Francis Ngannou finds himself in a unique predicament within the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where a suitable adversary is currently missing from their roster. The absence of an opponent who can meet both Ngannou's marketing appeal and the organizational needs has prompted a quest for a noteworthy figure to elevate the stakes and draw in a wider audience, particularly through pay-per-view (PPV) sales.
The PFL leadership openly acknowledges that none of their existing heavyweights possess the star power required for such a high-profile match. In response, they have set their sights on securing a bout with Jon Jones, the reigning UFC heavyweight champion.
However, the road to making this bout a reality faces a significant hurdle, given the UFC's apparent disinterest in cross-promotional fights with other organizations. Despite this, Ngannou and his team are actively engaging the media to apply pressure on Jones, hoping to pique his interest in a potential showdown.
Their efforts, however, have been met with resistance from UFC President Dana White, who emphasized his reluctance to entertain such inter-promotional contests. At a post-UFC 295 press conference, White expressed his stance, stating, "I'm not interested in something like that.
We tried to arrange a fight between them, but Ngannou and his team didn't agree. That's the end of the story. He's not here anymore, and I'm not interested." White's comments underscore the challenges in negotiating a bout that involves fighters from different organizations.
Furthermore, White dismissed the idea of collaborating with other major organizations like the PFL, citing the UFC's historical success and the impracticality of such ventures. "Should I co-host an event with the PFL? We have the three biggest ticket grossers in Madison Square Garden history, and the PFL can't sell out the venue.
Stupid question, why would I do that?" White questioned, reinforcing his reluctance to engage in cooperative efforts with rival promotions. As Ngannou and the PFL continue their pursuit of a blockbuster matchup, the road ahead remains uncertain, with the UFC's steadfast position against cross-promotional fights standing as a formidable barrier to the realization of this high-stakes encounter.