Francis Ngannou enters his boxing match with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury as one of the most respected names in modern MMA.
The French-Cameroonian superstar was the UFC heavyweight champion before leaving the promotion to become a marquee signing for the Professional Fighters League.
As you might expect for a man who worked his way up to win a title, Ngannou has racked up plenty of wins during his MMA career – but has he ever been beaten?
The Sporting News takes a look at whether the 37-year-old has ever seen his opponent’s arm raised and takes a look at his record.
WATCH: Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou live, exclusively on ESPN+
Ngannou’s arduous path to becoming a professional fighter led him to a successful debut in November 2013, when he beat Rachid Benzina by submission in the first round in Paris, where he was based.
Like many fighters who went on to become greats, though, Ngannou did suffer an early defeat: the more experienced, then-unbeaten Zoumana Cisse beat him by unanimous decision in the French capital two weeks after Ngannou’s first win.
Ten wins in under four years followed for Ngannou, starting with two first-round victories on the same night. He moved to the US to make his debut for the UFC in the fifth of those bouts, and the last of them was a first-round knockout win over the teak-tough Alistair Overeem in a title eliminator at UFC 218 in December 2017.
Canny champion Stipe Miocic beat Ngannou convincingly on points in his next fight, and he was defeated again in a non-title fight with Derreck Lewis six months later.
Ngannou’s powers of resilience and recovery have never been in doubt and he proved them again by winning Performance of the Night in three of his next four fights, all of which were victories.
That set him up for a revenge shot at Miocic in 2021 when Ngannou won the heavyweight title for the first time with a second-round knockout. His successful defence against Ciryl Gane the following year was his final fight for the UFC.
WATCH: Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, exclusively live on DAZN
‘The Predator’ has a 17-3 record with 12 wins via knockout.
At 22, Ngannou started training in boxing, and at 26, he met Fernand Lopez and MMA Factory while in France. From there, his transition to an MMA star began.
His six-fight initial win streak in the UFC included victories over the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Andrei Arlovski, and Alistair Overeem.
Needing a big win to prove detractors wrong after those successive points defeats, Ngannou’s four straight wins saw off Blaydes again, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, all via knockout.
MORE: Breaking down the purse and salary history of PFL fighters
Ngannou suffered from knee injuries around his title win and subsequent defence. He was recovering from knee surgery after his most recent MMA fight, and the UFC couldn’t come to terms on a new contract.
Negotiations during contract talks included requests for health insurance, sponsorships for UFC fighters, and an advocate present for contract negotiations. Denied those requests, Ngannou became an unrestricted free agent and was stripped of the belt.
Talking with Tyson Fury about a boxing bout, ONE FC, and other entities in combat sports, Ngannou chose to sign with the PFL.
Ngannou will face the WBC heavyweight champion on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The fight dates back to when Ngannou, under a UFC contract at the time, appeared in a boxing ring for what was meant to be Fury’s retirement fight in April 2022 against Dillian Whyte.
MORE: What you need to know (so far) about Fury vs. Ngannou
“I’ve been waiting to meet Tyson in the ring for the past three years,” said Ngannou. “My dream was always to box and to box the best.
“After becoming the undisputed MMA Heavyweight Champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet.
“I’d like to thank Riyadh Season and my team at 3Point0 Labs for helping put this event together. All I will say to Tyson for now is he better dance in that ring because if I touch him, he’s going to sleep.”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ngannou is worth approximately $5-$7 million, with career earnings of about $2.7 million.
One of the most dynamic MMA fighters, Ngannou has a large social media following:
Ngannou formed the Francis Ngannou Foundation six years ago.
The goal, per the website, is “to reach extremely low-income, underserved and vulnerable populations, marginalized communities, causes and geographical locations often overlooked by mainstream philanthropy in Cameroon and Africa.”