Randy Couture wants to see Ante Delija welcome Francis Ngannou to PFL: ‘I would pay to watch that fight’

Randy Couture wants to see Ante Delija welcome Francis Ngannou to PFL: ‘I would pay to watch that fight’

Randy Couture thinks Ante Delija would make a great debut opponent for Francis Ngannou in the PFL.

Ngannou signed with PFL and is expected to box first, then make his MMA return in mid-2024. The former UFC heavyweight champion has been unstoppable as of late – including a recent knockout win over the consensus greatest heavyweight of all time, Stipe Miocic.

But whom should Ngannou (17-3) face in his promotional debut? Couture says 2022 PFL heavyweight champ Delija (23-5) is a fight he’d definitely watch.

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“Ante Delija won last year’s championship in stellar fashion and he was very highly touted when we signed him,” Couture told MMA Junkie Radio. “He struggled with the format early on, and I think he sorted it out.

“He figured out what he needed to do in his training, his preparation and his game planning to get through a whole regular season and make it to the playoffs and a championship, and that’s a fight I’d love to see. He’s a game fighter. He’s a solid, well-rounded fighter. Francis Ngannou and Ante Delija, that would be a great fight. I would watch that fight, and I would pay a pay-per-view to watch that fight.”

Fabricio Werdum and Ben Rothwell already bid to fight Ngannou, and Couture expects plenty of other heavyweights to put their hands up after “The Predator” negotiated a guaranteed $1 million purse for his opponents.


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With PFL striking a mega deal with Ngannou and its continuously running season format, Couture sees PFL impacting all the other promotions.

“There’s certainly a lot of heavyweights coming up in free agency that realize if they’re good enough and have the credentials to get into a fight with Francis, they’re guaranteed a better purse than anybody else is probably ever gonna offer them,” Couture said. “Which is a really, really unique and interesting thing that Francis negotiated for in his contract for sure. I think there’s a ripple effect. We already got the attention of a lot of the other promotions.

“Why did shortly after we started giving away million-dollar purses for our championship final every year did all of a sudden the grand prix launch in Bellator, all with million-dollar purses through their format? Obviously we’ve got guys like Jake Paul, certainly Jon Jones is still chirping about Francis and wanting to fight Francis. Whether or not that fight is going to happen, I think there’s a ripple effect.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie