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‘I’ll do it for free:’ Impa Kasanganay seriously wants Francis Ngannou fight —‘I’m here to be the best’

The new Professional Fighters League (PFL) Light Heavyweight champion, Impa Kasanganay, is looking for the biggest (literally) challenge imaginable.

PFL’s 2023 season came to an end with its championship event in Washington, D.C., this past weekend (Nov. 24, 2023). As is tradition for the tournament-based promotion, PFL held six title fights on the night, leading to some new titleholders and some familiar ones. Amongst the newcomers completing their underdog story was Kasangany, who handed Josh Silveira a unanimous decision loss to secure his fifth straight PFL win of 2023.

Now that Bellator has been absorbed by PFL, the likely next fight for Kasangany will be a “Champion vs. Champion” clash with reigning Bellator 205-pound kingpin, Vadim Nemkov, in early 2024. Kasanganay is up for the task and wants to be as active as possible, preferring an ideal eight- or 10-fight PFL season.

Maybe an even bolder goal, Kasanganay wants to try his hand at Heavyweight and welcome Francis Ngannou to the smart cage — seriously.

“I believe Ngannou is possible for sure,” Kasanganay said on The MMA Hour. “I’m a Christian, anything is possible with God. Ngannou’s a warrior. I’ve met him once when at the [UFC Performance Institute]. I think he’s an amazing man — I’m very inspired by him, he wants to be the best. I don’t want MMA to die. I don’t want MMA to suffer like boxing is. I love warrior culture, and I believe the best of the best need to fight the best. Look at The Four Kings: Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray, Tommy Hearns. There’s a reason they were known as the greats. They were willing to come back home on their shield or die on it as a spartan.

“For me, it’s like, take that. I’m not here to go compete, or test myself, or try to win with Ngannou — I’m going to go claim that victory,” he added. “The biggest I’ve ever been was 245 if we want to talk about a size difference. He could be taller, but my heart and my spirit, I’m telling you, I mean it from the bottom of my heart, I’ll take him out, out of all due respect.”

Ngannou’s signing with PFL has been one of the biggest stories of 2023 in MMA and since then, “The Predator” turned heads with a valiant effort in his recent boxing debut opposite Tyson Fury (watch highlights). The former UFC Heavyweight champion is targeting his second boxing bout after the Fury fight but is still planning his MMA return for early 2024.

It’s a work in progress.

Nevertheless, PFL plans to focus on Africa, as well as other continents, in 2024. Therefore, Kasanganay sees no better way to kick off the promotion’s first event in such a location.

“I would love to do the PFL in Kinshasa, where The Rumble in the Jungle was, where my parents are from,” Kasanganay said. “I’ll go to Cameroon, where his homeland is. I respect what he’s done. I don’t care. I’ll fight him in Antarctica, and I hate the cold. I will gladly go anywhere in this world to fight the best of the best. If it’s him, if it’s somebody else, I want that, because there’s nothing to be gained in playing small. People might think, ‘He’s just talking the talk.’ I’m not. Shoot, I’ll do it for free. If Ngannou were to beat me, he keeps everything, take my whole purse, I don’t care. I’ll take him out. I’m here to be the best. On the other side of that, I take him out, pay me $15 million.”

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