MMA

Francis Ngannou Warned of ‘Big Problem’ in MMA Return

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Francis Ngannou has a tall task ahead of him in MMA.

The ex-UFC Heavyweight Champion has yet to make his promotional debut since inking a massive contract with the PFL last year. Ngannou continues to chase after boxing matches instead, with former foe Tyson Fury in his rear-view mirror and Anthony Joshua up next on Mar. 8.

Trading MMA for boxing once again, Ngannou isn’t done with the sport he found his stardom in and is targeted to fight 2023 PFL Heavyweight Champion Renan Fereira later this year.

The 6’8 fighter punched his ticket to fight ‘The Predator’ after dispatching of Bellator royalty Ryan Bader in merely 21 seconds at ‘PFL vs. Bellator‘ in February. Ferreira was supposed to face off with Ngannou post-fight, but the PFL newcomer left the building before that could take place.

“It was something I was expecting,” Ferreira told MMA News of his planned encounter with Ngannou. “Not quite sure why he dipped out, but it was something I wouldn’t have done. I’m sure PFL wanted it. And quite honestly, I expected more of him.”

Many MMA fans question if we’ll ever see Ngannou return to the cage, especially after two back-to-back paydays from blockbuster boxing fights. Despite the uncertainty, Ferreira remains confident he’ll collide with the fellow knockout artist next.

“No, not really,” Ferreira said, when asked if he was worried about the Ngannou fight not happening. “I trust the process. I know he’s got a a contract with PFL. We’ve announced the fight. We’ve been talking about this. He’s been socialized with it. So, there’s not really a part of me that thinks that he can get away without fighting me.”

Having beaten the likes of Ciryl Gane, Stipe Miocic, Cain Velasquez and more elite-level competition in the UFC, PFL’s ‘Problema’ says he is unlike anything Ngannou has ever come across.

“I don’t think he’s ever fought someone with the kind of power and precision that I have. Not only that, but also my movement inside the cage, how agile I am for a heavyweight. So, I think these are things that I’m no match for any of his, any of his, his opponents are no match for me. I don’t think he’s ever faced someone that has these type of these types of attributes.”

 “It’s gonna be an honor to face you,” Ferreira said in a message to Ngannou. “Just be ready and know that you’re gonna have a big problem ahead of you.”

Renan Ferreira is 13-3 (3 NC) into his professional career and picked up three straight knockouts en route to the PFL Heavyweight Championship and $1M prize last season. The Brazilian will attain an even larger payday against Francis Ngannou, should they meet later this year.

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Christopher De Santiago is a journalist out of Texas with years of experience covering MMA. Follow him on X: @chris_dsantiago

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