Francis Ngannou - Roots of Fight


“Never underestimate a man with hope and faith.”

Hope was all that Francis Ngannou had. For the heavyweight king and the most imposing force in combat sports? Hope is the only thing that mattered. Hope delivered him through unimaginable situations. Through the poverty he was born into in his native country of Cameroon, right through the endless hours in the sand mines in which he worked for under two bucks a day as a child. Across the length of the Sahara Desert, when he fled. Across Morocco, where he was jailed as an African refugee. Across the Strait of Gibraltar, where he paddled for dear life, in pursuit of his dreams.

Before his otherworldly strength made him a champion, there was the hope. Pushing him forward. Fueling his belief. Building his greatness.

The size of the man can’t easily tell the size of somebody’s drive. In Francis’s case, it does. He is the exact size of his resolve. A specimen. A fighter from the first, he fought. He fought from nothing to something. From the streets of Paris, France, to a gym to live out his dream as a boxer. And as with any hero’s journey, a detour. His was into the MMA cage, where he set out on an unthinkable adventure. He fought on.

At first in local fights. Then other European ports. Finally, the biggest stage — the UFC, where nine years after crossing the Mediterranean Sea as a refugee, he became a champion. And not just a champion, but one of the most feared and decorated champions of all time.

Where does hope lead? To unimaginable heights. To the ring, where Francis was always headed. Go back and read the quote at the top. Never underestimate somebody with hope.

The power was always in his hands.


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