Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou (born 5 September 1986) is a Cameroonian-French professional mixed martial artist competing in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As of 14 July 2020, he is #2 in the UFC heavyweight rankings.[3]

Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou photo.jpg
Ngannou in 2017
BornFrancis Zavier Ngannou
(1986-09-05) 5 September 1986 (age 33)
Batié, Cameroon
Other namesThe Predator
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight259 lb (117 kg; 18 st 7 lb)[1]
Reach83 in (211 cm)[2]
Fighting out ofParis, France
TeamMMA Factory Paris
UFC Performance Institute
Xtreme Couture
TrainerDewey Cooper
Years active2013–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By submission4
By decision3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Ngannou was born and raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon.[4] He lived in poverty and had little formal education growing up.[5] 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.[6] As a youngster, he was approached by various gangs in his village to join them.[7] 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.[7]

At the age of 22, Ngannou began training in boxing, despite the initial reluctance of his family.[7] After training for a year, Ngannou stopped training due to an illness.[8] He did various odd jobs to make ends meet, until at the age of 26, he decided to head to Paris, France, to pursue professional boxing.[9] However upon reaching Europe, he was jailed for two months in Spain for illegally crossing the border.[10] After Ngannou reached Paris, he had no money, no friends and no place to live.[5] After living homeless on the streets of Paris, he began training for free in August 2013 under Didier Carmont.[6] 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.[9]

Reflecting on his journey across continents and his decision to become an MMA fighter, Ngannou said:[5][9]

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.

Ngannou is multilingual. He speaks several languages including Ngemba, French and English.[6][11][12] He learned English after joining the UFC.[13]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

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.[14]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Ngannou made his UFC debut against fellow newcomer Luis Henrique on 19 December 2015 at UFC on Fox 17.[15] He won the fight via knockout in the second round.[16]

Ngannou next faced UFC newcomer Curtis Blaydes on 10 April 2016, at UFC Fight Night 86.[17] He won the fight via TKO, due to doctors stoppage, at the conclusion of the second round.[18]

In his next bout, Ngannou faced another newcomer in Bojan Mihajlović on 23 July 2016, at UFC on Fox 20.[19] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[20] Ngannou faced Anthony Hamilton on 9 December 2016, at UFC Fight Night 102.[21] He won the fight by submission in the first round, and earned his first UFC Performance of the Night bonus.[22][23]

Ngannou faced Andrei Arlovski on 28 January 2017, at UFC on Fox 23.[24] He won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Ngannou his second Performance of the Night bonus.[25] Ngannou was expected to face Junior dos Santos on 9 September 2017 at UFC 215.[26] However, on 18 August, Dos Santos was pulled from the match after being notified of a potential USADA violation.[27] In turn, Ngannou was removed from the card after promotion officials deemed that a suitable opponent could not be arranged.[28][29] In the highest profile fight of his career, Ngannou faced Alistair Overeem on 2 December 2017 at UFC 218.[30] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[31]

Ngannou fought Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight title on 20 January 2018 at UFC 220.[32] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[33]

Ngannou faced Derrick Lewis on 7 July 2018 at UFC 226.[34] He lost the fight via unanimous decision. The fight was heavily criticized by the media and the fans for the lack of offence from both competitors[35][36][37][38] and was labeled as a "snoozefest".[39]

Ngannou faced Curtis Blaydes in a rematch on 24 November 2018 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 141[40] He won the fight via TKO early into the first round.[41] The win also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.[42]

Ngannou headlined UFC's inaugural event on ESPN, UFC on ESPN 1 against Cain Velasquez on 17 February 2019.[43] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[44]

Ngannou faced Junior dos Santos on 29 June 2019 at UFC on ESPN 3.[45] He won the fight via technical knockout in the first round.[46] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.[47]

Ngannou was scheduled to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik on 28 March 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik.[48] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed .[49] The pair was rescheduled to meet at 18 April 2020 at UFC 249.[50] However, on 9 April, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed[51] and the bout eventually took place on 9 May 2020.[52] Ngannou won via knockout just 20 seconds into the first round.[53] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[54]

Personal lifeEdit

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.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
18 matches 15 wins 3 losses
By knockout 11 0
By submission 4 0
By decision 0 3
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 15–3 Jairzinho Rozenstruik KO (punches) UFC 249 9 May 2020 1 0:20 Jacksonville, Florida, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 14–3 Junior dos Santos TKO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. dos Santos 29 June 2019 1 1:11 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 13–3 Cain Velasquez KO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez 17 February 2019 1 0:26 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 12–3 Curtis Blaydes TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2 24 November 2018 1 0:45 Beijing, China Performance of the Night.
Loss 11–3 Derrick Lewis Decision (unanimous) UFC 226 7 July 2018 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 11–2 Stipe Miocic Decision (unanimous) UFC 220 20 January 2018 5 5:00 Boston, Massachusetts, United States For the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 11–1 Alistair Overeem KO (punch) UFC 218 2 December 2017 1 1:42 Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 10–1 Andrei Arlovski TKO (punches) UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña 28 January 2017 1 1:32 Denver, Colorado, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 9–1 Anthony Hamilton Submission (kimura) UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov 9 December 2016 1 1:57 Albany, New York, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 8–1 Bojan Mihajlović TKO (punches) UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko 23 July 2016 1 1:34 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 7–1 Curtis Blaydes TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos 10 April 2016 2 5:00 Zagreb, Croatia
Win 6–1 Luis Henrique KO (punch) UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 19 December 2015 2 2:53 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 5–1 William Baldutti TKO (elbows and punches) KHK MMA National Tryouts: Finale 2015 28 May 2015 2 1:22 Madinat Isa, Bahrain
Win 4–1 Luc Ngeleka Submission (standing guillotine choke) SHC 10: Carvalho vs. Belo 20 September 2014 1 0:44 Geneva, Switzerland
Win 3–1 Nicolas Specq Submission (arm-triangle choke) 100% Fight 20: Comeback 5 April 2014 2 2:10 Levallois, France
Win 2–1 Bilal Tahtahi KO (punch) 100% Fight 20: Comeback 5 April 2014 1 3:58 Levallois, France
Loss 1–1 Zoumana Cisse Decision (unanimous) 100% Fight: Contenders 21 14 December 2013 2 5:00 Paris, France
Win 1–0 Rachid Benzina Submission (straight armbar) 100% Fight: Contenders 20 30 November 2013 1 1:44 Paris, France


See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "UFC 249 weigh-in results: Four championship fighters on weight, Jeremy Stephens misses badly". 8 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Francis Ngannou | UFC". Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Rankings | UFC". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  4. ^, Coral Barry for (23 January 2017). "Fighter In Focus: The UFC's hottest heavyweight prospect is Francis Ngannou". Metro. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Once homeless on the streets of Paris, Francis Ngannou on the verge of making his dream come true". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Francis Ngannou : l'instinct du combat - L'Equipe Explore". L' (in French). Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "UFC Unfiltered: Francis Ngannou and Fortaleza preview". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  8. ^ MMAFightingonSBN (30 January 2017), The MMA Hour: Episode 366 (w/Rampage, Rumble, Lewis, Ngannou, Bader, More), retrieved 15 April 2017
  9. ^ a b c "From homeless to UFC contender, UFC on FOX 20's Francis Ngannou recounts his journey". MMAjunkie. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  10. ^ Nolan King (11 June 2020). "Francis Ngannou gets inspirational on Throwback Thursday reflecting on immigration hardship".
  11. ^ Le SPORT by SFR (10 January 2018), Francis Ngannou tord le cou aux idées reçues- LE VESTIAIRE, retrieved 24 June 2019
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  13. ^ "Francis Ngannou Talks About Learning English Ahead of Joining the Title Fray". Fightland. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  14. ^ Zane Simon (12 August 2015). "Welcome to the UFC, Francis Ngannou & Yusuke Kasuya". Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Debuting heavyweights Luiz Henrique, Francis Ngannou meet at UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando". MMAjunkie. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  16. ^ John Morgan (19 December 2015). "UFC on FOX 17 results: Francis Ngannou smashes Luis Henrique with uppercut". Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Curtis Blaydes in for Bojan Mihajlovic against Francis Ngannou at UFC Fight Night 86". MMAjunkie. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  18. ^ Damon Martin (10 April 2016). "Francis Ngannou beats Curtis Blaydes after nasty eye injury stops the fight". Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  19. ^ "Francis Ngannou vs. Bojan Mihajlovic added to UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago". MMAjunkie. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
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  37. ^ White reacts to Ngannou v Lewis snorefest
  38. ^ Fighters react to Derrick Lewis defeating Francis Ngannou
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External linksEdit