UFC on Fox 17 Newcomer Breakdown – Francis Ngannou

francis-ngannouPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at heavyweight Francis Ngannou as he takes on fellow UFC debutant Luis Henrique at the UFC on Fox 17 in Orlando, Florida. Francis Ngannou Hometown: Batie, Cameroon Age: 29 Height: 6’4” Reach: N/A Weight: 250 lbs. Weight Class: Heavyweight Camp: Crossfight Career Record: 5-1 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background The Frenchman comes out of one of Europe’s fast developing gyms, Crossfight. The 5-1 heavyweight has been fighting professionally for two years. He’s fought exclusively regional competition having never faced a former UFC fighter. Strengths

  • Great physique for heavyweight
  • Explosive athlete
  • Has an underrated submission game
  • Decent chin
  • Good footwork


  • MMA novice with only two years of pro fighting experience
  • Not a naturally powerful boxer
  • Defensive wrestling is a question mark
  • Questionable off his back
  • Conditioning is an unknown



  Matchup with Luiz Henrique This is an interesting fight between two actual prospects. Both fighters are under 30 years of age with Henrique especially young at just 21 years old. The main difference between these two fighters is size. Ngannou is a hulking 250 pounds, while Henrique has fought at light heavyweight for almost his entire career. On the feet, speed and foot movement looks relatively similar despite the significant size difference. Henrique needs to get the fight to the ground to have much of a chance. He’s certainly the better offensive wrestler, but will he have success taking down the much bigger fighter? I don’t think so. As a slight underdog, I favor Ngannou based on his physical advantages and being able to outmuscle and overpower his opponent. There are quite a few unknowns in this bout, but a small play on Ngannou is certainly worth consideration. UFC Ceiling Francis Ngannou is a really interesting prospect. His athleticism ranks near the top of the division. If MMA was just speed and movement, he’d be an instantaneous contender. However, he’s very green at this point, having only been fighting two years professionally. He has some decent fundamentals such as footwork, good ground and pound, and a developing submission game. Given the lack of fights, it’s hard to gauge just how good he is out of the gates, but given time and skill development, he certainly could have a bright future in the sport. It’s too early to tell, but he’s certainly one to watch. Fight Film Check out Francis Ngannou in one of his most recent fights:   Francis Ngannou vs. William Baldutti Francis Ngannou vs. Luc Ngeleka

Written by Jay Primetown

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