Francis Ngannou details torturous escape from Africa: ‘I try six times,I fail six times. Then the seventh time, I succeeded.’

Francis Ngannou has one of the most compelling life stories out of everyone on the UFC roster.

The Cameroonian athlete had a long journey just to get to a place when he could even verbalize his ambitions in sports.

Ngannou’s strong will is tested even today. The Heavyweight champion is locked in a mean battle with he UFC brass over the fact he’s determined to use the sunset clause in order to become a free agent and secure a major payday for himself in boxing.

But in order to get to this position where he can negotiate with the biggest promotion in MMA, Ngannou endured real hardship.

“ December 2012. And then that was the first time that I was a kind of like a captain. Those key they weren’t like, convinced the product to buy a boat and bring it and I was a captain because I’ve been there so many times.”

“But we paddle about like three hours. So we were sure that we made it, that we get a rescue rescue by Red Cross or something. And there wasn’t a code, Coast Guard anymore. There was the ship for Moroccan army, they were going from somewhere, I don’t know, big ship, though.”

“I don’t know where they were coming from and where they were going to. But they were behind us the past us. And then like, go, go ahead, and then turn on come in front of us. So with that big ship in front of you like this, you don’t know if you don’t even know where you were going.”

“They didn’t do that. But that’s how you feel. You feel that pressure? Like, okay, I’m done, guys. If you want to send me back, send me back now, but leave me alone set me free. I can do this anymore.”

After about two months, Ngannou found his way to Paris.