UFC 270: Francis Ngannou dreams of fighting in Africa with Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman

  • Tom Ward
Francis Ngannou dreams of fighting in Africa with Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman

Francis Ngannou said it is a ‘big dream’ of his to fight in Africa alongside Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman one day. 

Ngannou, 35, is set to face Ciryl Gane at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday night, for the UFC heavyweight title. 

The UFC heavyweight champion enters the bout against Gane – who beat Derrick Lewis in 2021 – off the back of a career-best performance against Stipe Miocic.

Despite the growing popularity of the sport, the UFC is yet to host an event on the African continent, but Ngannou says they’ll do it anyway – without or without their help. 

He told the Daily Mail: “It is a big dream [of mine].

“Very hard to happen at this point but you know, with time we’ll figure out a way to make it happen, to fight for our people.

“It is very important for each of us, and yes, with the UFC preferably but even without the UFC, that’s going to happen.”

Francis Ngannou is the current UFC heavyweight champion of the world

Having avenged his defeat to Miocic in 2019, Ngannou now faces Gane in Anaheim on Saturday. 

Perhaps learning from his past mistake, ‘The Predator’ is refusing to look too far past his next challenge in California.

Ngannou added: “It doesn’t change my mentality very much, yes I am the champion but when I look at a fight, I don’t care about being a champion.”

“I just care about being a better fighter and that has been my goal for a very long time, my approach to the fight.

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Francis Ngannou

Where was Francis Ngannou born?

“I go to the fight to be the dominant one, not looking at the title or whatever it is.

“At the end of the day, without the belt you’re still another fighter, if there is an imbalance in that, you will make a mistake somewhere.”

Speaking to The Bill Simmons Podcast last year, UFC president Dana White revealed the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion is planning on putting on a show in Africa in 2022.  

He said: “One of the cool things is right now we have three Africans: Francis Ngannou, Usman and Israel Adesanya.

“One of the many monumental times in my career, but one of the things that I’ve always wanted to do is have a fight in Africa.

“The Ali-Foreman ‘Rumble in the Jungle,’ all that stuff I remember growing up, I haven’t had mine yet.

“But it’s coming. We’re looking Africa in 2022, so I’m really looking forward to that.”

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