PFL’s Randy Couture suggests opponent for Francis Ngannou
With Francis Ngannou now stated to have a PPV lower and a $2 million purse ready for his subsequent opponent in MMA, most pundits anticipate a reasonably large title fighter to attempt to step as much as the problem. So who will the lineal MMA heavyweight champion face on his PFL debut?
UFC legend Randy Couture now works for PFL as a commentator, and he was about main candidates and attainable opponents for Ngannou.
“I’ll let you know what, Ante Delija gained final yr’s championship in stellar style. He was very extremely touted once we signed him,” Couture informed MMA Junkie. “He struggled with the format early on, and I feel he sorted it out. He found out what he wanted to do in his coaching and his preparation and his recreation planning to get by a complete common season, and make it to the playoffs and the championship.
“In order that’s a struggle I’d like to see. He’s a recreation fighter. He’s a stable well-rounded fighter. Francis Ngannou and Ante Delija, that might be an important struggle. I might watch that struggle, I might pay a pay-per-view to observe that struggle!”
Couture isn’t precisely unbiased, and I’m undecided how many individuals would share that very same sentiment.
MMA followers in search of a excessive profile opponent for an enormous PPV splash will doubtless hope Couture doesn’t get his approach right here. No disrespect to Delija, who’s a stable fighter, however he at present lacks that large title recognition and can take much more construct as much as persuade individuals to pay a fairly excessive price ticket for Ngannou’s debut on PPV.
Ante Delija is the 2022 PFL heavyweight champion. Delija was a part of PFL’s 2021 season, and as Couture famous, he struggled early on and went 2-2 that yr, with two losses to Bruno Cappelozza. He discovered extra success in 2022, profitable all 4 of his bouts to win the title and the $1 million prize.
Delija doesn’t have many large names on his resume, however has a stable file of 23-5. He has a win in Rizin over Ricardo Prasel, and different victories in KSW and different orgs over recognizable MMA journeymen like Oli Thompson and Valentijn Overeem. His final loss earlier than becoming a member of PFL was an M-1 World bout towards future UFC contender Marcin Tybura again in 2015.
Delija was beforehand linked to <a href="https://www.mmafighting.com/2020/10/14/21515838/ciryl-gane-vs-ante-delija-scrapped-from-UFC-fight-island-6-card” goal=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>a UFC debut towards Ciryl Gane in 2020, however he had contract points that prevented that from occurring.
Delija is at present penned to face UFC vet Maurice Greene at PFL 5 this June. Can he parlay one other profitable season, construct on his title, and finally get a profitable bout with Francis Ngannou?
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