Francis Ngannou The first time Curtis Blaydes stepped into the cage to face Francis Ngannou, he did so with little more than a jab and a double leg at his disposal. Sporting a record and still putting himself through the paces at the local UFC gym a couple times a week, the former National Junior College Athletic Association national champion wrestler had risen to the highest level of mixed martial arts despite having little idea how to make the best use of his frame, natural athleticism and acumen on the mat.
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From the earliest competitions, pitting fighters from different disciplines against each other to determine which art form is best, to its current status as a mainstream athletic contest, the sport has made immense progress.
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