Beyond The Octagon Miocic and Ngannou

Miocic and Ngannou

Who is the baddest man on the planet? This Saturday that question will be answered when Miocic vs Ngannou 2 goes down at UFC 260. Francis Ngannou has been the most dangerous man on the planet for the past few years. However, Stipe Miocic has been the baddest. When you step into the cage you need to be willing to risk it all but this is different. This is a battle between two immovable objects, two world-class athletes, and they are willing to do whatever it takes. Miocic and Ngannou are two fighters with two incredible stories.

Ngannou’s Story

Each fighter has their own story of how they got to where they are today and this matchup is no different. First, we have the challenger Francis Ngannou. Ngannou worked in a sand mine when he was 10-years-old till the age of 17. It was work that was made for adults but a young Ngannou had to do whatever it took to get by. Ngannou had to be an adult his entire life. He grew up without having a childhood but that’s just the start of Ngannou’s journey.

Ngannou Immigrates to Europe

Living below the bread line Ngannou knew he had to get out of Cameroon. At 26-years-old Ngannou made his way to France to pursue a career in professional boxing. Francis had to go through a nightmare before he could even think about dreaming. He left for Europe without saying goodbye to his family because he did not want to tell them where he was going. He did not know if he was going to survive. Francis lived in the forest of Morocco eating from trash trucks. He had to avoid the police because they would take you and dump you in the desert. Unfortunately for Ngannou, this happened many times.

Ngannou rendered scars from the barbed wire of Melilla and says he will never forget them because he has scars everywhere. This is in reference to the fence you have to jump in order to get from Africa to Europe. He then tried to board a rubber boat and paddle by hand from Melilla to Spain. It took Francis a total of seven attempts and 40 months to finally make it to Spain. When he did finally make it to Europe he was rewarded with jail time for illegal immigration. After two months he was freed but was homeless in Spain and knew no one.

Ngannou Makes it to France

Francis then went to France to live in the homeless shelters there. He hated the shelters and felt like an outsider so began to sleep in a parking garage. In this parking garage is the first time Ngannou felt free. He didn’t worry about getting thrown in a dessert or not making it to Europe he was truly happy. Most people would say Ngannou had nothing but he would tell you he had the most important thing of all happiness.

You can not tell me Francis Ngannou lost to Stipe Miocic and can’t come back. Ngannou has been to the depth of hell and comes back swinging. Losing to Miocic was nothing for Francis.  Francis comes from a kid with nothing to a kid with nothing. Yet he pushes forward he doesn’t give up. This is the story of a man who will do whatever it takes to survive. Now Ngannou will look to do whatever it takes to make his dream come true. Francis Ngannou dreamed of being a world champion back in the sand mines of Cameroon at 10-years-old. Saturday he can make that a reality.

Stipe’s Story

Stipe Miocic’s story is not one of heartbreak but is as American as the Fourth of July. Last Friday Stipe completed the last shift of his job outside of the octagon. Stipe Miocic is a firefighter in his home city of Cleveland Ohio. Every time a fighter steps into the octagon they are forced to face the harsh reality that they could become seriously injured or worse. Stipe Miocic faces that 365 days a year.

Miocic is a hero to many for his performances inside the cage. However, the 38-year-old son of Croatian immigrants is an everyday hero as a firefighter. Stipe has even told Joe Rogan that he thinks he will become a full-time firefighter when his career is over in MMA.

Stipe Miocic’s Childhood

A young Stipe Miocic had a dream of being a professional athlete. Although, it was not the dream of becoming a professional fighter like Francis Ngannou. Miocic wanted to grow up to become a professional baseball player. At a young age, Stipe’s parents divorced and Stipe lived with his mom. His mother wanted him to be extremely involved in sports and he turned out to be extremely talented at them.

Stipe Miocic grew up to be a dual collegiate athlete. He played college baseball and was a division one college wrestler. With his wrestling background, he began to train in mixed martial arts. However, Stipe made the change to boxing and became the Cleveland Golden Gloves boxing champion. Miocic even went on to finish fourth in nationals. After Stipe made the switch back to MMA and won his first six fights by knockout. Miocic would go on to become the heavyweight champion of his small Ohio-based MMA promotion. After going 6-0 with six knockouts and becoming the champ Miocic got the call from the UFC.

Miocic GOAT Status

Stipe Miocic has gone 17-3 inside the UFC octagon which is absolutely amazing considering he has had all his fights inside the heavyweight division. On his path to defending the heavyweight strap more than anyone in history, Stipe has racked up record after record. Stipe has the most consecutive UFC heavyweight title defenses, most UFC heavyweight title defenses, and is tied with Randy Couture for most wins in UFC heavyweight title fights.

Miocic and Ngannou are going to battle for the title of baddest man on the planet. Will Stipe Miocic continue to write his story as the greatest heavyweight of all time? Or will Francis Ngannou put a storybook ending on a story about a young kid with nothing in the sand mines of Cameroon but a dream? Miocic and Ngannou are both heroes win, lose, or draw.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. You can find my work here at and follow me on Twitter @jackgotsell. Also, I can be found on the Tarps Off MMA podcast and Get The Puck Out podcast on the Tarps Off Sports YouTube channel. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments we are an interactive sports site that takes pride in interacting with our readers. 

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