Francis Ngannou’s rise from zero to the pinnacle of success didn’t just happened on a platter of gold, it’s comes with a lot of struggles and sacrifices before he became the UFC 260 heavyweight champion.
The French-Cameroonian mixed martial athlete grind his way to the pinnacle of success through a lot of struggles and extremities to be the man he is now, from having virtually nothing back in his hometown of Batie, Cameroon.
The Predator as they call him was born into a family that wasn’t known for riches, but for poverty and he only had little formal education while growing up in Batie because he couldn’t afford tuition. His parents divorced when he was six years of age, which brought about the idea of him going to live with his aunt.
Francis Ngannou’s Rise From Zero To Hero
In his struggles to survive and make money, at the age of 10 Ngannou started working as a miner until the age of 17. As a teenager who his still very young there’s every possibility that he could join bad gang to fend for himself, but he didn’t despite been approached by several gangs in his hometown, instead he worked hard to pursue his boxing career.
Francis Ngannou’s life of struggles didn’t end in Batie, in his pursuit of his boxing career he left the four walls of Cameroon for Morocco. Getting to Morocco he lived a miserable life, homeless as an illegal immigrant who had nothing to survive with.
As his nickname suggest, “The Predator” he practically hunt his way to success with the kind of risk he took to become a hero. Life in Morocco wasn’t a palatable one for the heavyweight champion, as such he forged ahead in his journey to Spain where he was jailed for entering the country illegally and sent to solitary imprisonment for two month.
Francis Ngannou’s experience in jail hardened him mentality and made him realize he was willing to take any risk to attain his dream as a boxer one day. Following his release from prison, he forged ahead with his journey to success by traveling to France via train which cumulated into more hardship for him in Paris.
After enduring hunger and hardship on the street of Paris, Ngannou was introduced to Fernand Lopez at the MMA factory where he started training. In 2013, having trained well at the gym and participated in a tournament he got his first paycheck worth $2000.
Fast forward to 2021, after a lot of struggles and hardship back in Batie, Spain, and Paris, Ngannou is now rated the most dangerous knockout boxer in the world thanks to his aggressive and ruthless fighting skill that stand him out amongst the rest.
Before Ngannou become who he is now, his biggest test began in 2018 at the UFC 220 against Stipe Miocic having fought some bouts before then. Prior to the bout, Ngannou was brimming with lot of confidence and power, thinking he’s fully ready to test his skill at the UFC against Miocic but surprisingly he wasn’t ready and was beaten by Miocic in five rounds.
READ ALSO: Hilarious: Professional Footballers Who Don’t Like Football
Following Francis Ngannou’s loss to Miocic, it was evident that he still needs to go back to the gym and prepare more mentally and physically for future bout with Miocic. The Predator did exactly that by fine-tuning his skill, as such he went on to beat a host of top opponents before his bout with Miocic.
Three years later after his defeat to Miocic, Ngannou got another opportunity to redeem himself against his conqueror for the UFC heavyweight championship. After the postponement of the bout due to Covid-19, the fight eventually happened in March 27, 2021 at UFC 260.
During the bout, Ngannou proved many and Miocic wrong by beating him in the second round of their rematch. As such his ruthless and aggressive performance on the night won him the ‘Performance Of The Night Award’.
Francis Ngannou “The Predator” may have gone through a lot of hardship while growing up back in Batie, jail experience in Spain, and the life of struggle in the street of Paris. However, his self determination and resilience in climbing the ladder of success from zero level, is definitely what every athletes should buy into to get to the pinnacle of success in their respective sport.