Francis Ngannou may have a young career, but the legacy he carries with him is old and one of high rank.
In France, where he began in MMA, contact sports found a comfortable home and are now tradition.
Ngannou, who comes from defeating the former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski last January by TKO in the first round, wants to extend that tradition, even to Cameroon, his country of origin.
Interestingly, Detroit, the city where at UFC 218 he faces the experienced and dangerous Alistair Overeem — who drags himself another important European contact sports tradition: Netherlands — has a French origin.
The name Detroit was given by the French colonizers at the beginning of the 18th century. “Le détroit du lac Éiré” (the strait of lake Éiré) and also called “Citat D’etroit” (Narrow City), would simplify its name to “Detroit” when in 1760 the British took control.