The UFC heavyweight division is always hurting for fresh, young talent. This is precisely why it’s been such a pleasure watching hulking, 6’4 Cameroonian-Frenchman Francis Ngannou rise through the division’s ranks. He is far and away the most exciting prospect in the division.
Despite the fact that he’s only been training in mixed martial arts for a few years, Ngannou has already shown us that he can strike. Six of his 10 wins, after all, have been induced by knockout or TKO. With four submission wins – most notably a bone-bending kimura defeat of Anthony Hamilton – we also know he has a respectable jiu jitsu arsenal. What we haven’t seen too much of from Ngannou, however, is wrestling – something that will be endlessly important in a division ruled by apex wrestlers like Stipe Miocic and Cain Velasquez.
It looks like we can expect to see plenty more of Ngannou’s wrestling in the future, as he’s been hard at work practicing the craft at the MMA Factory, his base of operations in Paris, France. See a quick clip of the rising heavyweight star drilling his wrestling at the top of this post.
It’s safe to say that, while Ngannou has thrived with the tools he already has, he is dedicated to evolving into a truly well-rounded mixed martial artist – a frightening thought for his heavyweight peers.
Since joining the UFC in December of 2015, Ngannou has gone 5-0, taking out Luis Henrique, Curtis Blaydes, Bojan Mihajlovic, Anthony Hamilton, and most recently, former champ Andrei Arlovski, who he put down with a first-round knockout. He’s 10-1 in sum.
Who do you want to see Francis Ngannou take on next? Sound off in the comments, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/11/2017.