As he’d promised to do, Francis Ngannou put the UFC heavyweight belt on his mom’s shoulder. Ngannou – who returned to his native Cameroon with his UFC heavyweight title – met fans, friends, and family and received a hero’s welcome.
One of the most touching moments of the Francis Ngannou's return home came when Ngannou embraced his mother and placed his UFC heavyweight title on her shoulder. Fans can watch the wonderful moment in the social media posts embedded below –
The Predator has often asserted that he started his combat sports career with the goal of becoming a world champion. Francis Ngannou initially had his sights set on becoming a professional boxing world champion, following in the footsteps of his idol Mike Tyson.
However, while undergoing training to become a professional boxer, Ngannou was introduced to the sport of MMA and eventually chose to carve out a career for himself in MMA.
Born in Cameroon, Francis Ngannou spent a few years in France, honing his MMA skills, after which he found success in the UFC. Ngannou quickly rose up the ranks of the UFC heavyweight division and has primarily been training in the US for the past few years.
The Predator received his first shot at the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 220 (January 2018). This fight witnessed Francis Ngannou challenge then-UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic for the title. Ngannou lost this fight via unanimous decision. He then lost his next fight as well, suffering a unanimous decision loss against Derrick Lewis.
However, the talented heavyweight KO artist refused to give up on his title aspirations. Ngannou amassed an impressive four-fight win streak, with all four of those wins coming via KO/TKO. Following this, Ngannou was accorded his second opportunity to fight for the UFC heavyweight title.
This time around the belt was held by none other than the legendary Stipe Miocic. Their rematch transpired at UFC 260 (March 2021) and saw Francis Ngannou defeat Miocic via second-round KO. Ngannou thereby avenged his loss and captured the elusive UFC heavyweight title.
Francis Ngannou could fight Jon Jones or Derrick Lewis next
Prior to UFC 260, it was revealed that MMA legend and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would be making his heavyweight division debut in a world title fight. It was noted that Jones will fight the winner of the UFC 260 matchup between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
Nevertheless, a dispute between Jon Jones and the UFC over how much he ought to get paid for accepting the fight has led to speculation that the Ngannou vs. Jones matchup might be off the table.
Alternatively, a rematch between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis is being discussed as the ideal matchup, particularly given the fact that Lewis is one of the few clear top contenders in the division right now and holds a win over Ngannou.