Originally posted on MMAJUNKIE | By Farah Hannoun | Last updated 1/24/2022
Francis Ngannou was dealing with plenty of adversity heading into UFC 270, but he still managed to pull through.
Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) unified his heavyweight title with interim champ Ciryl Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) in Saturday’s main event, making pivotal tactical adjustments that helped him turn the fight around and earn the unanimous decision win.
Not only did Ngannou deal with contract issues with the UFC and drama with his former coach, Fernand Lopez, but the champion revealed post-fight that he came into the bout with a grade 3 MCL tear, as well as damage on his ACL and MPFL.
His head coach, Erick Nicksick, found himself in a tough spot before the fight: Should he encourage Ngannou to withdraw, or should he risk having him go into the biggest fight of his career compromised?
“I was a nervous wreck,” Nicksick told MMA Junkie Radio. “I think a lot of the things that my head was telling me was to pull out of the fight, and I just didn’t like the way that the knee injury was and the situation that the opponent that we had with the particular injury that we had. Obviously we did want to get into some wrestling, but I didn’t know how we were going to be able to wrestle without having the cardio the last three-and-a-half weeks, as well as the stability of the knee, and I’ve just got to give all the credit to Francis. That guy’s will power, his mental capacity, what he wanted to do, he just unwavered the entire camp.”
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