PFL’s Donn Davis wants Ngannou vs. Wilder to be a “mixed-rules” fight

By Zain Bando - November 21, 2023

Monday marked a historic day for MMA, as Donn Davis’ PFL and Scott Coker’s Bellator unified to become second-fiddle to the UFC. It also teased speculation about what could be next on the boxing side of things, specifically for former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Deontay Wilder Francis Ngannou

Donn Davis, who appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani, said there is a possibility of Ngannou fighting Deontay Wilder, the former WBC heavyweight champion.

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Wilder is currently scheduled to box Joseph Parker next month in Saudi Arabia.

“I still think it will be a mixed-rules fight,” Donn Davis said. “And, I still think Deontay Wilder is the most likely opponent [for Ngannou].”

Donn Davis also mentioned how big the fight could be but did not provide a timetable for when the fight could realistically happen. He also confirmed Ngannou would return to MMA as a PFL fighter beginning next year.

“[Francis] will fight for PFL in 2024, we don’t know if it’s first or last quarter,” Davis said.

Davis said it could be a big fight but doesn’t want to force it on either of them if they aren’t 100% ready.

“That would be unbelievable,” Davis said. “I think the second and third options are much less compelling. So we don’t want to force those options in order to get [Ngannou] in Q1.”

This possibility comes on the heels of the PFL acquiring Bellator Monday, as the promotions will join forces beginning in 2024 to create a suitable No. 2 player in the MMA industry.

At press time, Davis said Ngannou is still playing the waiting game, just weeks removed from his near-win against Tyson Fury.

“We’re listening to Francis, and he’s sequencing his options,” Davis said. “He has a great boxing option and this great crossover option.”

Donn Davis did not reveal those options, but only time will tell.

What are your thoughts on Deontay Wilder facing Francis Ngannou in 2024? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Bellator Boxing Deontay Wilder Francis Ngannou Professional Fighters League (PFL)