On Saturday night, Francis “The Predator” Ngannou squares off against the
current UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, at UFC 260.
For a kid from Batie, Cameroon, locally referred to as “The Sand Village,”
that’s nothing short of incredible.
Growing up quick: At the age of 10, Ngannou
started working at the local sand
mines to support his single mom and grandmother while paying his way
through school. He idolized Mike Tyson, but was told he dreamed too big.
Francis didn’t agree.
After a stint in Cameroon’s capital of Douala, Ngannou moved to France to
focus on boxing full time.
On his first day living on the streets of Paris,
Ngannou did three things:
Learned where to eat
Learned where to sleep
Found a boxing gym
Francis was homeless in Paris for three months, bouncing between different
shelters whenever he wasn’t in a gym. But most gyms had limited hours and
were closed on holidays. In search of somewhere permanent, Francis came
across the MMA Factory. The owner, Fernand Lopez, became his manager and
introduced him to mixed martial arts.
Shortly after, Francis was dominating the French MMA scene. And, on his 29th
birthday, he received a contract with the UFC.
Fast forward: Ngannou is 15-3 in the UFC (one of
those losses is courtesy of Stipe back in 2018) and starting to hit his stride. In
his last four matches, he’s KO'd his opponent in 45, 26, 71, and 20 seconds.
That’s a grand total of less than three minutes to knock out four worldclass
Zoom out: Nine years since being homeless on the
streets of Paris, Francis Ngannou will fight in front of millions at UFC 260 with the chance to
become the world’s heavyweight champion.
As the NBA trade deadline (3:00 ET today) nears, several high profile
players like Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball, and Aaron Gordon may have played
their last games with their current teams.
(23-29) Dallas Mavericks 128 vs. (10-34) Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Edwards became the 5th teenager to average 25 points per
game over a 10 game span, joining LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony,
Luka Doncic, and Zion Williamson.
(15-29) Orlando Magic 112 vs. (29-14) Phoenix Suns 111
Evan Fournier’s game winning floater may have been his last as a
member of the Magic, and helped cool off the Suns.
College Basketball - Women's
Round of 32: #2 Texas A&M 84 vs. #7 Iowa State 82 - OT
Jordan Nixon’s (35 pts, 2 reb, 7 ast) buzzer-beater punched the
Aggie’s ticket to their third straight Sweet 16.
Round of 32: #2 Maryland 100 vs. #7 Alabama 64
The Terps showed their high powered offense, outscoring the Tide
30-9 in the first quarter en route to their seventh (!) game of 100+
(20-11-2) Pittsburgh Penguins 5 vs. (6-21-4) Buffalo Sabres 2
After losing their 15th game in a row, Buffalo fans are already
looking toward football season.
(12-20-3) Ottawa Senators 3 vs. (15-16-3) Calgary Flames 1
Ottawa is beginning to creep out of the NHL North Division basement
thanks to a sweep of the Flames, who have only scored two goals in
their last three games.
Portland Trail Blazers (25-8) vs. Miami Heat (22-22) - 7:30 ET on TNT
Philadelphia 76ers (31-13) vs. LA Lakers (28-16) - 10:00 ET on TNT
New York Rangers (14-13-4) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (15-12-4) - 7:00 ET on
Carolina Hurricanes (21-7-3) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-13-7) - 7:00 ET
New York Islanders (21-8-4) vs. Boston Bruins (16-8-4) - 7:00 ET
Tennis - Miami Open
2nd Round: #1 Ashleigh Barty vs. Kristína Kučová - 1:00 PM ET
2nd Round: #3 Simona Halep vs. Caroline Garcia - 5:00 ET
WATER COOLER TALK
🏈 Dan Snyder, one of football’s more controversial owners, decided to
out the Washington Football Team’s minority shareholders to own 100%
of the franchise and ensure his total control. Sorry, WFT.
🏈 Georgia wide receiver George Pickens tore
his ACL in practice. A rising junior, Pickens was widely viewed as
the best receiver in the country heading into the 2021 season.
🏈 Wide receiver Rondale Moore posted
a blazing 4.29 second forty-yard-dash time and a 42” vertical at
Purdue’s Pro Day.
🏀 An argument between the Raptors’ Pascal Siakam and coach Nick Nurse
had to be broken
up by teammates after a loss to the Cavaliers. The Raptors have lost
nine in a row.
⚾ The MLB is cracking
down on the use of foreign substances (like pine tar) by pitchers.
Another rule designed to promote a more offensive and exciting game.
A. Donald Cerrone, known as “The Cowboy,” has 23
wins in 36 bouts in the lightweight and welterweight divisions. That’s the
most wins in UFC history.