SPOTLIGHT: Francis Ngannou
By: Bryce Featured Image Credit: Sherdog
This is a continuation of the 4-part series of spotlighting the 4 main event and co-main fighters in the leadup to UFC 218 in Detroit. We continue with Francis Ngannou.
This is not the first article we at Untitled MMA have written about "The Predator." You can see a previous spotlight HERE and where we wrote that he will be champion HERE. Now, before the UFC, Francis had a rough upbringing. He was born and raised in Cameroon, where he had very little formal education. He used his father's reputation as a street fighter as motivation to become a boxer, in which he began training at the age of 22. At 26, merely 5 years ago, he emigrated to Paris to pursue boxing. He had nothing: no money, no job, and no friends. He eventaully was able to secure free training at the MMA Factory, where his coach introduced him to MMA. From then on, he never looked back, achieving a record of 5-1 in just under 2 years until the UFC called him to bring him up to the big show.
A big reason they brought him in was his punching power. If you look at any highlights of Ngannou, you can easily see his hands are other-worldly. He lifted a 240 pound Andrei Arlovski into the air off of an uppercut. The man set a world record for the most powerful punch. I mean, the proof is in the pudding. He really knocks guys dead. He has only gotten better technique the more he fights. Watch out, world, because this guy can probably knock out a bear if he wanted to.
This is THAT kimura. It was rumored that his coaches showed him how to do this in the locker room, so he went out and man handles Anthony Hamilton into one of the most brutal submissions I've ever seen. It was a wild thing to see live: here is this dude that, as previously states, knocks guys dead. Now he can break their arms off?! No fair! Ngannou has 3 other submission victories in his career, with chokes as well as an armbar. This shows that he has the skill to put a guy to sleep should he choose to.
Watch that video. It's terrifying what this man can do. This weekend, he is going up against a guy in Alistair Overeem that is one of the most experienced stand-up fighters in the world. Even with that, however, I feel that Ngannou has the advantage standing up. Overeem's chin is not that great, as his last 8 losses have come by KO. If he gets hit with one of those world-record-type of punches, he's dunzo. End of story. Thanks for playing. Ngannou could also probably submit him if he so chose to. Maybe off of a knockdown or a slip by Overeem. It is just so hard to say what "The Predator" can do because he is still so new in this sport, and that makes him even more difficult to prepare for. I may not know what'll happen Saturday night, but I do know it will be violent.