Tag Archive for Ngannou

Midnight Mania! Ngannou Explains Why He Left His Village Without Saying Goodbye

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Francis Ngannou has a true rags-to-riches story, perhaps the most unlikely in the entire Ultimate Fighting Championship. He grew up hauling sand in the mines of his village at age 12 in Cameroon, left home at 22, eventually made his way to France, and found a gym and coach while still homeless wandering the streets of Paris. His coach, also from Cameroon, let him sleep in the gym, seeing potential in the soft-spoken young giant, and the rest is history.

What he recently explained in an interview on Sirius XM makes the story even wilder: he left his village without saying a word to anyone, simply because he couldn’t tell them where he was going!

It wasn’t exciting because I didn’t know where I was going! I didn’t have a map. I couldn’t even tell them goodbye, because when you say, ‘okay, I’m leaving’, the first question is ‘where are you going?’ and I couldn’t tell anybody where I am going, so I couldn’t say goodbye to nobody. I just go visit my family. I stayed with my mom in my village for like three weeks. I was, like, looking at them like sometime like, this might be the last time that I’m seeing them. Because, you know, some people go there and some never come back, they died.

Interviewer: Damn.

Basically I knew that if I tell them, no one will accept that. I always have crazy dream, they always saw me as very ambitious, like over high, and I was like, I’m not gonna tell them, they know that people go there and someone die..

Interviewers: What did you tell them?


Interviewer: You just disappeared?


After the flabbergasted hosts clarified that he really, truly left without saying a word, Ngannou said that his family didn’t know where he was for nearly three weeks.

I left, and after three weeks I called, and they were like, you were scaring us… I was like, no, I’m good, I’m in Morocco…

Ngannou most recently knocked out Cain Velasquez in the main event of the first UFC event on big ESPN, putting him on a two-fight win streak. His victory before that, a lightning finish of Curtis Blaydes, snapped a two-fight losing streak, in which he was outwrestled by Stipe Miocic and then dropped a lackluster decision to Derrick Lewis. His combination of size, athleticism, power, and timing make him a formidable opponent for anyone at heavyweight, and a win over, say, Junior dos Santos, could earn him another shot at the title.


Tony Evinger rocking the boom box

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And that’s how it’s done ppl.. @bumpboxx

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“A” for Alex Oliveira. Nice work by Rune King Gunnar Nelson

What is going on with PFL fighter Will Brooks these days? Just life.

Combat sports this weekend

Slips, Rips, KO Clips

The one good punch Darren Till landed on Stephen Thompson was pretty good

Jorge Masvidal on the backyard circuit

This was funny to me for some reason

The throws by the first kid are fine, but the slam by the second kid is egregious

Then adult version is the same except crazier

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Looks easy enough, why can’t you do it. J/k

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Slow-motion face smash

Random Land

Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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Midnight Mania! DC Won’t Fight, Will Beat Ngannou

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Daniel Cormier is very loyal to his teammates, and had to admit that Francis Ngannou’s knockout of his teammate and friend Cain Velasquez had him fired up to avenge the loss. However, Ngannou didn’t call him out, and he wasn’t about to commit to the matchup straightaway. Via MMAFighting.com:

“Every time you see something like that, the emotions tell you you go get it back, you go make it right,” an emotional Cormier said Sunday night on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “But Francis Ngannou, who didn’t ask for a fight, maybe later he will, and if that’s something we decide we want to do, then that’s what I’ll do.

“I won’t go fight Francis Ngannou,” Cormier emphasized. “I will beat Francis Ngannou.”

DC is currently out with injury. Moreover, Dana White has already said that he has another fight in mind for Daniel Cormier- most probably Brock Lesnar. However, if that fight were to fall through, Ngannou could very well find himself in the Octagon with the two-time Olympic wrestler. If that’s the case, Cormier better hope he has better success than his teammate. Cormier said watching it was difficult for him, especially as he wasn’t there in person to support his friend.

“I know how hard he trained,” DC said. “I know how well he prepared for this fight, and for it to end the way that it did was very unfortunate, was very hard to watch, I wasn’t able to get to Phoenix. It’s sad, it makes me very sad that I’m not there right now, that he lost in this way.”

He repeated what Cain said, that he seemed well-prepared but fell victim to an unforeseeable accident.

“He looked good,” Cormier said. “I thought he was ready to fight, and I felt like he was ready to win this fight. You just cannot control some of the things that happen. He hurt his knee. And obviously you’re fighting a big powerful guy like Francis, there’s no room for error.”

What fight would be best for Cormier next? Stipe Miocic has been calling for a rematch for a long time; Ngannou has two elite knockouts in a row now, and Brock Lesnar is waiting as the ultimate payday fight.


Jason Herzog refs with a tazer??

Alistair Overeem reflecting on that time his soul departed from his body for a while.

This fight was absolutely nuts

Okay, Kron

Paul Felder is the man. This is the stuff of legends.

I thought someone had photoshopped Aljamain Sterling’s head on Francis Ngannou’s body for a second, he’s looking jacked these days.

Speaking of Ngannou…

We just wanna party, party just for you

My favorite genre of martial arts teacher is the one that apparently thinks he is Quicksilver and can leisurely disarm people who have guns pointed at him.

Mads Burnell working on his boxing

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FYI: Lil Wayne stinker

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Stunning display of athleticism. Who says white men can’t jump?

Personally, I think they should do McGregor vs. Ferguson and Diaz vs. Cerrone 2, but what do I know?

Cain Velasquez offering to help out Francis Ngannou with his foundation in Africa is a fantastic show of solidarity.

That’s not surprising whatsoever

Badass from Rose Namajunas

For those who doubt.

Tatiana Suarez has the right idea.

This is somehow, true. Kron is the first of his name to win in the UFC in twenty-five years.

What a philosophy, to love that which kills you. Andre Fili is the man.

Random Land

That was close

The ever-changing permanence of the mighty oceans is a calming thought

Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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How To Watch ‘Ngannou Vs. Velasquez’ Tonight On ESPN!

The heavyweight action spills into the Octagon later tonight (Sun., Feb. 17, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 1 from inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, as former champion Cain Velasquez makes his long-awaited return against knockout artist and former title challenger Francis Ngannou.

In addition to the heavyweight main event, lightweight contenders James Vick and Paul Felder will square off in the co-headliner, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prodigy Kron Gracie will make his anticipated Octagon debut against veteran Alex Caceres, Cortney Casey will lock horns with Cynthia Calvillo in an important women’s strawweight affair, Aljamain Sterling will test his skill against bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera, and talented women’s flyweight contender Andrea Lee will make her return to the cage against battle-tested veteran Ashlee Evans-Smith.

Take a look below at UFC Phoenix’s complete fight card lineup and start times:

Main Card (ESPN)
9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT

Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
James Vick vs. Paul Felder
Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
Vicente Luque vs. Bryan Barberena
Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury

‘Prelims’ Undercard (ESPN)
7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT

Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
Benito Lopez vs. Manny Bermudez
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Andrea Lee
Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz

Early ‘Prelims’ Undercard (ESPN+)
5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT

Renan Barao vs. Luke Sanders
Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
Aleksandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire

Here are all the ways to catch the action:





  • Check out a list of sports bars and pubs near you that will most likely be showing tonight’s fights CLICK HERE.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 1 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, before the ESPN main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.

For much more on UFC on ESPN click here.

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Ngannou: ‘I’ve Been Through Hell To Be Here Today’

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title contender, Francis Ngannou, was heavily marketed by the promotion while “The Predator” was knocking out every fighter the matchmakers put in front of him.

Then it all came crashing down against a more well-rounded combatant in the form of Stipe Miocic, followed by a lame-duck performance opposite Derrick Lewis.

Because this is combat sports, which is no different than any other sport, the Cameroonian started hemorrhaging fans while UFC President, Dana White, buried him in the mixed martial arts (MMA) media, claiming Ngannou “completely lost his mind.”

Maybe the power-punching heavyweight doesn’t have a fighter’s mentality?

“Mentality is what brought me here,” Ngannou told the MMA media. “If I did not have that mentality, I could not have gone through what I went through. I was born and raised in Africa in a very poor family but I just have this mentality that I can’t give up. I’ve been through hell to be here today, so it’s all about fighting mentality. I have the ability to overcome that because I’ve been through worse than that, believe me when I say that.”

He’s fighting not only for himself, but also for the dreams of an entire country.

Ngannou was able to right the ship with a dominant performance against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Beijing back in November. No question a win over Cain Velasquez, long considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, would launch “The Predator” right back into title contention.

We’ll find out this Sunday night in Phoenix.

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Ngannou Releases Statement: ‘The Predator Is Back!’

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.

“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.

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Francis Ngannou Realistic About Standing in Heavyweight Division After UFC Beijing Win

Francis Ngannou went from being “The Next Big Thing” in the UFC to being labeled a bust in just a few short fights.
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UFC Fight Night 141 Bonuses: Ngannou, Li, Morono, Song Garner $50K

Francis Ngannou, Jingliang Li, Alex Morono and Kenan Song all received $ 50,000 bonuses for their work at UFC Fight Night 141 in Beijing.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Fight Night 141 Bonuses: Ngannou, Li, Morono, Song Garner $50K

Francis Ngannou, Jingliang Li, Alex Morono and Kenan Song all received $ 50,000 bonuses for their work at UFC Fight Night 141 in Beijing.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Fight Night 141 ‘Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

Sherdog’s live UFC Fight Night 141 coverage kicks off Saturday at 3:30 a.m. ET.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Fight Night 141 ‘Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

Sherdog’s live UFC Fight Night 141 coverage kicks off Saturday at 3:30 a.m. ET.
Recent News on Sherdog.com