Each win issues, after all, particularly in a uncommon champ vs. champ combat like this one. However the stakes get even increased once you throw Francis Ngannou into the combo. The previous UFC heavyweight champion signed with the PFL in free company, and is anticipated to combat for the upstart MMA promotion when his boxing profession subsides.
Bader and Ferreira are gunning for the possibility to welcome Ngannou to the PFL after their heavyweight headliner in Saudi Arabia.
“Yeah, one hundred pc [Ngannou should be next],” Bader mentioned on Wednesday. “He’s received his boxing combat arising, however I believe it’s excellent timing. We get this finished, and the winner will get that chance.
“Francis is coming over, former UFC champion, he simply had a tremendous combat with Tyson Fury. He put all people on discover. To have the power to go in there and show to all people, to go on the market and get that win, that’s large. I’m not wanting previous Renan, however get that finished, one hundred pc [he’s next].”
Bader actually has essentially the most spectacular resume among the many heavyweights vying for the possibility to face Ngannou. He beforehand reigned as Bellator gentle heavyweight champion earlier than transferring as much as heavyweight, the place he’s nonetheless undefeated with wins over legends like Fedor Emelianenko and veterans akin to Valentin Molkavsky and Cheick Kongo.
As for Ferreira, the 34-year-old Brazilian burst on the scene previously few years after he joined the PFL and beat former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum earlier than the contest was overturned. General, Ferreira has gone 6-1 with three no contests within the PFL, which incorporates his current run to develop into the heavyweight champion through the 2023 season.
Very similar to his upcoming opponent, Ferreira believes a pure subsequent step for the winner is the possibility to face Ngannou within the PFL.
“Completely, I really feel prefer it’s plain,” he mentioned. “If every little thing goes as deliberate, after Feb. 24, Francis is the identify. That being mentioned, I’ll be able to go nonetheless he needs to do it. If he needs to do it in MMA, boxing, we’ll be prepared.”
For all of the ways in which Ngannou looms over their combat, Bader and Ferreira each paid respect to the opposite and acknowledged a showdown with “The Predator” received’t occur and not using a win in February.
Bader, who will hand over a big quantity of measurement to the 6-foot-8 big opposing him, guarantees Ferreira has his full consideration.
“I’ve 40 some fights, he has fairly a bit much less,” Bader mentioned of Ferreira. “I’ve been on this sport, I’ve stood throughout from all people, legends within the sport. Champions, former champions. I’ve been in there, I’ve been combating five-round fights since I can keep in mind. I’m confirmed in that facet.
“He’s a tremendous fighter. He’s large. He’s enjoyable to look at, and it’s a kind of challenges the place I’m going to need to go in there and dictate what I do. I simply really feel like I’ve extra instruments. On the identical level, he’s an enormous man in there swinging laborious. You by no means know what occurs.”
After arising brief in two earlier PFL seasons, Ferreira lastly broke by way of together with his event win in 2023, and he’s anxious to construct on that in 2024. That begins with the combat in opposition to Bader after which maybe he’ll be capable of flip his consideration towards Ngannou.
“It’s a particular second for the followers,” Ferreira mentioned. “It’s a particular second for the game. I really feel honored to be on this place as the principle occasion to combat in opposition to a man with the credentials like Ryan Bader has.
“Simply excited to get there. You guys know my combat fashion, at all times urgent the motion, transferring ahead. So I’m excited to placed on a fantastic present.”