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MMA fighter and boxer Francis Ngannou says his 15-month-old son Kobe has died

By Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — Francis Ngannou’s 15-month-old son Kobe has died, the MMA fighter and boxer posted on Monday.

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

Ngannou didn’t disclose the cause of his son’s death.

“I was my best self next to him and now I have no clue of who I am,” added Ngannou in his Instagram post. “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.”

In a separate post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Ngannou wrote: “What’s the purpose of life if what we’re fighting tooth and nail to get away from is what finally hit us the hardest!?

“Why is life so unfair and merciless? Why does life always take what we don’t have? I’m f*cking tired.”

Many of Ngannou’s contemporaries offered their condolences to the 37-year-old fighter, including former UFC champion Conor McGregor.

“I am so sorry to hear of your loss Francis, my prayers are with you and your family at this time,” he wrote on X.

Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, said that he was “heartbroken” for the fighter.

“I’m so sorry that you and your family are going through this,” Martin wrote on Instagram.

“I don’t have the words to even begin to tell you how bad I feel for you. Im trying to write this without breaking down again. We’ve had our ups and downs as brothers, but NOTHING comes before our families and the love that we have for them.”

Ngannou’s trainer Eric Nicksick also offered the fighter his support.

“You’ve been our rock, our guiding light through thick and thin. Now, as you face this unimaginable loss, please know that we’re here for you, ready to be your support just as you’ve always been for us,” Nicksick wrote on Instagram.

“Lean on us, cry with us, and let us share the burden of your grief. Together, we’ll navigate this dark time, and together, we’ll find a way to honor and remember your precious Kobe. You’re not alone in this, and you never will be.”

Ngannou had made a living in the UFC, where he had been heavyweight champion, but the veteran fighter has recently swapped the octagon for the ring.

In his first professional fight, dubbed the ‘Battle of the Baddest,’ against Tyson Fury, Ngannou put on a good show with onlookers surprised by how quickly he adapted to life as a boxer and by how comfortable he looked against someone regarded as one of the best heavyweight boxers of the current generation in an eventual loss.

Ngannou lost his second professional fight against Anthony Joshua in March.

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