People on the east coast of North America like to complain about how Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events go way too late and it’s oh-so hard to stay up until past midnight to watch a main event. Meanwhile, there are kids in Africa staying up til 5:30 a.m. to get their UFC fixes.
Especially when it’s Cameroon and its man, Francis Ngannou, is fighting for the title.
If you were wondering what Ngannou’s hometown of Batie, Cameroon, looked like as Francis knocked Stipe Miocic out in the second round of their UFC 260 rematch, do we have a video for you. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we can now all take part in this amazing moment when Africa crowned its third UFC champion:
Much has been made of Ngannou’s voyage from 10-year-old digging in a sand pit to 34-year-old world champion, but a new wrinkle to it is the support he’s gotten from his fellow African champions along the way. Welterweight kingpin and Nigerian, Kamaru Usman, was a part of Ngannou’s training camp, helping him raise his wrestling skills to a new level and hammering home the new ethos of calm collection that has somehow made Ngannou even more terrifying in the cage.
Here’s how he celebrated:
And then there’s Middleweight champion and Nigerian Israel Adesanya, who shared his own reaction video of his New Zealand family watching Francis take the belt:
THRE KINGS!! ✨— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) March 28, 2021
We’re taking gold back to Africa!!— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) March 28, 2021
After the fight, Francis Ngannou shared the text message exchange he had with Adesanya and Usman.
“We just said ‘3,’” Ngannou said during UFC 260’s post-fight press conference. “Meaning three African champions. Coming in here I had that pressure on my shoulders, and I was afraid of letting them down since they were expecting me to become champion and join them as African champions in our own sort of association.”
As for what it means to carry the belt for Cameroon and Africa?
“It’s very important,” he said. “It’s hope. We stand as a hope for a whole continent when it comes to sport. We stand as a hope for all those Africans out there who don’t have a chance or opportunities. We just want to put them on the map. We want the UFC to go there and give an event in order to give them hope and something to believe in. And for those that are training, so they can have extra motivation knowing that training can someday end up somewhere.”
For complete UFC 260: “Miocic vs. Ngannou 2” results and play-by-play click HERE.