Francis Ngannou: 7 Must-Know Facts About The Cameroonian Fighter

Francis Ngannou: 7 Must-Know Facts About The Cameroonian Fighter
Francis Ngannou: 7 Must-Know Facts About The Cameroonian Fighter

Francis Ngannou: 7 Must-Know Facts About The Cameroonian Fighter

Cameroonian professional mixed martial artist Francis Zavier Ngannou is widely recognized for his formidable presence and power within the MMA octagon, making him a prominent figure in African combat sports.

Born in the scenic village of Batié, Ngannou’s ascent to the pinnacle of the UFC heavyweight division is a tale of inspiration, marked by his unmatched ferocity since the beginning of his professional journey in 2013, embodying his compelling narrative.

Following his nearly triumphant performance against British WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in October last year, Ngannou has become a sensation on the global stage.

Naija News reports that Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority has announced a 10-round bout between Ngannou and British-Nigerian boxing sensation Anthony Joshua, scheduled to take place in Riyadh on March 8th.

Here are some interesting facts about Ngannou:

Quarry worker at 10

Ngannou’s upbringing was fraught with challenges, including poverty and limited educational opportunities, which were compounded by his parents’ separation when he was just six years old, resulting in his aunt becoming his primary caretaker.

Due to financial constraints, at the age of 10, Ngannou worked in a sand quarry, shoveling sand into trucks for £1.50 a day.

As he aged, he faced invitations from different gangs in his village to join their groups, but he consistently declined their overtures, choosing instead to pursue a career in combat sports to improve his prospects.

Imprisoned in Spain

Ngannou, having taken up multiple odd jobs, decided to venture into professional boxing in Europe at the age of 26, but his plans were disrupted when he was imprisoned for two months in Spain for illegally crossing the border upon arrival.

Upon arriving in Paris with no money or place to live, Ngannou confronted the harsh challenges of homelessness, but his circumstances took a positive turn when he discovered a boxing club and encountered Coach Didier Carmont, a relative of renowned French boxer Francis Carmont, who empathized with Ngannou’s situation and arranged for him to train at the gym free of charge.

During this phase, he dedicated his time to volunteer work at La Chorba, a charitable organization in Paris offering free meals to the needy, where he met the director, Kahter Yenbou, and was later introduced to Fernand Lopez and the MMA Factory, transitioning from his initial interest in boxing, inspired by his admiration for Mike Tyson, to mixed martial arts (MMA) as recognized by Lopez recognized his talent in the sport.

UFC career of 17 wins, 3 losses

The six-foot-four-inch, 257-pound fighter embarked on his MMA journey in November 2013, entering the cage and predominantly participating in the French promotion 100% Fight, as well as engaging in various regional circuits throughout Europe.

In a memorable moment during UFC Fight Night 102 in December 2016, Ngannou exhibited his versatility by clinching a submission triumph over Anthony Hamilton in the first round, securing his initial UFC Performance of the Night bonus, and maintaining his momentum with a first-round TKO against Andrei Arlovski at UFC on Fox 23.

Demonstrating resilience and adaptability, the UFC Heavyweight Champion confronted Ciryl Gane, the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion, in his first title defense at UFC 270 in January 2022, despite sustaining a knee ligament injury just three and a half weeks earlier.

Departing from his customary knockout triumphs, he sealed the victory through unanimous decision on this occasion, resulting in his MMA record standing at 3 losses and 17 wins—12 via knockout, 4 via submission, and 3 via split decision.

Lost against Tyson Fury

Ngannou’s career took an unexpected turn in January of the previous year when the UFC Heavyweight Championship was taken away from him due to failed contract extensions, leaving Ngannou with free agency status.

Ngannou sealed a multi-fight contract with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) in May, enabling him to participate in diverse sports.

10th in WBC’s heavyweight

The WBC ranked Ngannou as the 10th heavyweight boxer globally after his clash with Fury, showcasing his quick rise in boxing following his transition from MMA.

The world witnessed his strength for the first time when he took on the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in a boxing showdown named “Battle of the Baddest”.

Despite knocking down Fury in the third round, Ngannou ultimately lost the match in a controversial split decision, allowing Fury to preserve his unbeaten status, yet Ngannou emerged as the crowd favourite that evening, landing 37 powerful punches compared to Fury’s 32.

Nicknamed “The Predator”

Ngannou, known as “The Predator,” earned his nickname for his predatory and dominating presence in the octagon, relentlessly stalking opponents and unleashing decisive punches and hooks, symbolizing his formidable presence and relentless determination to succeed.

First MMA gym in Cameroon

Ngannou’s impact goes beyond his dominance in combat sports, as he expands his philanthropic endeavors by launching the first MMA gym in Cameroon through the Francis Ngannou Foundation, offering young individuals a dedicated facility for training and skill enhancement.

The post Francis Ngannou: 7 Must-Know Facts About The Cameroonian Fighter appeared first on Naija News.

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