Francis Ngannou: Injury prevented Kamaru Usman from training properly for Leon Edwards at UFC 286
Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou had mixed feelings after watching Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards fight for the third time.
Ngannou hosted a UFC 286 watch party at his village in Batie, Cameroon, to watch his friend Usman attempt to bounce back from his knockout loss to Edwards, and regain the welterweight title.
Ngannou’s reaction was captured in a video posted to his YouTube channel, where he was seen cheering Usman’s takedowns and criticizing Edwards’ blatant fence grab that led to a point deduction.
When the fight concluded and announcer Bruce Buffer read the official decision in Edwards’ favor, Ngannou’s immediate reaction was one of disagreement.
“No, no, no, no,” Ngannou repeated. “F*ck.”
A moment later in the video, Ngannou explained that he was pleased with Usman’s effort.
“One thing I’m happy about is usually when people get knocked out, they don’t come back in the (next) fight,” Ngannou said. “… He was there. He fought tonight.”
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Ngannou went on to state that Usman was not fully healthy while preparing for his third meeting with Edwards, claiming injuries kept the former welterweight champion from his full potential.
“I know that he didn’t train,” Ngannou said. “He didn’t have (time) to train properly because of a lot of injury, but he was there. He was there. It’s a victory, an unfortunate victory, but I think now he’s mentally healthy than what he was before.”
Usman defended the welterweight title five times before losing two straight to Edwards. Despite the setbacks, Ngannou remains confident in “The Nigerian Nightmare” and expects him to capture UFC gold again in the future.
“Yeah, let’s see what’s next. I believe he’s going to get it back. I believe it.”