Speaking to Megan Olivi ahead of UFC 260, Francis Ngannou shed some much-needed light on how the understanding, perception, and acceptance of MMA as a sport has changed in Africa over the last few years.
Answering Olivi's question on how he feels about the possibility of the UFC having three African-born champions at the same time, Francis Ngannou said:
"It sounds great. It sounds awesome. And that's why I am thinking, after this fight, the UFC should really figure out a location in Africa to make us fight there. Because to have a few African fighters in the whole roster, and have three champions... I mean, two already is great, if you consider the amount of African fighters in the UFC roster, but three is just huge. It's just Frthe point where Africa is the palce to go. It's the fight location."
Francis Ngannou: The only thing Africa doesn't have is an opportunity
'The Predator' pointed out that there definitely are talents hiding in Africa who could turn out to be much better than Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, or himself, only if they were given the opportunity.
That is why, Francis Ngannou believes, UFC should travel to the continent and start hosting events there just as they do in the rest of the world.
"The sport is taking place and is getting very big. I am taking an example of Cameroon right now. Two years ago, five years ago, nobody knew anything about it. Now when you go there, I was surprised to see even grandmas know what it is, what they're talking about. They're like, 'Oh son, you're a fighter?' I am like 'Yes' and she's like 'Ah good job, congratulations, keep going."
"The only thing that Africa doesn't have, that Africa does need, is an opportunity. An opportunity to just allow them, to motivate them to dream, to believe in something that can possibly happen by even having an UFC event in Africa. Everybody in this sport train in order to end up into the biggest promotion in the world like UFC. They don't have that motivation, they don't have that drive. And I think we need that. And if we find a way to give them that, we probably in a few years gonna find way more better fighters from Africa. Because believe me, there are people back there who are better than Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, Francis Ngannou. They don't just have the opportunity. So, I think if they have an opportunity, they have an avenue on their way, they're gonna do great," said Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou will be out for redemption when he faces Miocic in a rematch for the Heavyweight title. Will he be the third African-born Champion in UFC? Let us know in the comments below.