Francis Ngannou (born September 5, 1986) is a Cameroonian professional mixed martial artist competing in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was ranked the No. 1 contender by UFC and ESPN as of December 17, 2017. However, he was beaten handily by current heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, when given the opportunity. 
Ngannou in 2017
September 5, 1986 |
|Other names||The Predator|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||263 lb (119 kg; 18 st 11 lb)|
|Reach||83 in (210 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Ngannou was born and raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon. Ngannou lived in poverty and had little formal education growing up. 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 bad 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 to make ends meet, until at the age of 26, he emigrated 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 Fernand Lopez Owonyebe at the MMA Factory. 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 mostly fighting in the French promotion 100% Fight, as well as other regional promotions in Europe.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
Ngannou made his promotional debut against fellow newcomer Luis Henrique on December 19, 2015 at UFC on Fox 17. He won the fight via knockout in the second round. Ngannou next faced promotional newcomer Curtis Blaydes on April 10, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 86. He won the fight via TKO at the conclusion of the second round. In his next bout, Ngannou faced another newcomer in Bojan Mihajlović on July 23, 2016, at UFC on Fox 20. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. Ngannou faced Anthony Hamilton on December 9, 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 January 28, 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 September 9, 2017 at UFC 215. However, on August 18, 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 December 2, 2017 at UFC 218. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Bleacher Report
- Pundit Arena
- MMA Fighting / SB Nation
- MMAjunkie.com Knockout of the Year vs. Alistair Overeem
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|13 matches||11 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||11–2||Stipe Miocic||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 220||January 20, 2018||5||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States||For the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||11–1||Alistair Overeem||KO (punch)||UFC 218||December 2, 2017||1||1:42||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Win||10–1||Andrei Arlovski||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña||January 28, 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||December 9, 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||July 23, 2016||1||1:34||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||7–1||Curtis Blaydes||TKO (doctor stoppage)||UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos||April 10, 2016||2||5:00||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Win||6–1||Luis Henrique||KO (punch)||UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2||December 19, 2015||2||2:53||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||5–1||William Baldutti||TKO (elbows and punches)||KHK MMA National Tryouts: Finale 2015||May 28, 2015||2||1:22||Madinat Isa, Bahrain|
|Win||4–1||Luc Ngeleka||Submission (standing guillotine choke)||SHC 10: Carvalho vs. Belo||September 20, 2014||1||0:44||Geneva, Switzerland|
|Win||3–1||Nicolas Specq||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||100% Fight 20: Comeback||April 5, 2014||2||2:10||Levallois, France|
|Win||2–1||Bilal Tahtahi||KO (punch)||100% Fight 20: Comeback||April 5, 2014||1||3:58||Levallois, France|
|Loss||1–1||Zoumana Cisse||Decision (unanimous)||100% Fight: Contenders 21||December 14, 2013||2||5:00||Paris, France|
|Win||1–0||Rachid Benzina||Submission (straight armbar)||100% Fight: Contenders 20||November 30, 2013||1||1:44||Paris, France|
- "Francis Ngannou - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Zuffa, LLC. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- "Francis Ngannou". fightmetric.com. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "ESPN.com: UFC heavyweight rankings". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
- Metro.co.uk, Coral Barry for (2017-01-23). "Fighter In Focus: The UFC's hottest heavyweight prospect is Francis Ngannou". Metro. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
- "Once homeless on the streets of Paris, Francis Ngannou on the verge of making his dream come true". Retrieved 2017-01-28.
- "Francis Ngannou : l'instinct du combat - L'Equipe Explore". L'Equipe.fr (in French). Retrieved 2017-06-11.
- "UFC Unfiltered: Francis Ngannou and Fortaleza preview". UFC.com. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- MMAFightingonSBN (2017-01-30), The MMA Hour: Episode 366 (w/Rampage, Rumble, Lewis, Ngannou, Bader, More), retrieved 2017-04-15
- "From homeless to UFC contender, UFC on FOX 20's Francis Ngannou recounts his journey". MMAjunkie. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
- Zane Simon (2015-08-12). "Welcome to the UFC, Francis Ngannou & Yusuke Kasuya". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
- "Debuting heavyweights Luiz Henrique, Francis Ngannou meet at UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando". MMAjunkie. 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- John Morgan (2015-12-19). "UFC on FOX 17 results: Francis Ngannou smashes Luis Henrique with uppercut". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
- "Curtis Blaydes in for Bojan Mihajlovic against Francis Ngannou at UFC Fight Night 86". MMAjunkie. 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- Damon Martin (2016-04-10). "Francis Ngannou beats Curtis Blaydes after nasty eye injury stops the fight". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
- "Francis Ngannou vs. Bojan Mihajlovic added to UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago". MMAjunkie. 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- Steven Marrocco (2016-07-23). "UFC on FOX 20 results: Francis Ngannou pounds out Bojan Mihajlovic in 94 seconds". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
- "Anthony Hamilton says he's fighting Francis Ngannou at UFC Fight Night 102 in Albany, N.Y." MMAjunkie. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- Ben Fowlkes (2016-12-09). "UFC Fight Night 102 results: Francis Ngannou powers his way into submission of Anthony Hamilton". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
- Mike Sloan (2016-12-09). "UFC Fight Night 102 bonuses: Villante, Safarov, Ngannou, Meerschaert all pocket $50K". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
- "Arlovski vs. Ngannou set for UFC on FOX 23". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- Staff (2017-01-28). "UFC on FOX 23 bonuses: Valentina Shevchenko, Jorge Masvidal among $50,000 extra winners". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- Marc Raimondi (2017-06-28). "Junior dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou official for UFC 215". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
- "Junior dos Santos pulled from UFC 215 due to potential USADA violation". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- Dave Doyle (2017-08-28). "Francis Ngannou is officially off UFC 215". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- Staff (2017-08-28). "UFC 215 lineup set with 2 title fights in Edmonton, including Demetrious Johnson's quest for record". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- Tristen Critchfield (2017-09-27). "Heavyweight contenders Alistair Overeem, Francis Ngannou set to clash at UFC 218". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
- Campbell, Brian (December 3, 2017). "UFC 218 results: Francis Ngannou flattens Alistair Overeem with vicious KO". CBSSports.com. CBS Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- "Stipe Miocic slated to defend heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou at UFC 220". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- "UFC 220 results: Stipe Miocic bests Francis Ngannou in lopsided decision". MMA Fighting. 21 January 2018.
- Snowden, Jonathan. "Bleacher Report 2017 MMA Awards: Best Fighter, Fight, Finishes and Story". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "ESPN's MMA awards for 2017: The fight, submission and knockout of the year". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "Pundit Arena's 2017 UFC Awards - Pundit Arena". www.punditarena.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "MMA Fighting's 2017 Knockout of the Year: Francis Ngannou's 'uppercut from hell' crushes Alistair Overeem". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
- "MMA Fighting's 2017 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Francis Ngannou". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
- "MMAjunkie's '2017 Knockout of the Year': A head-rattling heavyweight finish". MMAjunkie. 2018-01-07. Retrieved 2018-01-08.