Francis Ngannou facts
Lineal heavyweight champions Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and Francis Ngannou will meet on October 28 in the most anticipated combat sports event of the year.
Fury and Ngannou will collide in a 10-round boxing match in Saudi Arabia in an epic showdown between two behemoths of their fields, marking the opening of this year’s Riyadh Season. The fight will take place under the official rules of professional boxing, with the three ringside judges using the 10-point scoring system, promoted by Queensberry, Top Rank and GIMIK Fight Promotions.
BBN listed a whole host of interesting facts about Francis ahead of his first ever boxing bout:
Francis Zavier Ngannou was born on September 5th 1986 (37-years-old) in Batie, Cameroon.
His parents divorced when he was six and was sent to live with his aunt. His upbringing was extremely impoverished and he started working at the age of 10 in the local sand quarry. He recalls eating out of trash cans at night time near markets, having to shoo away rats to find food."
He was pressured to work for several gangs in his village as a youngster but refused to join them.
His father was a street fighter with a reputation, known for always being in trouble with the law. Francis described his abusive dad, "The fact was my dad was very violent, beating up my mom, beating us up."
He only took up boxing aged 22, despite the reluctance of his family. He trained for a year then was forced to stop due to an illness. He continued to work in various different jobs until he moved to Paris, France when 26 to embark upon a professional boxing career. However, he was jailed upon arrival in Spain for two months for crossing the border illegally.
He eventually wound up homeless in Paris, living on the streets, where he met MMA fighter Francis Carmont, who introduced him to the MMA Factory, which is the largest MMA gym in France.
MMA fighter turned coach, Fernand Lopez convinced Francis to try MMA over boxing and allowed him to sleep in the gym at no cost. At first, he barely even knew what MMA was, "What in the world was MMA? They explained it to me and I just laughed, 'What's that? I'm not going to go wrestle and all that crap.' It was very strange to me and very weird. I said, 'I will not do this.'"
He is coached by Eric Nicksick.
His MMA career began in November 2013, compiling a record of 5-1 in the French promotion, '100% Fight', before signing with the UFC on his 29th birthday.
He earned the nickname 'The Predator'.
His UFC debut was on December 19, 2015, which he won against Luis Henrique via second-round knockout. His first challenge for the UFC heavyweight title ended in defeat via unanimous decision to Stipe Miocic in January 2020. In their 2021 rematch, Ngannou won by second-round knockout, becoming the UFC heavyweight champion.
On January 14, 2023, the UFC stripped Ngannou of his title after failing to agree terms on a new contract, making him the first reigning champion to leave since B.J. Penn in 2004.
He signed a multi-fight deal with the Professional fighters League and the contract was seen as an historic moment for the sport, setting new standards for the welfare and wages of fighters.
Always looking to give back, Francis has a Foundation set up in his name that runs the first ever MMA Gym in Cameroon, offering a free place for young peope to train.
Francis can speak Ngemba, French and English.
He made a guest appearance in Jackass Forever in 2022. He was also in Fast & Furious 9, playing the role of a soldier called Homme de Jakob, alongside Vin Diesel and John Cena.
His boxing idol is Mike Tyson, who will be training him for his next fight with Fury.
He holds the record for the hardest punch in the world having registered a striking power of 129,161 units on a PowerKube.
Height: 6' 4" (183cm)
Weight: 257lbs (18st 5lbs)
Reach: 83" (211cm)
First ever Cameroon-born UFC champion in the sport.
Performance of the Night winner six times – the most in UFC history, tied with six others.
Bleacher Report 2017 Knockout of the Year vs Alistair Overeem.
ESPN 2017 Knockout of the Year vs Alistair Overeem.
World MMA Awards 2017 Knockout of the Year vs Alistair Overeem.
His net worth stands over $5 million.
Tyson Fury: “I’m absolutely honored to be fighting Francis. He’s going to be a very, very good fighting man. You can see that he’s massive. He’s in shape. He’s going to be a real challenge. It’s something different for me. I’m used to boxing boxers and boxing the head off of somebody. But fighting an MMA guy who comes in with a different style is going to be different.
“I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be an absolutely fantastic event. I’m honored that I’m a part of it, and I’m honored that Francis is a part of it. I’ve got to take my hat off to Francis for his story, where he’s come from, the fight, the grind, the determination and everything he’s put into it to get to where he is.
“I will give Francis the respect that he deserves as a warrior, as a man and as a world champion. He's a big man. He's very strong and powerful. And it's in my interest to give it the 100 percent training in camp and bring in the best sparring possible for me.”
Francis Ngannou: “I am very excited. I am very happy. I have been dreaming of becoming a boxer since I was a kid. And today, I’m not just going to box; I’m going to box the guy at the peak of the mountain. Usually, I would not pay attention to what is going around. But this thing is so big that I can’t stop thinking about it. History is going to be made.
“It’s something that I didn’t see coming, even though my dream was always there. I always hoped for it to happen some day. But I didn’t see it lay out this way as one of the biggest events of the world. This is not just a fight. We are going to open up Riyadh Season. So, it is a cultural event that we are fighting on. And we’ll just make this fight bigger and bigger.
“Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen, but what I do know for sure is that I’m going to be out there hunting for that guy’s head to take it off. I can guarantee that.”
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