Francis Ngannou (11-2) is currently the No. 1 ranked heavyweight contender in the world, and boasts a combination of size, strength and speed that makes the 31-year old one of the most menacing forces UFC fans have ever seen.
As UFC concludes its seventh annual International Fight Week, we turn to a weekend packed full of quality fights, one including the mesmerizing, freakish athlete known as Ngannou aiming to get momentum back on his side again.
Here is what you need to know about Ngannou:
Ngannou was born and raised in Cameroon.
He grew up in poverty, and started working in a sand quarry at 12-years old.
He went to Paris to become a boxer and had no money, no friends and no place to live; he began his Mixed Martial Arts training in August 2013 with Fernand Lopez Owonyebe at the MMA Factory.
He won his first six fights – all by stoppage, with four coming in the first round – until fighting Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship and losing via decision.
Scheduled to fight Derrick Lewis (19-5, NC) at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.
Previously mentioned, lost to Miocic (18-2) via unanimous decision at UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts, failing to capture the UFC Heavyweight Championship on his first attempt.
Raw power, Deceptive mobility and athleticism
Wrestling, Fighting off of his back, Occasionally relies more on instinct than technique
Defeating Alistair Overeem via first-round knockout (1:42) – in highlight worthy fashion – at UFC 218 in Detroit, Michigan:
He earned the opportunity to fight Miocic a short time later.
Estimated around just under $1 million based on career earnings as of January 2018.