Perhaps no man has quite had the same journey to UFC gold as Francis Ngannou.
The Cameroon native realised a long-held ambition on Saturday when he defeated Stipe Miocic in the second round of the UFC 260 main event to eek out a measure of revenge, completing his path from homeless refugee to one of the most famous figures in all of combat sports.
And the moment doesn’t seem to be lost on him, after he wrote an emotional note on Instagram to describe exactly what the world title means to him.
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“Here we are. CHAMP,” he wrote. “Finally got a hold of the belt and this is going to be for a while. This right here is more than a belt, but a symbol of hope and dedication, it shows how far you can go if you believe in you and doesn’t matter how far behind you are, doesn’t matter how many obstacles you meet along the road (and believe me they can be countless), you can overcome them and reach your goal because the only limit that you have is YOU and nothing else.
“I want to thank you (fans, family, etc…) all from the bottom of my heart for helping me carry on this dream even when I feel exhausted, for motivating me when I feel tired and to push me when I’m stuck. We’re all tied in this together and you can’t escape anymore.
“Thank you to my opponent Stipe Miocic for being a great champion, it was and will always been an honor to share and Octagon with you. Thank you to the guy behind the scenes @marquel_martin, my coaches @eric_xcmma @dcblackkobra for all the hard work and the sacrifice Thank you to my team @xcmma and to all my teammates. And last but not least one more thank you to my brother @usman84kg.“