Winner Of Ryan Bader Vs. Renan Ferreira Likely To Face Francis Ngannou In PFL Debut

Francis “The Predator” Ngannou may have an opponent lined up for his PFL debut.

Since the news of Ngannou signing with the PFL broke in May, everyone has been wondering who he will face inside the SmartCage first. Now, it sounds like we have a potential answer.

Speculation suggests that the winner of Ryan Bader (31-7) versus Renan Ferreira (12-3) at PFL vs. Bellator: CHAMPS on February 24th will be the first PFL competitor to take on the man that many consider ‘the baddest on the planet’. But, the prospective matchup for Ngannou is not based on speculation alone, as both Bader and Ferreira were extremely vocal regarding this matchup in the event’s recent kick-off press conference.

“Yeah, 100 percent [Ngannou should be next],” Bader said on Wednesday. “He’s got his boxing fight coming up, but I think it’s perfect timing. We get this done, and the winner gets that opportunity.

“Francis is coming over, former UFC champion, he just had an amazing fight with Tyson Fury. He put everybody on notice. To have the ability to go in there and prove to everybody, to go out there and get that win, that’s huge. I’m not looking past Renan, but get that done, 100 percent [he’s next].”

(h/t MMAFighting)

Ferreira expressed additional interest in not only an MMA fight with Ngannou, but a boxing match as well. The former UFC titleholder is coming off a great boxing match with Tyson Fury, and has another scheduled with Anthony Joshua this March.

“Absolutely, I feel like it’s undeniable,” he said. “If everything goes as planned, after Feb. 24, Francis is the name. That being said, I’ll be ready to go however he wants to do it. If he wants to do it in MMA, boxing, we’ll be ready.”

(h/t MMAFighting)

PFL vs. Bellator: Champs was announced earlier this month, and will serve as the first PFL produced event since the organization acquired Bellator MMA back in November. The card is set to feature multiple Bellator champions squaring off with PFL titleholders, with Ryan Bader and Renan Ferreira headlining in the main event.

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Winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 8, and 20-fight UFC veteran, Bader is no stranger to standing across the cage with legendary competitors. In his career, he has accumulated 31 wins and has overcome massive names in MMA such as Antônio Rogério Nogueira (x2) and Lyoto Machida. Additionally, Bader holds two knockout victories over Fedor Emelianenko, who is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

While Ferreira has a much shorter resume, it is still quite impressive nonetheless. Having only lost one match in ten appearances inside the PFL SmartCage, Ferreira has squared off with the likes of Ante Delija, Denis Goltsov, and the UFC’s Fabrício Werdum.

PFL vs. Bellator: Champs will go live on February 24th from the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event will be available on ESPN+ PPV in the U.S. and DAZN in the U.K.

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