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25 Things You Didn’t Know Francis Ngannou | No. 10 will motivate you

25 Things You Didn’t Know Francis Ngannou

25 Things You Didn’t Know Francis Ngannou
25 Things You Didn’t Know Francis Ngannou

In today’s article, we’ll be talking about things you didn’t know about Francis Ngannou. Sometimes you ask yourself “You’ve been watching this guy fight on stage but do I really know him?” if you’ve been seeking research in order to know about Francis Ngannou, then this article will help you get through that. Born on the 5th of December, 1986, Francis Ngannou is a Cameroonian-French born professional mixed martial artist, who is competing in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). And currently, Francis Ngannou ranks 14th in UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings and 2nd in the UFC heavyweight rankings.  Apart from his wrestling and fighting career, one other interesting fact you need to know about Francis Ngannou is that he’s also the founder of the Francis Ngannou Foundation, which runs the first combat sports gym in his native Cameroon, aiming to offer facilities for young people to pursue their dreams in sports.

Ngannou was born and raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon. He lived in poverty and had little formal education growing up. Ngannou’s parents divorced when he was six years old, and he was sent to live with his aunt. At 12 years old, Ngannou started working in a sand quarry in Batié because of a lack of funds. As a youngster, he was approached by various gangs in his village to join them. However, Ngannou refused and instead decided to use his father’s negative reputation as a street fighter as motivation to do something positive and pursue boxing. Ngannou is multilingual. He speaks several languages including Ngemba, French, and English. He learned English after joining the UFC.

At the age of 22, Ngannou began training in boxing, despite reluctance from his family in the beginning. After training for a year, Ngannou stopped training due to an illness. He did various odd jobs to make ends meet, until, at the age of 26, he immigrated to Paris, France, to pursue professional boxing. After Ngannou reached Paris, he had no money, no friends, and no place to live. After living homeless on the streets of Paris, he began training for free in August 2013 under Didier Carmont. Being a fan of Mike Tyson, Ngannou was originally interested in learning how to box until his coach introduced him to the sport of MMA. Now read further below to get the full gist on things you should know about Francis Ngannou.

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Francis Ngannou

In Details; Key Facts to Know About Francis Ngannou

Everything concerning Francis Ngannou, with respect to his early background and career, has been properly highlighted for you below:

About His Background and Early Life

  • Ngannou was born on September 5, 1986, and was raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon.
  • He lived in poverty and had little formal education growing up. Ngannou’s parents divorced when he was six years old, and he was sent to live with his aunt.
  • At the age of 12, Ngannou started working in a sand quarry in Batié because of a lack of funds. As a youngster by then, he was approached by various gangs in his village to join them. However, Ngannou refused and instead decided to use his father’s negative reputation as a street fighter as motivation to do something positive and pursue boxing.
  • At the age of 22, Ngannou began training in boxing, despite reluctance from his family in the beginning.
  • After training for a year, Ngannou stopped training due to an illness. He did various odd jobs in order to cater for himself until the age of 26.
  • Francis Ngannou later migrated to Paris, France, to pursue professional boxing.
  • Giving the fact that Ngannou does not have anybody in Paris, no money and no house, he started living in the streets of Paris.
  • As of August 2013, He later began training for free under the Didier Carmont.

Reflecting on his journey across continents and his decision to become an MMA fighter, Ngannou said:

“When I started, I had nothing. Nothing. I needed everything. But when you start [to earn money], you starting collecting things: I want this, I want this, I want that. The purpose is not collecting things, though. The purpose is to do something great. Finish the dream you started.”

“I want to help my family, first, of course, but then I want to give opportunity to children in my country like me who have a dream to become a doctor or something. If I reach my dream, it will give me the opportunity to help those in my country who have their own dreams and nothing else to fulfill them.”

“I want to give some opportunity for children like me who dream of this sport and don’t have an opportunity like me. The last time I was in Cameroon, I brought a lot of materials for boxing and MMA to open a gym. Now I just bought a big space to start the gym, as well.”

“A lot of children now in Cameroon, because of me, they have a dream. They say, ‘I will be a champion in MMA. I will do boxing like Francis,’ because they saw me when I was young. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have any opportunity. And today, they see me, and they are dreaming. They are thinking that something is possible. Even when they are so poor, something is possible in life. … It’s not easy. It’s so hard, but it’s possible.”

Being a fan of Mike Tyson, Ngannou was originally interested in learning how to box until his coach introduced him to the sport of MMA.

Also read: 30 Things You Didn’t Know About Katie Hill

25 Things You Didn’t Know Francis Ngannou
25 Things You Didn’t Know Francis Ngannou

About His Profession Career

  • Ngannou started his MMA career in November 2013 and fought mostly in the French promotion 100% Fight, as well as other regional promotions in Europe.
  • Ngannou made his UFC debut against fellow newcomer Luis Henrique on 19 December 2015 at UFC on Fox 17. He won the fight via knockout in the second round.
  • Ngannou next faced UFC newcomer Curtis Blaydes on 10 April 2016, at UFC Fight Night 86. He won the fight via TKO, due to doctor’s stoppage, at the conclusion of the second round.
  • In his next bout, Ngannou faced another newcomer in Bojan Mihajlović on 23 July 2016, at UFC on Fox 20, and won the fight via TKO in the first round.
  • Ngannou faced Anthony Hamilton on 9 December 2016, at UFC Fight Night 102, and won the fight by submission in the first round, and earned his first UFC Performance of the Night bonus.
  • Ngannou faced Andrei Arlovski on 28 January 2017, at UFC on Fox 23. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Ngannou his second Performance of the Night bonus.
  • Ngannou was expected to face Junior dos Santos on 9 September 2017 at UFC 215. However, on 18 August, Dos Santos was pulled from the match after being notified of a potential USADA violation. Ngannou was then removed from the card after promotion officials deemed that a suitable opponent could not be arranged.
  • In the highest-profile fight of his career, Ngannou faced Alistair Overeem on 2 December 2017 at UFC 218. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.
  • Ngannou fought Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight title on 20 January 2018 at UFC 220. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
  • Ngannou faced Derrick Lewis on 7 July 2018 at UFC 226.[  He lost the fight via unanimous decision. The fight was heavily criticized by the media and the fans for the lack of offense from both competitors and was labeled as a “snoozefest”.
  • Ngannou faced Curtis Blaydes in a rematch on 24 November 2018 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 141and won the fight via TKO early into the first round. The win also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
  • Ngannou headlined UFC’s inaugural event on ESPN, UFC on ESPN 1 against Cain Velasquez on 17 February 2019, and won the fight via knockout in the first round.
  • Ngannou faced Junior dos Santos on June 29, 2019, at UFC on ESPN 3. He won the fight via technical knockout in the first round. This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.
  • The pair was rescheduled to meet on April 18, 2020, at UFC 249. However, on April 9, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed and the bout eventually took place on May 9, 2020. Ngannou won via knockout just 20 seconds into the first round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.
  • Ngannou is the founder of the Francis Ngannou Foundation, which runs the first combat sports gym in his native Cameroon, aiming to offer facilities for young people to pursue their dreams in sports.

His Achievements and Award So Far

  • 5-time Performance of the Night  champion. 
  • 2017 Knockout of the Year
  • 2017 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year

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