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The combat sports community is in collective mourning today after the death was announced on Monday of Francis Ngannou’s 15-month old son Kobe. 

Earlier on Monday, a local outlet in Ngannou’s native Cameroon reported the tragic news which was later confirmed by Ngannou in a sequence of posts to social media.

“Too soon to leave but yet he’s gone,” Ngannou wrote. “My little boy, my mate, my partner Kobe was full of life and joy. Now, he’s laying without life. I shouted his name over and over but he’s not responding. I was my best self next to him and now I have no clue of who I am. Life is so unfair to hit us where it hurts the most.

“How do you deal with such a thing? How can you live with it? Please help me if you have an idea because I really don’t know what to do and how to deal with this.”

Ngannou’s trainer, Eric Nicksick added separately: “Words can’t express the pain we all feel for the Ngannou family during this time. Please keep Francis and his family in your heart, and may this be a reminder of the fragility of life. Say ‘I love you’ more often, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”

Several prominent figures from within mixed martial arts and boxing have also offered their condolences online.

“I am so sorry to hear of your loss Francis, my prayers are with you and your family at this time,” Conor McGregor wrote in a post to X (formerly Twitter) soon after Ngannou’s initial message. McGregor added again several hours later: “Absolutely gutted reading this Francis! I can only imagine the pain you are in right now I am so sorry hearing this news. I pray God has the best and safest place in heaven for him, until you meet again.”