ve got better distribution for that Bellator Champions Series. So I think you’ll see a lot of growth his year.”

One fighter that could soon compete for Bellator is PFL Europe star Cedric Doumbe. He recently suffered his first loss in MMA, an injury TKO just last month. France’s Doumbe now has his eye on the Bellator Paris card next month.

“He wants to fight soon. He wants to come back on the Bellator card, so we’re working to try to make that happen,” revealed Davis. “Nothing’s official yet, but that’s what Cedric has asked for and I think that’s what we’re trying to make happen.”

Another big PFL name, former UFC standout Shane Burgos, may be out for a while on the other hand. On the Burgos front, Davis stated that “It [last season] took a lot out of him emotionally, and he needs a year off, then he’s going to come back strong.”

Finally there’s Francis Ngannou, the PFL’s biggest free agent pickup to date. Previously the former UFC heavyweight champ noted that when it came to an MMA return and his foray into boxing that “if I lose sooner, if I win later. So it’s going to be sooner.”

“We think it could be fall. It could be as early as September, it could be as late as October. But I think it’ll be one of those two. And he’ll be ready,” Davis stated, adding that it’s been essentially two years since Ngnannou last competed in the cage.

When Ngannou returns, expect Bellator women’s featherweight champ Cris Cyborg to be on the bill as well.

“My good friend, Cris Cyborg, will as I’ve said before be fighting Larissa Pacheco, and it will be the biggest and best women’s fight of the year. And that will happen when Francis fights on Pay-Per-View.”

Donn Davis went on to add that “she’s a Pay-Per-View fighter, and she’s earned that. I think when Francis is ready to go, I think that is a deserving co-main event. It’s that big.”

Watch the full PFL 2 post-fight press conference with Donn Davis above.