Ngannou took to social media to celebrate his UFC Beijing win and the ‘redemption’ that came with it.
After a two fight stumble that saw him mauled in his first title fight by Stipe Miocic and then psyched out in a headscratcher of a decision loss to Derrick Lewis, some had written Francis Ngannou off.
Those people are crazy, of course. Fighters have ups and downs, and it was inevitable that Ngannou’s relative inexperience would cost him some losses at some point. But since that January loss to Miocic, there’s been non-stop quotes from bosses and coaches about Ngannou losing his way. Freezing up against Lewis in July only made things worse.
Ngannou did his best to put that talk to rest in Beijing, China, knocking the equilibrium out of Curtis Blaydes and forcing a stoppage just 45 seconds into their second fight (watch it here).
Now he’s taking to social media to thank those that stood by him during his slump.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) November 25, 2018
“I finally saw the light yesterday night at UFC Beijing by overcoming my darkness which dragged me deep to the bottom,” Ngannou wrote. “My fans, my family and all those people who trust and believe in me have got persecuted by haters and doubters but they didn’t give up and they kept supporting me and that’s where I found strength to overcome all this.”
“I wanna thank every single one of you, who once trusted me and who kept supporting me, who stayed beside me and who didn’t stumble,” he continued. “I’m grateful to have any of you known and unknown by my side and in my life since this is all my life.”
“Thank you China and particularly Beijing for welcoming us and for all the love and energy you guys put in, it was an honor for me to perform for you guys such an amazing people and a great crowd.”
He finished off his letter with hashtag #TheRedemption, but it may take more than a single win to convince some followers of the sport that Stipe Miocic didn’t steal a bit of his soul during their fight.