With reports of a lawsuit threat from the UFC and requiring surgery after worsening a knee injury he obtained prior to UFC 270, it is difficult to pinpoint Francis Ngannou‘s next move. In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Ngannou let it be known that he is prepared to embrace whatever comes next after where he’s already been.
“If this is the end, man, I’m happy. From where I came from, I have done a lot. Some people might not see that. But I have done it, and I am very happy about that. I’m proud of myself man. That might be my ego, but I’m proud of myself and of what I have achieved. I don’t want all this to like, take what I have, or to change me and my principles. My principle is still the same as day one,” Ngannou said.
Agreeably, the French-Cameroonian has much to be proud of and thankful for.
His journey began with very humble beginnings. Overcoming poverty, child labor, homelessness, and maintaining his determination to win through it all is a story that needs to be told.
He worked in the sand mines at age 9 with his 11-year-old brother.
At age 25, Ngannou arrived in Paris by boat and headed straight to the gym. He had no money or possessions, just a dream–to become a world champion.
A stairwell in a parking lot was his home for two months until boxing coach, Didier Carmont, gave him the keys to an apartment. Carmont would prove to be a great friend and mentor to the future champion.
The way Francis was determined it is as if he knew he was destined for great things.
As a child, he called himself “American Boy” and had aspirations to become a citizen of the United States. And he achieved that dream through mixed martial arts.
It is truly inspiring to see someone with a deprived past create such a bright future for himself.
A True MMA King
Francis Ngannou showcased his many talents against “Bon Gamin” Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.
Just when you think Francis’ knockout ability is his sole power, he shocks the world with impeccable grappling skills. During the match, Ngannou lifted his 247 lb opponent and dropped him on more than one occasion.
Boxing was always the goal for Ngannou. When he arrived in Paris in 2013, he had zero knowledge of mixed martial arts. Carmont explained to him the gist of MMA and did some convincing to get Ngannou to consider the sport.
Fast forward to nine years later and he is the defending UFC heavyweight champion. Ngannou’s boxing, power, and added grappling make him a dangerous opponent in the cage.
Only three losses in his career, the hardest-hitting heavyweight knockout artist, a six-fight win streak, and a heavyweight champion title defender against a formerly 10-0 undefeated prospect: The man is a legend.
New Possibilities For Ngannou
Post-UFC 270, his first title defense, another heavyweight champion showed interest in a possible matchup.
“Congratulations @francis_ngannou but if you want to make some real money come see the GK.”
Francis Ngannou’s original dream to become a world champion involved boxing. He grew up appreciating Mike Tyson and aspired to be like him. Thus, an opportunity to fight a boxing heavyweight champion must intrigue the knockout artist.
With or without the UFC, after his incredible win against Ciryl Gane, there is no way we have seen the last of Francis Ngannou, wherever that may be.
What do you wish to see happen next in Francis Ngannou’s combat sports journey?