PFL boss says Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones could happen in Saudi Arabia

PFL boss says Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones could happen in Saudi Arabia

Professional Fighters League (PFL) founder Donn Davis, believes that an agreement could be reached for Francis Ngannou to one day fight Jon Jones and says the bout could take place in Saudi Arabia. 

Ngannou is set to make his return to the Octagon later this year having signed a lucrative multi-fight deal with the PFL back in May 2023. 

It’ll be his first MMA bout since January 2022 – where he claimed a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. Speculation is mounting that the 37-year-old heavyweight champion could face off against Renan Ferreira later this year. 

Ferreira had stopped Bader during PFL’s Saudi clash against Bellator in February, securing himself a meeting against Ngannou. But after the event, UFC fighter Jones had seemingly called out Ngannou, despite the American being expected to fight Stipe Miocic after he returns from injury next year.  

While there are some question marks over whether Dana White would engage in talks with the PFL to schedule a fight between both, Davis believes the fight could happen. 

Donn Davis (pictured), the owner of the PFL, claims a bout between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones could happen

Donn Davis (pictured), the owner of the PFL, claims a bout between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones could happen

Francis Ngannou (pictured) is set to return to the MMA later this year, having not fought in the Octagon since 2022

Francis Ngannou (pictured) is set to return to the MMA later this year, having not fought in the Octagon since 2022

Jon Jones (pictured) claimed that he wanted to fight Ngannou, after the pair have been circling each other for many years

Jon Jones (pictured) claimed that he wanted to fight Ngannou, after the pair have been circling each other for many years

Noting how much the PFL has grown in recent years, Davis was asked whether he believes there is scope for the UFC and PFL to collaborate on events. 

He told Mail Sport: ‘UFC would never do it, because those fights would go down 50/50. PFL would win half and UFC would do half. UFC would be exposed, so they will never do that. 

He added: ‘But the fight that I believe could happen is Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou. And I think that fight can happen in Saudi Arabia. I think that fight can be orchestrated by the brilliant, genius of Turki [Alalshikh] in Saudi Arabia. 

‘I think it could be the biggest payday in the world of MMA for John Jones and Francis Naganou. So I think that would be very, very good business for all involved. I think that would be the way to give fans the biggest fight of the decade in MMA.’ 

Fans have been hoping for a stand-off between Jones and Ngannou for some time with the latter admitting last year that he feels the UFC should have made the fight. The pair have also been engaged in a war of words in the past, with Ngannou once calling Jones fat. 

‘Francis and I would be massive. And Stipe, to the hardcore fans, it’s still a respectable opponent,’ Jones said after February’s fight. 

‘My prediction is I will beat Stipe, my prediction is I will beat Tom Aspinall and Francis Ngannou. The way it unfolds is really not my business. My job is to do what I’ve always done, since day one.’

Davis believes the fight can be made by Turki Alalshikh and be hosted in Saudi Arabia

Davis believes the fight can be made by Turki Alalshikh and be hosted in Saudi Arabia

Ngnannou (right) recently suffered a second-round defeat by Anthony Joshua (left) after he left behind his MMA mits and donned a pair of boxing gloves

Ngnannou (right) recently suffered a second-round defeat by Anthony Joshua (left) after he left behind his MMA mits and donned a pair of boxing gloves 

On the subject of big fights, another match-up that Davis says he is looking forward to, is Jake Paul’s fight against Mike Tyson. 

The pair will meet this July in a monumental clash that has sparked interest and raised eyebrows around the world. 

Many have raised questions over the contest, with Eddie Hearn stating that 57-year-old, Tyson, should not be fighting, while others have been concerned that YouTuber-turned-boxer, Paul, will get hurt by the former undisputed heavyweight champion.

Davis suggested that this was perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime fight, that could only be trumped if Paul, a PFL co-owner, were to fight UFC legend Conor McGregor.  

‘There are very few sporting events that cross lives that become truly talked about among everybody, and this is one of those events, very, very rare,’ he said to Mail Sport.

Mike Tyson will return to the boxing ring to fight Jake Paul later this summer in a hotly contested bout

Mike Tyson will return to the boxing ring to fight Jake Paul later this summer in a hotly contested bout

Davis said this fight is a 'cultural phenomenon' considering the back stories of both fighters

Davis said this fight is a ‘cultural phenomenon’ considering the back stories of both fighters

‘I don’t think we could see anything this big, except if maybe Jake Paul fought Conor McGregor. So there this is beyond boxing, beyond combat sports. Beyond sports. It’s a cultural phenomenon. 

‘And the number two, I don’t want either one of them to lose. They’re both PFL partners, and I love them both, so I want it to be a great fight. Yeah, that ends in a draw. That would be my personal goal. 

He added the back stories to both fighters is the reason why this fight is such a compelling watch.  

‘I think what makes the fight truly compelling and truly cultural phenomenon is it’s the greatest self-taught influencer, made boxer and Jake Paul, who’s on the rise against the greatest boxer of all time in his last fight ever. 

‘Who’s been training for the comeback? It’s the story we all love. Old against young, experience against relative inexperience, grizzled warrior against cocky Upshot, kid, I think it’s compelling.’ 

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