Israel Adesanya Pays Tribute to Fellow African King Francis Ngannou
- Israel Adesanya saluted Francis Ngannou after the Cameroonian was released by the UFC
- Adesanya, Ngannou and Kamaru Usman were known as the Three Kings and all held titles
- Ngannous was released and stripped of his title after he failed to renegotiate a new contract
Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman and Francis Ngannou made history in the UFC, and formed a long-lasting friendship in the process.
Known as the Three African Kings of the UFC, Usman, Adesanya and Ngannou all held titles simultaneously in the company.
The Nigerian-born duo of Usman and Adesanya held the welterweight and middleweight titles respectively, while Cameroon’s Ngannou was the heavyweight champion.
While Usman and Adesanya lost their titles in 2022, Ngannou was stripped of his title following failed negotiations with the UFC over a new contract.
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Adesanya has now paid tribute to his friend and former colleague, encouraging fans to continue telling his story.
Taking to Instagram, The Last Stylebender shared a few photos of the Three African Kings together, paying tribute to The Predator in the process.
Usman, Adesanya and Ngannou were credited with igniting a renewed love for the sport in Africa, with Dana White also praising them during the height of their title reigns, the BBC reported.
"When Conor became champion in Ireland, it exploded in Europe and now with Usman, Adesanya, and Ngannou, it's exploding in Africa," he said at the time.
Ngannou stripped of UFC title
Francis 'The Predator' Ngannou is no longer the UFC heavyweight champion, Sports Brief has reported.
The Cameroon national has not fought in the Octagon since he defended the title against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022, Sports Brief reported.
Ngannou underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he sustained during the fight, and had been negotiating with the UFC during that time over a new contract.
The rise of Francis Ngannou
Ngannou is one of the most popular and feared fighters in the world, but the former UFC heavyweight titleholder didn't have the easiest road to get where he is.
Nicknamed The Predator, Ngannou was born in Batié in Cameroon, and grew up in poverty with no formal education, Sports Brief previously reported.
As he recalled in an interview with Joe Rogan, the fighter said he had to search for food in bins as a youngster, often 'fighting' with rats for the scraps.