Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou photo.jpg
Ngannou in 2017
BornFrancis Zavier Ngannou[1]
(1986-09-05) 5 September 1986 (age 35)
Batié, Cameroon
Nickname(s)The Predator
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada, US
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight257 lb (117 kg; 18 st 5 lb)
Reach83 in (211 cm)[2]
Fighting out ofLas Vegas, Nevada, US [4]
TeamMMA Factory (2013–2018)[5][6]
UFC Performance Institute[7]
Xtreme Couture (2018–present)[6]
TrainerEric Nicksick (Head coach)[8]
Dewey Cooper (Striking coach)[9]
Fernand Lopez (formerly)
Years active2013–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout12
By submission4
By decision1
By decision3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Francis Zavier Ngannou[1] (born 5 September 1986) is a Cameroonian mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the heavyweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion.[10] He is known for being the hardest recorded puncher in the world.[11] As of November 2, 2021, he is #4 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.[12]

Early life and education

Ngannou was born and raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon.[13] He lived in poverty and had little formal education growing up.[14] Ngannou's parents divorced when he was six years old, and he was sent to live with his aunt. At 10 years old, Ngannou started working in a sand quarry in Batié because of a lack of funds.[15][16] As a youngster, he was approached by several gangs in his village to join them.[17] 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.[17]

At the age of 22, Ngannou began training in boxing, despite the initial reluctance of his family.[17] After training for a year, Ngannou stopped training due to an illness.[18] 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.[19] However upon reaching Europe, he was jailed for two months in Spain for illegally crossing the border.[20] After Ngannou reached Paris, he had no money, no friends, and no place to live.[14] After living homeless on the streets of Paris, he was introduced by a friend to Fernand Lopez and the MMA factory.[21] Being a fan of Mike Tyson, Ngannou was originally interested in learning how to box but Lopez saw his potential in MMA and convinced him to try MMA instead.[19] Lopez gave Ngannou some MMA gear and allowed him to train and sleep at the gym for no cost thus starting Ngannou's MMA career.[19]

Reflecting on his journey across continents and his decision to become an MMA fighter, Ngannou said:[14][19]

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 career

Early 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.[22] He compiled a record of 5–1 before signing with the UFC.[23]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ngannou made his UFC debut against fellow newcomer Luis Henrique on December 19, 2015, at UFC on Fox 17.[24] He won the fight via knockout in the second round.[25]

Ngannou next faced UFC newcomer Curtis Blaydes on April 10, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 86.[26] He won the fight via TKO, due to doctor stoppage at the end of the second round.[27]

In his next bout, Ngannou faced another newcomer in Bojan Mihajlović on July 23, 2016, at UFC on Fox 20.[28] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[29] Ngannou then faced Anthony Hamilton on December 9, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 102.[30] He won the fight by submission in the first round, and earned his first UFC Performance of the Night bonus.[31][32]

Ngannou faced Andrei Arlovski on January 28, 2017, at UFC on Fox 23.[33] He won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Ngannou his second Performance of the Night bonus.[34]

Ngannou was expected to face Junior dos Santos on September 9, 2017, at UFC 215.[35] However, on 18 August, Dos Santos was pulled from the match after being notified of a potential USADA violation.[36] In turn, Ngannou was removed from the card after promotion officials deemed that a suitable opponent could not be arranged.[37][38]

In the highest profile fight of his career, Ngannou faced veteran Alistair Overeem on December 2, 2017, at UFC 218.[39] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[40] This knockout has been labeled as one of the greatest and most brutal knockouts of all time.[41][42][43]

Ngannou faced Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship on January 20, 2018, at UFC 220.[44] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[45]

Ngannou faced Derrick Lewis on July 7, 2018, at UFC 226.[46] 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[47][48][49][50] and was labeled as a "snoozefest".[51]

Ngannou faced Curtis Blaydes in a rematch on November 24, 2018, in the main event at UFC Fight Night 141[52] He won the fight via TKO early into the first round.[53] The win also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.[54]

Ngannou headlined the UFC's inaugural event on ESPN, UFC on ESPN 1 against Cain Velasquez on February 17, 2019.[55] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[56]

Ngannou faced Junior dos Santos on June 29, 2019, at UFC on ESPN 3.[57] He won the fight via technical knockout in the first round.[58] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.[59]

Ngannou was scheduled to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik on March 28, 2020, at UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik.[60] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed .[61] The pair was rescheduled to meet at 18 April 2020 at UFC 249.[62] However, on 9 April, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed[63] and the bout eventually took place on 9 May 2020.[64] Ngannou won via knockout just 20 seconds into the first round.[65] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[66]

UFC Heavyweight Championship

Miocic vs. Ngannou II

A rematch for the UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between Miocic and Ngannou took place on March 27, 2021, at UFC 260.[67] Ngannou won the fight via knockout in the second round.[68] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[69]

Ngannou vs. Gane

Ngannou faced the interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane for the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship on January 22, 2022, at UFC 270 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.[70] He won the fight by unanimous decision, the first decision win of his career.[71]

Personal life

Ngannou is multilingual. He speaks several languages including Ngemba, French, and English.[16][72][73] He learned English after joining the UFC.[74]


The Francis Ngannou Foundation runs the first MMA gym in Cameroon, aiming to offer facilities for young people to have a place to train and feel like someone cares about them.[75][76]



Year Title Role Notes
2021 F9 [77] Ferocious Professional Cameo
2022 Jackass Forever [78] Himself Guest appearance

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
20 matches 17 wins 3 losses
By knockout 12 0
By submission 4 0
By decision 1 3
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 17–3 Ciryl Gane Decision (unanimous) UFC 270 January 22, 2022 5 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States Defended and unified the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 16–3 Stipe Miocic KO (punch) UFC 260 March 27, 2021 2 0:52 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 15–3 Jairzinho Rozenstruik KO (punches) UFC 249 May 9, 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 June 29, 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 November 24, 2018 1 0:45 Beijing, China Performance of the Night.
Loss 11–3 Derrick Lewis Decision (unanimous) UFC 226 July 7, 2018 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
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. Cowboy 2 December 19, 2015 2 2:53 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 5–1 William Baldutti TKO (punches) KHK MMA National Tryouts: Finale 2015 May 28, 2015 2 1:22 Madinat Isa, Bahrain
Win 4–1 Luc Ngeleka Submission (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 1 2:10 Levallois, France
Win 2–1 Bilal Tahtahi KO (punch) 1 3:58
Loss 1–1 Zoumana Cisse Decision (unanimous) 100% Fight: Contenders 21 December 14, 2013 1 5:00 Paris, France
Win 1–0 Rachid Benzina Submission (armbar) 100% Fight: Contenders 20 November 30, 2013 1 1:44 Paris, France Heavyweight debut.


See also



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External links

Preceded by 21st UFC Heavyweight Champion
27 March 2021 – present


Article Francis Ngannou in English Wikipedia took following places in local popularity ranking:

Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2022-01-31 based on