The hot topic of December so far has been Francis Ngannou’s crazy knockout against Alistair Overeem. After his impressive UFC 218 performance, Nagnnou has earned his title fight…

Before UFC 218, Francis Ngannou was being talked up as the next big thing at heavyweight. With the champion remaining inactive for the second half of 2017 due to contract negotiations, all eyes were on ‘The Predator’ and Alistair Overeem.

Having lost to current boss Miocic already, ‘The Reem’ was hoping to get a second crack at the title. Ngannou, a relatively fresh face in the division, was hoping to claim his biggest scalp to date.

When they met in the octagon, it was ‘The Predator’ who led the dance. Overeem, for all his skill and experience, was simply along for the ride. That ride would end suddenly and in brutal fashion in the opening round.

Ngannou uncorked a left uppercut that damn-near separated Reem’s head from his body.

Francis Ngannou decimated Alistair Overeem at UFC 218…

The New Guy

With his win over Overeem in Detroit, Ngannou found a surge in popularity. The until-recently homeless and struggling Ngannou’s rags-to-riches tale was unfolding in front of our eyes.

Prior to Ngannou’s win in Motor City, UFC president Dana White had marked the winner as the next title contender. Now the dust has settled on UFC 218, it’s been confirmed that Miocic vs. Ngannou takes place in January 2018:

Stipe Miocic could break the heavyweight championship curse, but he has to get through Francis Ngannou first. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Miocic vs. Ngannou Official For UFC 220

Joining Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir, Miocic looks to extend his title defense streak against Ngannou. With the addition of the heavy and light-heavyweight title fights, this is how UFC 220 in Boston on January 20 is looking:

    • Champ Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannouo – for heavyweight title
    • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan  Oezdemir – for light heavyweight title
    • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau
    • Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
    • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
    • Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar
    • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis

If you didn’t like Ngannou enough already, here he is talking about his life in poverty and journey so far, from Wikipedia:

“When I started, I had nothing. Nothing. I needed everything. But when you start [to earn money], you starting collecting things: I want this, I want this, I want that. The purpose is not collecting things, though. The purpose is to do something great. Finish the dream you started.

I want to help my family, first, of course, but then I want to give opportunity to children in my country like me who have a dream to become a doctor or something. If I reach my dream, it will give me the opportunity to help those in my country who have their own dreams and nothing else to fulfill them.

I want to give some opportunity for children like me who dream of this sport and don’t have an opportunity like me. The last time I was in Cameroon, I brought a lot of materials for boxing and MMA to open a gym. Now I just bought a big space to start the gym, as well. A lot of children now in Cameroon, because of me, they have a dream. They say, ‘I will be a champion in MMA, I will do boxing like Francis,’ because they saw me when I was young. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have any opportunity. And today, they see me, and they are dreaming. They are thinking that something is possible. Even when they are so poor, something is possible in life. … It’s not easy. It’s so hard, but it’s possible.”

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