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From Poverty to Power: Francis Ngannou's Inspirational Journey to UFC Glory

The UFC champion grew up with nothing—no home, no education, and no support.
Cover Image Source: Francis Ngannou | Instagram | @francisngannou
Cover Image Source: Francis Ngannou | Instagram | @francisngannou

Francis Ngannou's journey from a difficult childhood in Cameroon to becoming the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion is nothing short of remarkable. In a recent interview with Achievers Exclusive, he delves into the significance of combat sports, addressing the realities of pain, resilience, failure, and success.

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A post shared by Francis Ngannou (@francisngannou)


Ngannou ranked as having the hardest punch in the world, shared insights into his tumultuous upbringing and the pivotal moments that shaped his path to success. One of the key takeaways from his interview is his acknowledgment of the hardships he endured during his formative years.

"A lot of people out there, who have never fought in their lives, are dealing with mental pain, and that’s a real killer, causing depression and heart attacks. I would rather have physical pain than mental pain," he stated.

Growing up without inadequate resources and facing social alienation fueled his determination to prove his worth. He recognized early on that while he couldn't change his circumstances, he could control his actions and work tirelessly towards his goals. 

"My past helped me a lot, my past was tough. You build your strength from the challenges you have and the challenges you overcome. If you overcame that past challenge, you will overcome this new one. You find your motivation from your past," he added.

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A post shared by Francis Ngannou (@francisngannou)


From being detained by immigration authorities to experiencing homelessness in a foreign land, he faced numerous challenges along the way. However, it was his unwavering belief in the possibility of a better future that propelled him forward. "If you fail many times in life, it can be frustrating, but if you look differently at that, you can see that if you fail many times, you get up many times," he remarked.

In the interview, Ngannou acknowledges the role played by mentors and supporters who guided him along the way. From gaining access to a gym to receiving training from seasoned professionals like Fernand Lopez, his success was buoyed by the collective wisdom and support of others. 

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A post shared by Francis Ngannou (@francisngannou)


Despite reaching the pinnacle of his career as a UFC Champion, Ngannou remains committed to continuous improvement. His resilience in the face of setbacks, such as his loss to Stipe Miocic in 2018, exemplifies his unwavering determination to evolve and adapt. "Success is great, but even without it, I’ll be fine. I don’t want my success to define me. I want people to see me without all that – success comes and goes, and without it, I am still who I am," Ngannou stated.

Beyond his achievements in the octagon, the athlete provides support to children in Cameroon, offering them the opportunity to pursue their dreams and aspirations. "The purpose is not collecting things…I want to allow children like me who dream of this sport. Even when they are so poor, something is possible in life. It’s so hard, but it’s possible," he said.


"I hope people remember me as a man who lived a happy life, as a warrior, as someone who would never give up. That’s all that matters," Ngannou said. He advises people, saying, "Never give up, never have regrets, give everything you've got, never back down in front of obstacles, and always keep going, no matter what."