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Francis Ngannou: Ex-UFC champion’s son dies

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has paid tribute to his son, Kobe, following his death at 15 months old.

The MMA fighter, who has become a professional boxer, posted a statement confirming his loss on X, formerly Twitter.

“Too soon to leave but yet he’s gone,” wrote Ngannou. “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.”


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A post shared by Francis Ngannou (@francisngannou)

Ngannou’s coach, Eric Nicksick, asked fans to “keep Francis and his family in your heart.”

The circumstances of Ngannou’s son’s death are unknown.

Cameroonian Ngannou is a hero in his homeland and renowned across the world for his fighting ability and an extraordinary life journey which included an arduous and daring journey from Africa to seek asylum in Europe.

Ngannou established himself in France and rose to become a huge star for the world’s best-known MMA promotion.

The charismatic 37-year-old joined the Professional Fighters League after leaving the UFC in 2023 and hopes to work with the promotion to create a major tournament in Africa.

A former budding boxer, Ngannou entered the top level of the sport in impressive style later that year, knocking down unbeaten world champion Tyson Fury before only losing on points in a fight few had given him a chance of competing in.

He suffered a second-round knockout defeat to one of Fury’s rivals, Anthony Joshua, in March.

Fellow cage fighter Conor McGregor, who is a father of four, was quick to offer his condolences.

Joshua also wrote in Instagram: “May the memories you shared bring you comfort.”

Other boxers also lent their support to the Cameroonian.

Tony Bellow wrote: “No parent should have to endure this pain. So, so sorry for your loss.”

Manny Pacquiao added: “I’m sorry brother. Can’t imagine the pain and struggle you are going through. Praying for you and your family right now!”

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