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From Bricklaying, Fighting Rats for Survival to Battling the Best Heavyweight Boxer in the World: An Incredible Journey of Francis Ngannou’s Rise to Combat Sports Stardom

Francis Ngannou‘s rise in the combat sports world has been meteoric. From his early days as a security guard in Paris to his ultimate triumph as the UFC Heavyweight Champion, he has showcased not only his unparalleled strength but also his unwavering resolve. His story is not just about athletic prowess; it’s a testament to resilience, hard work, and the pursuit of dreams.
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The MMA star will make his debut in the world of boxing by taking on the heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, on 28 October. Let us take a look at the awe-inspiring story of the ‘Predator’.
Francis Ngannou’s journey from Cameroon to Spain
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A 9-year-old Ngannou had started working in the quarry since he could not afford a pen for school or food for his stomach. He had seen neither a picture nor a poster of his current trainer, the legend, Mike Tyson. During his most desperate times, as Ngannou sought to leave Africa, he resorted to digging through trash, scavenging for discarded food scraps, and fighting rats to survive. In his youth, Francis Ngannou resisted the pull of local gangs, drawing strength from his father’s street-fighting legacy.
via Imago Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou press conference, PK, Pressekonferenz Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou kick off press conference held at Here at Outernet Charing Cross Road London uk 7.9.2023 Editorial Use Only, Credit:Dean Fardell / Avalon PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxUSA Copyright: xDeanxFardellx/xAvalonx 0803631261
Opting for boxing over negative influences, he embarked on training at 22, despite initial family objections. Sadly, illness interrupted his progress after a year. At 26 years old, Ngannou, a hopeful boxer from Cameroon, left for Spain. Upon reaching Spain, they faced immigration detention. However, this was not a deterrent for Ngannou. He had already seen worse.
For Ngannou, this moment marked the realization of his long-held dream. He anticipated serving a brief jail term before being released to a foundation assisting African refugees. Ngannou moved to Paris, France, aspiring to pursue a career in professional boxing. Arriving with nothing, he found himself living on the streets again.
A swift rise to UFC Heavyweight Champion
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In August 2013, he began training for free under Fernand Lopez Owonyebe at the MMA Factory. Initially drawn to boxing due to his admiration for Mike Tyson, Ngannou’s coach introduced him to MMA. He kicked off his MMA journey by competing in various European regional promotions, including the French 100% Fight, until his professional debut under the UFC in 2015.
Ngannou’s dynamic fighting technique and formidable knockout abilities earned him acclaim within the MMA community, leading to his crowning achievement of winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2021.
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Ngannou’s journey inspires fans and reminds us of our privilege. The MMA star is gearing up for his boxing debut with full force. Fans cannot wait to see who steals the show on Saturday. Who are you rooting for?
Watch This Story: Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou: Date, Time, Venue, Tickets, and Livestream

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