Francis Ngannou was born and grew up in the village of Batié, Cameroon. While he was growing up, he spent his days in poverty and had little to no education. Francis Ngannou had a sad childhood because his parents got divorced when he was just 12 years old. He was thus sent to live with his aunt where he started working in a sand quarry in Batie because the funds that they had were not sufficient.
While he was young, he was approached by many team members of the gang to join their group but Francis Ngannou kept refusing the offer, and instead, he decided to use this and his father’s bad reputation as a street fighter as a form of motivation to do something huge and positive and at the end, pursued boxing.
At the age of 22, Francis Ngannou began his training for boxing even though his family was not all for it. After a year, Francis Ngannou caught up with some kind of illness and had to stop his training. He did various kinds of jobs to make his ends meet but at the age of 26, he decided it wasn’t enough. He immediately packed his bags and moved to Paris, France where he pursued professional boxing.
Francis Ngannou is considered one of the scariest UFC fighters with his 6 feet 4 inches tall frame. He does not believe in losing weight. Thus, what Francis Ngannou weighs in the cage is usually what he is in real life too. In his last fight, Francis Ngannou weighed 255 pounds!
His incredible physique is the result of his situation in childhood which forced him to work as a manual laborer. When he moved to France to pursue professional boxing. He led a homeless life there too, working odd jobs. But despite these problems, Francis Ngannou has always worked hard for his body to become a famous wrestler someday. According to Francis Ngannou, he does not do anything special and eats and train normally.
Before we dig into the workout routine and diet plan of this famous and somewhat bulky wrestler, here are some statistics of Francis Ngannou.
Francis Ngannou Statistics
- Height: 6 feet 4 inches or 1.93 m
- Weight: 170 pounds or 118kgs
- Date of Birth: 5 September 1986
- Age: 33 years
- Team: Xtreme Couture
- Nickname: The Predator
Francis Ngannou Workout Routine
Honestly saying, it is quite interesting to see how Francis Ngannou was actually motivated for his workouts and physique. It was due to a movie! This movie played an important part in his life and helped him gain strength and courage and move on in life. He says,
“I was hung up on the movie 300 for years after I first saw it. Nothing was going well for me in Batié, Cameroon, at the time. I was 22 and had been working since I was 12 — first in the sand quarry, picking at rocks with a crowbar and pushing wheelbarrows of pebbles up a steep hill. But no matter how hard I worked, or how many hours I put in, at the end of the day I could barely feed myself.”
He explains that he was lost and without any confidence but the movie helped him gain his lost courage back. He knew he wanted to be a boxer all his life but he did not have the courage. He recalls,
“I was 22 the first time I ever put on gloves, and once I put them on, I knew that I was destined to be a professional fighter. But I also knew that I had no money — and that meant I had zero opportunity. I didn’t know how to begin to find a way out. But then I saw 300 — the movie about 300 Spartan warriors holding their ground against a 300,000-strong army. That first time, it was almost like a spiritual experience. Nothing would ever be the same for me after that.”
Although it is hard to believe that he got inspired from just a movie, but in life, according to him, little things can teach a lot about stuff. He says, “Yes, it’s just a movie, I know that. But it still taught me something very important: If you are fighting against the odds, you must believe you are going to win. That’s it.”
The movie really helped him pick himself up to where he lost the direction. He states, “That single thought became very important to me. It helped me to focus when I felt lost. It gave me energy when I was tired. It woke something up inside of me. It motivated me more than anything else I ever had seen before.”
But he trained quite hard despite his situation and always remained persistent with his work. He saved each penny to invest in his career as a boxer and finally moved to Paris to join the training. All he ever wanted was a gym where he could train even harder and come to a step closer to his dream. He describes the experience saying, “And that’s what I did. I trained — as often as I could when I wasn’t working. Just on my own, with guys from the neighborhood or by myself. For months I saved every penny I earned until I could afford a one-way ticket to Paris. Not the Paris you see in the movies. Not food. Not romance. Not heaven. I didn’t want heaven. Not even close. I just wanted a gym. A place to belong. And I wanted to train because the only thing that mattered to me was becoming a champion. And so I went to France. Alone.”
After he reached Paris he was rendered homeless again but he made some time out to hit the gym during the day. He recalls, “For three months, I was homeless. For three months, I trained at any gym I could get into during the day and spent the night alone on the streets.”
But luck shined through him and he actually befriended an owner of a gym where he used to train. He even let him sleep inside the gym. He speaks about the owner saying, “I eventually became friends with the owner of one of the gyms I used to train at. His name was Ferdinand. At first, I asked him if I could leave my bag and gloves in the gym overnight because I knew they weren’t safe outside. After he found out I had nowhere to go, he was nice enough to let me sleep inside.”
For some motivation, he switched to Youtube, where he saw the fights of Mike Tyson and alike. He was his biggest inspiration and Francis Ngannou wanted to be like him! He reveals, “I also used to watch clips of all the best Mike Tyson fights on Youtube since I was too young to have seen him in his prime. I would watch and marvel at his speed and strength, and I would always try to see what I could learn from the way he moved. Even if the quality of the videos wasn’t always so good.”
But to reach the path of success, one does not only needs hard work and persistence but also obsession towards their goal. It is exactly what was the case with Francis Ngannou himself. He says, “I come from nothing. I worked every day to get where I am, but I know there are so many others who will never be as lucky as me, who will never be able to come as far as I’ve come. Success for me would be a success for them, and now I am obsessed with it.”
For him, it is never about winning or losing but about learning and becoming better. All he wants to do is evolve as a human being in every aspect of his life and every game that he has played. He says,
“I have made it too far to care about the odds anymore. I know that win or lose, I will continue to succeed.
I come from nothing, but that is not me anymore. Now I am somebody.
And I am ready to fight — and to keep fighting.”
And it definitely feels like Francis Ngannou is going to work harder than he has before for his forthcoming games.
“The difference between the Francis Ngannou of a few years ago and the Francis Ngannou of today is like some student who goes from middle school to college,” said fighter’s inspiration, Mike Tyson.
Francis Ngannou was a novice and did not have much knowledge about the benefits of a proper diet and a great workout. He was pretty oblivious and did not what a good diet and workout can do to the body. Ever since he has realized the importance, he has constantly worked on it to improve his fights.
The results as soon as he put in efforts were quite apparent. He put in some serious efforts and all his fights henceforth are evidence enough to notice a huge difference.
Francis Ngannou Diet Plan
Just like his workout routine, Francis Ngannou’s diet plan has not been revealed but just like other MMA fighters, he has some foods that he makes sure he includes in his diet. In the article below, we have combined all the food articles and made a sample diet for Francis Ngannou.
This is easy to follow the example of the daily meal diet using the Primal Diet. It was actually being designed by some influential health and wellness experts like Mark Sisson. This kind of diet has been assured to provide many health benefits to both the fighters and people who are in the gym.
- Meal 1: Healthy Carb
- Meal 2: Low on carbs
- Meal 3: Low on carbs
- Meal 4: (Post-Workout Nutrition)
- Meal 5: Protein + Carbs
A Sample MMA Diet Meal Plan
MEAL 1: Whole-grain cereal with nuts
- Whole-grain cereal
- Glass of milk
- Topped with raisins and nuts
MEAL 2: Chocolate/Cacao Green Smoothie
- 3 tablespoon chocolate protein powder or cacao powder
- 2 frozen bananas
- Bunch of Kale
- Handful Dates & Almond soaked overnight.
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2–3 cups of water
MEAL 3: Lettuce Satay Tofu Burger
- 1 shredded Iceberg Lettuce
- 200 g Organic grilled Tofu with Satay/226 g chicken breast
- 2 slices tomato
- Pan-fried onion slices
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 slice of swiss cheese
- 2 cups frozen peas
MEAL 4: Post Workout Nutrition
A post-workout meal would basically be a combination of protein and carbs. Proteins are important to build muscles while carbs are important to refuel the body after a grueling session.
MEAL 5: Grilled Tempeh with Spinach, Capsicum & Brown Rice
- 170 g Tempeh / 200 g scallops/ 150 g Roasted Tofu/ Chickpeas
- ¼ cup of brown rice
- 4 cups spinach
- ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 1 cup roasted Capsicum
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
This sample meal will help provide Francis Ngannou with all kinds of nutrients and health benefits considering the daily activity and lifestyle of the fighter.
In any case, if you are looking for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you can make some changes with the Francis Ngannou and replace the meat options with vegetarian options or vegan options.
Pre & post-workout nutrition-
You must fuel your body with some good quality protein and carbs for the best kind of recovery.
The pre-workout diet should be composed of light and easy-to-digest foods that consist of whole proteins and carbs for strength and refueling your body. Some UFC Champions like Georges St-Pierre follow a simple rule of having half a protein bar before his workouts which works just fine. Many also drink a protein shake.
In a series of events where Francis Ngannou was praised for his hard work, Dwayne The Rock Johnson joked and said, “Francis Ngannou, let me tell you something, brother – you ain’t ready for me.” He further added, “I respect and love this guy so much. He is one of the top heavyweights in MMA, and in the world, and he is a dominant beast of a man. I can’t wait to see him fight again,” to show his respect and admiration for how far Francis Ngannou has come in his field.
It was even more flattering when Johnson said, “I’ve been following your career, Francis, so thank you for saying that, saying that I was your inspiration,” he added. “I wish you nothing but the best. I hear really cool things about you, and I look forward to seeing you and seeing you fight again.”
With so much appreciation from Dwayne Johnson, it is needless to say that Francis Ngannou has come off far in his career since he was 22 and came to Paris.
That was all about Francis Ngannou’s workout routine and his diet plan.