The life of Francis Ngannou looks like the plot of a Hollywood movie. The fighter’s childhood was difficult: he worked as a loader, starved, fell ill and suffered hepatitis B, during which he kept going to work. No one in the family believed in Ngannou, constantly taunting and ridiculing him. This became the basis of the athletes’ character and fighting technique.
Loyal fans know about his background and confidently bet on MMA in favour of Francis. At the age of 26, the fighter left his home without even saying goodbye to his parents and went on to conquer Europe. But even here, Ngannou faced a few life challenges: on the way to Europe, the fighter almost died from hunger and lack of water. A couple of times, the champion was arrested sent to a special shelter for illegal migrants, but each time Francis escaped and continued chasing his goal.
After a while, the athlete reached darling Paris. There he was, a happy and hungry homeless man. The fighter had a strong desire to become a world champion, so he didn’t care about others’ thoughts. Francis visited various gyms every day and said that he was a migrant without money and shelter but had a great desire to become a world boxing champion. He did boxing for about three years back at home.
Whether by chance or destiny, Francis ended up in the right sports hall at the right time, and Fernand Lopez became his coach. Ngannou was allowed to live and study in the gym, and he was also provided with a free training kit. Although the fighter himself was more attracted to boxing, Lopez sent him into MMA fighting. Fernand Lopez noticed that his trainee did not have good basic technique but had exceptional innate talent as a knockout artist. The coach taught him powerful techniques and provided him with fights and opponents.
The year 2018 was a turning point: after constant victories, the athlete began to lose one fight after another. In this situation, the Cameroonian blamed his coach. Lopez was stunned and silently harboured a grudge against Ngannou. Later, Fernand poured his heart out to journalists, telling them that Francis had never thanked him for his hard work.
At the same time, Cyril Gane came to the same sports hall. Back then, he was a furniture salesman and successfully participated in Muay Thai fights. Gane had become a new motivation and hope for Lopez. The former Cameroonian won the contests for a long time because he was stronger, although much slower. Right after Francis left, Cyril took part in his debut UFC fight. Success was not long in coming, and two years later, the fighter already had five victories.
According to the coach, his trainees were two completely different people. Unlike Ngannu, Cyril Gane is a quiet and grateful person. When the athlete won the interim title, he thanked everyone in the hall for their support and then put his belt onto the coach – it was a very touching moment. Lopez was highly touched because he never received such gratitude from his former coachee.
Experts and fans were also looking forward to this grandiose fight. To make sports betting easier and avoid wasting time, they began to compare the two opponents. It was a tough choice: power against speed. At the same time, Gane has good technique, and Ngannu has a powerful punch. Only the real experts were able to predict the fight’s outcome correctly.
The day has come. The fight itself promised to be very exciting. For Fernand Lopez, this match was significant: it was a fight between his former and current trainees, the coach himself could not predict the outcome of the match. But the fight turned out to be very straightforward. Francis did not use his power, Gane didn’t use his speed and avoided the fight. The spectators did not understand what was happening and demanded “bread and circuses”. They started whistling and shouting loudly, trying to wind up the fighters. But the first two rounds were terribly dull.
Lopez’s former trainee became active only in the final round. He identified his opponent’s main weakness: Cyril’s takedown defence is poor. The Cameroonian fighter simply dragged out the time of his dominance to score as many points as possible without being too forward. As a result, Francis Ngannou won by the judges’ unanimous decision.
Although Ngannou was successful in his first defence, the fight did not impress the audience. The real champion had some problems with endurance, and during the fight, he looked passive and ridiculous because of the constant attempts to save his precious strength.
For Cyril Gane, this is the first defeat in his sports career. Earlier, the athlete defeated his opponents for ten fights in a row. But professionals and fans are confident that the talented Frenchman will still manifest himself. After all, the athlete is only 31 years old, and by the standards of MMA fights, this is the best age. The main thing is that if Cyril continues his training, he will definitely be successful.
Earlier, Francis said that he was not satisfied with the UFC’s salary at the moment. The fighter wants to get millions, not the current 500-600 thousand dollars for a fight. He also wants to participate in boxing, which is impossible under the present contract terms. For the Cameroonian, this fight could have been the last one in the UFC, but he won. And under the terms and conditions of the contract, the athlete’s victory means that he remains in the UFC on the same terms: he is still banned from a fight with a boxer. The fighter will not give up his desire – he openly states that he has never forgotten about boxing, so he intends to have a fight with a boxer and will not wait for long to do that.
A serious talk between the president of the UFC, Dana White and Francis Ngannou is unavoidable. The specialists believe that the organisation will try not to lose such a world star and will probably make any concessions to keep the fighter in the UFC. It is yet unknown who the next fight of Francis Ngannou will be with.