Brazilian heavyweight Renan Ferreira is one win away from fighting for a million-dollar check, facing Maurice Greene in the main event of Friday’s PFL 8 in New York, and he’s gotten the attention of PFL signee Francis Ngannou.
Arguably the world’s best heavyweight today after leaving the UFC as the lineal champion with six straight wins, Ngannou recently called Ferreira “legit”, adding that he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see the Brazilian capture the 2023 PFL heavyweight title. That was music to Ferreira’s ears.
“Francis is a guy I’ve watched fight in the UFC and the brutality he has, I really enjoy the way he fights,” Ferreira said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “To see him watching my fight only pushed me even more. I was happy with what he said.”
Ngannou is scheduled to box heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on Oct. 28 before finally making his PFL debut in 2024, and “Problema” hopes to get the call to welcome “The Predator” to the circular cage once he’s done with his boxing experience.
“That’s a fight the whole world is keeping an eye on, the whole world is speculating, so I hope it happens,” Ferreira said of his potential match with the former UFC star. “It would be good for my career not only professional, but financially as well [laughs].
“It would definitely be like two trucks colliding, two gigantic and strong guys. He hits really hard so you can’t stop moving in front of him. He has good hands too, he knocked everybody out. I’m anxious to get the opportunity to do that fight.”
Ferreira has to make a name for himself in the 2023 season first, though, and he vows to be aggressive and knock Greene out this Friday and then beat Denis Goltsov, who he picks to advance from the semifinal bout with Jordan Heiderman at PFL 8.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian hopes Ngannou to put on a good effort versus Fury even though he gives him a puncher’s chance against the boxing legend.
“Tyson Fury is different, right? His style, the way he controls the fight and his vast experience,” Ferreira said. “He’s on another level. I think it’s going to be a great experience for Francis. I don’t think he will win, I think he’s the underdog even though he’s very explosive and strong.
“Tyson is a boxing specialist. The way he moves is different, everything is different. It’s not the same thing in MMA. And it’s not enough time for Francis to adapt to all that and get to his level. But it’s going to be a fun fight to watch.”