Francis Ngannou shows his appreciation for Kobe Bryant on ‘Mamba Day’

With the way 2020 has unfolded ever since, it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly seven months since the sports world lost Kobe Bryant, who was among nine people – including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna – to die in a tragic helicopter crash on the morning of Jan. 26.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star for the Los Angles Lakers, was celebrated widely on social media Monday – a.k.a. “Mamba Day,” which is acknowledged Aug. 24 because of his jersey numbers 8 and 24.

One prominent member of the MMA community to honor Kobe on Monday was UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou, who shared a wonderful story about the time they met. It was at a BodyArmor event, and Ngannou wasn’t expecting more than a quick “hello” when he introduced himself. It turned out Kobe, known for being a UFC fan, wanted to know more about Ngannou, and the two engaged in a longer conversation, with Kobe showing a real interest in Ngannou’s background from humble beginnings in Africa.

It’s a conversation Ngannou won’t ever forget, and you can hear him talk about it in the video below (via YouTube):

Ngannou is awaiting his next fight but has been confirmed by UFC president Dana White as the man to challenge heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in a rematch. We’re just awaiting a date and location.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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