Francis Ngannou recounts journey from “sleeping outside in the woods” of Morocco to fighting for the UFC

Top UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou has opened up on the turbulent journey that led him to the bright lights of the Octagon.

Ngannou, a native of Cameroon, emigrated to Paris, France before making transitioning into MMA. His journey from the Central African country Europe was not easy.

“This was in December 2012 I was still in Tangier, Morocco trying to find my way out to Europe,” Ngannou wrote in the first of two Tweets on the subject. “I was sleeping outside in the woods and I had nothing but the clothes I am wearing here. But I had dreams and confidence.

“Those have been my greatest assets which led me from where I was 8 years ago to where I’m today,” Ngannou added. “Never let anyone take your dreams and confidence from you or tell you you can’t make it or you couldn’t make it without them.”

Francis Ngannou has transformed the dreams of his youth into a reputation as one of the most dangerous heavyweights in MMA history. At present, he’s riding a string of knockout wins over Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik—all in less than three minutes combined. He’s expected to get the next crack at UFC heavyweight champion, most likely in March.

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