Francis Ngannou in Brazil? Ex-UFC champ wants PFL stadium fight

Fabricio Werdum would come out of retirement to face Francis Ngannou.

By: Lucas Rezende | 1 month ago
Francis Ngannou in Brazil? Ex-UFC champ wants PFL stadium fight
BRAZIL - PARANA - The fighter FABRICIO WERDUM during open training at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba (PR), this Wednesday, 11. UFC 198 in Curitiba. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY xGeraldoxBubniakx xx Brazil Parana The Fighter Fabricio Werdum during Open Training AT The Arena there Baixada in Curitiba PR This Wednesday 11 UFC 198 in Curitiba PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY xGeraldoxBubniakx XX

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is willing to come out of retirement for one last superfight. Once ‘Vai Cavalo’ heard fellow ex-UFC champ Francis Ngannou is likely to land at PFL after leaving the biggest promotion in the world, the Brazilian decided to embrace the opportunity of a lifetime.

Fabricio Werdum wants Ngannou at football stadium

Although it is not yet confirmed whether Ngannou will in fact sign with the Professional Fighters League, Werdum has already taken advantage of the possibility to make quite the proposition for Francis. During a PFL conference held at an event called WebSummit in Rio de Janeiro, Fabricio explained his idea to the public.

Since the PLF is also considering holding its first card in Brazil, Vai Cavalo believes a superfight at Arena do Gremio, in Fabricio’s hometown of Porto Alegre would be the perfect scenario. The venue can acomodate up to 60 thousand people and Werdum claims that a match at the football stadium at the end of the year would be ideal.

“I really think that the PFL is going to embrace this idea and make the superfight.” Fabricio told said, in a statement transcribed by Combate. “Me against Francis Ngannou in Brazil, to erase the doubt. Here’s my idea. Make this superfight at the end of the year. I’d be coming back at 46, but I’m sure I can finish Francis Ngannou with my jiu-jitsu.”

“I have this habit where I always let the universe handle things and then often things happen. People think it’s funny, but I do it all the time. I’ve done it before and it really worked. The energy feels really good to make this PLF fight against Ngannou happen in November or December. I don’t know the dates for when it could happen. But later people will be saying ‘Werdum was right.”

Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1-1 NC) has one fight under the PFL banner, a No Contest against Renan Ferreira in May 2021. Originally a TKO loss for Vai Cavalo, the result was overturned once footage showed that his opponed had tapped to a triangle choke earlier in the fight. Before that, the 45-year-old scored an armbar submission win over Alexander Gustafsson, in July 2020.

Francis Ngannou has many options

While Fabricio Werdum is already signed with the PFL, Ngannou has a few offer to consider before making up mind. On his official YouTube channel, the ‘Predator’ mentioned the promotion as one of the three he was considering signing with, alongside ONE and Bellator.

“If I have to pick another MMA organization to go to, I think it’s between this three organizations: PFL, Bellator and ONE Championship,” said Ngannou on his official YouTube channel. “Which one would I pick? Very complicated. But the reason why I would pick one of those would be because of what they are offering, the structure and the vision that they have for the sport, for the fighters. 

“Also the project that they have in Africa,” continued Ngannou. “I think those would be one of the most important factor that I will base on to make a decision.”

PFL president continues to negotiate with Francis Ngannou

Meanwhile, PFL president Ray Sefo also seemed optmistic about his chances of signing Ngannou. According to the chairman, the negotiations with Francis have been quite positive, though nothing has been confirmed as the Predator continue to assess his options.

“We’ve had a few meetings with Francis and those discussions are still going on,” said Sefo in a post-fight scrum after PFL 1 this past Friday (video provided by MMA Junkie). “Obviously, there’s a few other things he also wants to pursue which is boxing and he knows where we stand with it too so, you know, it’s all positive should I say, right?”

Francis Ngannou (17-3) left the UFC on a six-fight winning streak, with wins over Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Stipe Miocic and most recently, in January 2022, Ciryl Gane. The 36-year-old’s last loss dates back to a unanimous decision defeat to Derrick Lewis, in July 2018.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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