Combat Sports

Africa Stands Tall After Francis Ngannou Wins Championship At UFC 260

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Image for Africa Stands Tall After Francis Ngannou Wins Championship At UFC 260

Francis Ngannou is the new heavyweight champion of the world and what better way to showcase a new version of yourself than in a championship main event. Ngannou came up short three years ago in his first attempt to dethrone Stipe Miocic.

Since then, both men have been on electrifying paths of their own. Stipe has dropped the belt, won it back, and then defended it. Francis has stood toe-to-toe with the divisions greatest knocking them all out within minutes if not seconds. Let us discuss how huge this win is for Francis Ngannou and what is next for the newly crowned champ.

A Continental Trilogy

Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, and Francis Ngannou all represent Africa. They have laid the foundation for athletes from the continent and now with a trio of champions, a post-COVID UFC Pay-Per-View in Africa seems inevitable. These three represent the best of the best in today’s combat sport. They all have such unique skill-sets and never fail to impress fans, and knowing where they have all came from and the struggles they have faced, there really couldn’t be anything more pleasing than to see success amongst these superstars.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 27: (L-R) Francis Ngannou of Cameroon punches Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Representing Africa In Mixed Martial Arts

Francis Ngannou recently appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast and spoke about his life before combat sports. He highlighted being homeless in a Paris car park, not only that but he spoke of the struggles of making it out of Cameroon to help his family thrive. Ngannou worked in sand mines in excruciating conditions all to provide for his loved ones. He spoke of how important it is for him, his brothers, and his sisters to represent their home culture. Francis now stands at the top of the biggest promotion in combat sports history as a heavyweight champion.

Ngannou is the prime example of starting with nothing and making it big. “The Predator” now owns the Francis Ngannou foundation which helps empower kids who want to be like their countryman’s idol. He started this to provide the children of Cameroon with the skills to expand their dreams. It is the first fully equipped gym of its kind in the continent and there is no doubt that this foundation will expand from here on out.

Francis has recently visited and trained with the children at the foundation, there are some very heartwarming clips of the powerhouse laughing and throwing the kids around. This is where the next array of African talent will most likely come from. Ngannou has already changed thousands of lives and will continue to do so fulfilling these children’s futures and allowing them to be empowered to dream.

What Is Next After UFC 260?

Now that “The Predator” has solidified himself as the greatest heavyweight in the world, he will be looking to jump back in the octagon in no time and there are plenty of matchups waiting for him. It will be hard to predict who is next, especially with Jon Jones looking for a big-money fight but then saying that Derrick Lewis should square up next. The division is in quite a good situation, with new talent rolling in this could truly be the most exciting version of heavyweight’s we have ever seen. Let us discuss who is next for Francis Ngannou.

Outside of the previously mentioned Jones and Lewis, there is a certain contender that has not met Ngannou in the octagon. That person is none other than Alexander Volkov. “Drago” is coming off of a TKO finish of MMA veteran Alistair Overeem and could be gifted a shot at gold. It looks as though Miocic will not be getting an instant trilogy rematch, especially after such a bad knockout.

With Francis Ngannou possibly facing Volkov, Ciryl Gane would look to face the former champion Stipe, however, this could also work the other way round and Gane could have a shot at the heavyweight crown. Either way, whoever Ngannou faces next could be a huge problem for him.

A New Francis Ngannou

“The Predator” has always been known for his ruthless aggression and power, almost sloppy but it never mattered as he would always be in and out within a round. Last night, we saw an amazing calm and calculated Ngannou. First, we have to talk about that amazing sprawl. Francis did an amazing job stuffing Stipe’s first and only takedown attempt, after this, he would grab the back, secure a hip toss and then pound away at a troubled Miocic.

Despite all of this adrenaline, Ngannou was able to reset and compose himself, finishing the round and then entering the second with pure confidence. We saw the same patient Francis in the second round who got hit whilst stepping in for an attack, the strange placement of his stance mixed with Stipe hitting a counter shot confused fans into thinking Ngannou was hurt. This was not the case as the next shot would seal his fate of becoming a UFC world champion.

Francis Ngannou is here to stay and no matter what is next for him, the clip above shows just how much of an inspiration he is. Not only has he moved a fan base or a country, but he has also moved the world. The perfect idol for any fan of mixed martial arts!

That is all for this Francis Ngannou post UFC 260 discussion.


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Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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