For Francis Ngannou, boxing may still represent his immediate future, but MMA is still his livelihood — and he appears to be on the verge of finding a new home.
Speaking on Wednesday’s MMA Hour, the Predator, who quit the UFC in January and became an unrestricted free agent, revealed that he had narrowed his options down to the PFL and ONE Championship.
“I’ve made my decision,” Ngannou told The MMA Hour”I haven’t closed the deal; I know what my next move is. I know I want to box first and then MMA. I’m going to sign up for an MMA promotion. I haven’t made up my mind on that yet, [but I’m] very close. But I will make my decision. It’s not like I’ve been sitting empty-handed. I have been very busy. “
Asked to confirm which MMA cut he was considering, Ngannou reiterated that he was about to make a decision and narrowed it down to two options. “With PFL and ONE FC, we are very close.” He is leaning towards one of them, “We will wait and see.”
Ngannou (17-3), 36, technically never lost the UFC heavyweight title, instead relinquishing the title after failing to agree a new contract with the organization. That makes him a straight-line champion of sorts, with wins over Kane Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Stipe Miocic and Cyril Gann on his current six-game winning streak.
As for Dana White’s recent comments that the UFC and Ngannou are screwed, closing the door on the former heavyweight champion, “I don’t care,” Ngannou said. “He can close the door. That’s his problem.”
As for boxing, Ngannou confirmed that his debut is still in the works, but he hopes to complete it before returning to MMA. “Yeah, that’s the first step I want. We’re still working on it.”
Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder appears to be the frontrunner to face Ngannou in the ring.
“Yes, we have talked. This moment, we are closer [with Wilder] better than anyone. “