Francis Ngannou commits to PFL fight despite Anthony Joshua boxing match: “We’re in business together”

By Josh Evanoff - January 8, 2024

Despite his boxing match against Anthony Joshua, Francis Ngannou is still planning on fighting in the PFL.

Francis Ngannou

Last week, ‘The Predator’ signed his return to the boxing ring against ‘AJ’. Just a few months removed from his split-decision loss to Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou will look to earn his first win. For his part, Anthony Joshua enters the matchup riding a three-fight winning streak. He last defeated Otto Wallin by knockout last month, before his plans for a Deontay Wilder clash this Spring were foiled.

For Francis Ngannou, the boxing match is just another massive opportunity for him. However, some quickly wondered what the March fight meant for his PFL plans. The former UFC heavyweight champion famously signed with the Donn Davis-led company early last year. The announcement came a year after his last MMA fight, a win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.

However, he never fought in the PFL, due to his boxing match with ‘The Gypsy King’. Despite plans for Francis Ngannou to fight in the cage in early 2024, those were dashed with the announcement of his bout with Joshua. That being said, his promotional debut is only postponed for a bit.

Speaking on The MMA Hour earlier today, Francis Ngannou was asked about his plans to fight in MMA. There, ‘The Predator’ revealed that the PFL actually signed off on the boxing match with Anthony Joshua and that there’s no heat between the two sides. Furthermore, he does hope to fight in the cage in late 2024.

That being said, Ngannou also acknowledged that he might not fight in the PFL until next year. Given his hopes to rematch Tyson Fury later this year, his MMA career seems entirely on hold. For the moment, anyway.


Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou confirms plans to fight in the PFL despite scheduled boxing return

“It doesn’t affect it at all,” Francis Ngannou responded to Ariel Helwani when asked about his boxing match with Anthony Joshua affecting his PFL debut. “First of all, when I received a call and proposal for this fight, I reached out to PFL and told them. We’re in business together, you know? They gave me their blessing for the opportunity, and said “We can’t take this type of opportunity off of you’.”

He continued, “So, I was happy to do that…. They didn’t have any problem with this. Possibility [that I fight in MMA this year] yes. Strong? I don’t know. As I said, even before this fight, nothing was certain yet. There’s a chance [that I fight in boxing twice]. Yes [there was talk of fighting Deontay Wilder in the PFL as well].”

“Then, Deontay Wilder had a fight first.” Francis Ngannou concluded. “Then had a misstep on the way, and now I think I have [his] fight.”

What do you make of these comments? Do you want to see Francis Ngannou fight in the PFL? Do you believe he will defeat Anthony Joshua in March?


Francis Ngannou Professional Fighters League (PFL)