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Ex-UFC champ teases stadium showdown as Twitter reacts to Francis Ngannou in PFL

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, after flirting with promotions like BKFC and ONE Championship, will plant his flag under the PFL MMA banner for a multimillion dollar deal that is expected to (officially) get underway inside the “Smart Cage” in mid-2024.

And since Ngannou negotiated a $2 million payout for his opponents (more on those terms here), rival heavyweights are coming out of the woodwork to score a potential “Predator” payday, including former UFC 265-pound champion Fabrício Werdum, no stranger to the PFL platform.

“Have you ever fought in front of 60,000 people in a football stadium? My challenge is done,” Werdum wrote on Twitter. “I guarantee the crowd, can you guarantee the fight? I shocked the world when I beat Fedor (Emelianenko) also when I beat Cain (Velasquez) and I became undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. You have a lot of holes in your game, let’s go, only one way to find out. PFL Smart Cage.”

Werdum isn’t the only UFC veteran with his sights set on Ngannou.

“Okay Francis Ngannou is officially the No. 1 heavyweight to call out,” longtime MMA veteran and bareknuckle brawler Ben Rothwell said. “I’m your huckleberry. Congratulations on the signing.”

Ngannou, 36, got everything he wanted after parting ways with UFC earlier this year, including a salary commensurate with his MMA accomplishments and the freedom to pursue outside endeavors like boxing. That said, some fans questioned how this decision will affect his combat sports legacy.

Particularly with Jon Jones ruling the UFC roost.

Ngannou is still a year away from his PFL debut and a lot can happen between now and then, so it remains to be seen how everything plays out over the next 12-18 months. In the interim, expect the promotion to beef up its heavyweight “Super Fight” division to accommodate its latest and greatest acquisition.

See you in 2024.

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