Thirty-two days after knocking out Stipe Miocic and winning the UFC World Heavyweight Title in Las Vegas, Nevada, Francis Ngannou brought this gold back to the crib.
Ngannou was born and raised in Batié, Cameroon, and began competing professionally in November of 2013. Ngannou joined the UFC in 2015 and quickly ascended the heavyweight ranks before dropping a decision to Miocic at UFC 220 in January 2018. Following a second consecutive loss, which came against his next challenger Derrick Lewis in a memorably disappointing bout, the champ has since embarked on a terrorizing five-fight winning streak, culminating in last month’s title win, which he celebrated today at home.
A hero’s welcome, for sure.
We’re still less than two years removed from welterweight Kamaru Usman, becoming the first African-born UFC Champion in May of 2019, which middleweight Israel Adesanya replicated months later. Both men are Nigerian and, along with Ngannou, the only African-born UFC titlists in the company’s history. All three are still active champions in their weight-class, even following Adesanya’s failed attempt at unification with the Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Błachowicz this past March. Other athletes from Cameroon of note include the NBA’s Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam.