Francis Ngannou, a professional mixed martial artist and current UFC heavyweight fighter, has joined the cast of Fast & Furious 9.
According to Deadline, Ngannou is set to board the ninth installment in the long-running franchise in an as-yet undisclosed role. Ngannou will be the third mixed martial artist, and second UFC fighter, to join the Fast & Furious franchise, following Gina Carano in Fast & Furious 6 and Ronda Rousey in Furious 7.
Ngannou is currently the second ranked heavyweight fighter in the UFC, coming in behind Stipe Miocic and current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Nicknamed "The Predator," Ngannou holds a professional mixed martials arts record of 14-3, with all 14 of his wins coming via knockout (10) or submission (4). His three losses have all come by decision.
Ngannou joins an ensemble cast that sees the return of franchise stalwarts in Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris; returnees Helen Mirren, Nathalie Emmanuel and Charlize Theron; and franchise newcomers John Cena, Finn Cole, Anna Sawai and Vinnie Bennett.
Fast & Furious 9 will be helmed by Justin Lin, who directed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth entries in the Fast & Furious franchise. Fast & Furious 9 is slated for a May 22, 2020 release.