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Francis Ngannou’s UFC career: All the details

11 months ago By Sports Desk

Francis Ngannou is one of the most well-known heavyweight fighters in the world of MMA, and the hard-hitting Cameroonian’s UFC career has been nothing short of remarkable. This article takes a closer look at Ngannou’s UFC career, notable opponents, and his legacy. 

Ngannou’s UFC debut

After Francis Ngannou made his professional fighting debut in 2013, he compiled a record of 5-1 before signing with the UFC in 2015. ‘The Predator’ made his promotional debut against fellow newcomer Luis Henrique at UFC on Fox 17 at the Amway Center in Florida on December 19, 2015. He defeated the Brazilian via second-round knockout. 

Notable Opponents

As Francis Ngannou’s incredible journey in the UFC progressed, ‘The Predator’ defeated world-class fighters to earn the title of UFC heavyweight champion. Here are some notable opponents who faced Ngannou in the octagon:  

Curtis Blaydes: Francis Ngannou has faced Curtis Blaydes twice in his career, emerging victorious via a TKO knockout on both occasions. The two bouts against Blaydes helped Ngannou showcase his exceptional punching power and striking prowess. 

Andrei Arlovski: Francis Ngannou faced Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 23 in January 2017, and the then-rising star faced one of his toughest tests against the former heavyweight champion. Ngannou defeated the perennial heavyweight via first-round knockout, marking his fifth consecutive win in the UFC. 

Alistair Overeem: Francis Ngannou fought Alistair Overeem in a pivotal contest at UFC 218 in December 2017. Both fighters were considered top contenders for the heavyweight title at the time, and the bout carried significant implications for the title picture. Ngannou defeated Overeem via first-round knockout to further solidify his reputation as one of the division’s most dangerous strikers and propel himself into title contention. 

Stipe Miocic: Ngannou faced Stipe Miocic twice, with the legendary American heavyweight handing the Cameroonian his first octagon loss. In their first meeting, Ngannou challenged Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 220. ‘The Predator’ was thoroughly outwrestled, and Miocic successfully neutralized his striking to win via unanimous decision. 

Three years later, Ngannou rematched Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 260 and took home the belt after knocking the American out in the second round. 

Aftermath and Legacy

Francis Ngannou’s reputation as a heavyweight fighter with an unmatched aptitude for delivering powerful knockouts preceded him, and his exceptional skill and remarkable precision set him apart from his contemporaries. Despite his humble beginnings, the Cameroonian’s tenacity and drive toward becoming the UFC heavyweight champion are genuinely inspiring, and he continues to be a prominent figure in the sport. 

Conclusion

Francis Ngannou has had an incredible journey from the streets of Batie, Cameroon, to earning the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ tag in the UFC. The former heavyweight champion defeated world-class opponents on his way to the top and earned the respect of many fans when he chose to leave the UFC on his own terms in January 2023. 

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