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.
Ngannou in 2017
|Born||Francis Zavier Ngannou|
5 September 1986
|Other names||The Predator|
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||259 lb (117 kg; 18 st 7 lb)|
|Reach||83 in (211 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Paris, France|
|Team||MMA Factory Paris|
UFC Performance Institute
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
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.
At the age of 22, Ngannou began training in boxing, despite the initial reluctance of his family. 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 decided to head to Paris, France, to pursue professional boxing. However upon reaching Europe, he was jailed for two months in Spain for illegally crossing the border. 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.
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.
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.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
In his next bout, Ngannou faced another newcomer in Bojan Mihajlović on 23 July 2016, at UFC on Fox 20. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. Ngannou faced Anthony Hamilton on 9 December 2016, at UFC Fight Night 102. He 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. In turn, Ngannou was 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 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 offence 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 141 He won the fight via TKO early into the first round. The win also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Ngannou was scheduled to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik on 28 March 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed . The pair was rescheduled to meet at 18 April 2020 at UFC 249. However, on 9 April, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed and the bout eventually took place on 9 May 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.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Bleacher Report
- Pundit Arena
- MMA Fighting / SB Nation
- 2017 Knockout of the Year.
- World MMA Awards
- 2017 Knockout of the Year vs. Alistair Overeem
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|18 matches||15 wins||3 losses|
|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|
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- White reacts to Ngannou v Lewis snorefest
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