Renan Ferreira will wait for Francis Ngannou to prove current ‘greatest’ heavyweight in MMA

Francis Ngannou has a tough task ahead against Anthony Joshua in the boxing ring, but Renan Ferreira wants the former UFC heavyweight champion to know that “a big problem” awaits in the PFL cage too.

Ferreira (13-3) recently defeated Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in the blink of an eye at PFL vs. Bellator: Champions in Saudi Arabia. The fight was billed as a sweepstakes of sorts, with the winner set to become the first to fight Ngannou (17-3) under the PFL banner in his expected future return to MMA.

While plans have been laid out, there is still uncertainty about how things will progress after March 8 when Ngannou faces Joshua. Much of it depends on Ngannou’s health following the fight. Beyond that, despite Ngannou assuring he will return to MMA, some believe a victory over Joshua will mark the end of his MMA career forever, while a loss would push him back to the cage.

Either way, Ferreira is willing to sit back, considering he punched his ticket to the most lucrative fight of his career with a guaranteed $2 million purse.

“I’m fine waiting,” Ferriera told MMA Junkie Radio through an interpreter. “I’m fine waiting towards the middle of the year, towards the end of 2024. It all works for me. I’m going to use this time to recover. I’ve been doing the PFL tournament for three straight years at this point, so I know my body could use the time off, as well as improving myself. I’m going to use this time to sharpen some of my tools, to learn new tricks, some new things to use when I face up against Francis.”

The rest is well deserved, too. Since 2021 when he joined the PFL, Ferreira has made 11 appearances due to the demanding schedule of the promotion’s season and playoff format. Despite the uncertainty of when the fight with Ngannou could take place, he won’t begrudge his potential foe, because what he has been able to create in his deal with the PFL that allows boxing is unique a such a high level.

“I think Francis is a pioneer when it comes to this way of doing business,” Ferreira said. “I have to give it to him. I have to applaud him for it. I am rooting for him. I just need him to know that once he comes back to MMA, he’s going to have a big problem here in me ready to face off against him.”

Ferreira has built a resume worthy of making a fight against Ngannou attractive to fight fans. Six of his seven PFL victories have come by stoppage. Stopping Bader in 21 seconds was a best-case scenario. Ferreria believes the fight with Ngannou has a much larger meaning than just a big payday. It’s a matchup that proves who is the best in the world, according to the 6-foot-8 Brazilian.

“That goes without saying,” Ferreira said. “I think fighting him, beating him, it puts me in a position to make that statement as I am the greatest heavyweight in the world currently standing.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie