FRANCIS NGANNOU could have both an MMA return and rematch with Tyson Fury to look forward to.
@francis_ngannouFrancis Ngannou left the UFC for PFL[/caption]
But the PFL permitted his switch to boxing for a crossover clash against Fury in Saudi Arabia.
And Ngannou almost caused the mother of all upsets by scoring a shock knockdown – only to lose a controversial split-decision.
But still, the ex-UFC champion earned himself another blockbuster bout this time against Anthony Joshua on March 8 in Saudi.
PFL CEO Peter Murray has backed Ngannou all the way in the fight – and expects to see him in the cage again by summer time.
Murray told BBC Sport: “We’ll have another event in the second half of the year, this summer likely, and we expect Francis to return to MMA in the PFL Smartcage.
“And we’re very excited for Francis and his upcoming bout against Anthony Joshua.
“I would not rule out Francis Ngannou in this fight, don’t underestimate him.”
Fury, 35, was forced out of his scheduled February 17 title unification with Oleksandr Usyk, 37, after suffering a horror cut in sparring.
The heavyweight division’s first four-belt undisputed decider has since been rescheduled to May 18 in Riaydh.
And Fury was quick to talk down retirement as he named Joshua, 34, and Ngannou, 37, in his future plans.
He said: “I’m hearing talk of people saying that I should retire or I’m gonna retire soon, or whatever. I ain’t retiring anywhere.
“I’ve got two fights with Usyk, for the undisputed twice. Then I’m gonna fight AJ at least once.
“Maybe twice if there’s a rematch, if he wants one after the first battering I give him. And then I’m gonna fight Ngannou again.
“And that’s just to start. So there’s five little fights for you to whet your appetite with. I ain’t going nowhere. Nowhere.
“I’m 35-year-old in the prime of my life.”
ReutersTyson Fury wants to rematch Francis Ngannou[/caption]