Francis Ngannou has spoken about drawing inspiration from Kamaru Usman and decided to face Ciryl Gane with an injury at UFC 270.
Ngannou recently appeared on Brendan Schaub’s show Food Truck Diaries. During his time there, the Cameroonian talked about his first title defense.
‘The Predator’ revealed that he had doubts about whether or not to go through with the fight considering he was suffering from a knee injury at the time. Ngannou said a conversation with Usman motivated him to fight despite the bad knee:
“One day, I spoke to Kamaru, he was in Africa… I’ve been around him for five weeks, multiple times. He reminds me everything that he’s been through, his groin, his kneecap, all those stuff and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I can do it.’… Being with him in the fight week (when Usman was fighting), knowing all what’s going on, I’m like,’ Why he didn’t call [off] this fight?’ And then he [goes] out there and you see the performance that he executed, I’m like, ‘S***! Something must be happening in there.’ I think that’s the moment that I decided that I’m not calling [off] this fight. He really inspired me at that time.”
Ngannou went on to use his grappling skills to score a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.
Kamaru Usman showered praise on Francis Ngannou after his UFC 270 win
“It feels amazing to be able to witness yet another victory for Francis Ngannou. This one was hard fought. This one was a hard one because he had to deal with a lot of different situations, a lot of different things that could’ve prevented, you know, could’ve hindered this fight even taking place. So, for him to persevere through that and get into a tough fight like this. You know, that dude, is no joke. Gane is the real deal and Francis proved why he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I’m beyond proud. That belt stays in Africa.”
Usman helped Ngannou train for his UFC 270 fight and was also present in his corner during the main event.