Francis Ngannou will lean on the wrestling expertise of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in order to get past heavyweight king Stipe Miocic later this evening (Sat., Mar. 27, 2021) at UFC 260 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ngannou, who lost a decision to Miocic in his first title shot back in 2018, has brought Usman into his camp and will have “Nigerian Nightmare” corner him for UFC 260’s main event. Seeing as Miocic defeated Ngannou with his wrestling the first time around it’s a smart move by “Predator” to bring in someone like Usman to help with his takedown defense.
After all, if Miocic is unable to get Ngannou down in the rematch it only increases the challenger’s odds of landing one of his patented knockout punches.
Usman, who is the reigning UFC welterweight champion and fresh off his third-straight title defense, is no stranger to big moments inside of the Octagon. He’s hoping to bring some experience into Ngannou’s corner and help the challenger avoid a similar outcome against Miocic.
“I think it’s just experience,” Usman told ESPN. “Because me being in there, I’ve been in championship fights, and I think that’s one of the things that sets me apart from a lot of fighters is my mind as far as how I react to other fighters and how I think and how other fighters think, and I think he trusts that. But make no mistake, he has great coaches that have been coaching for a while so whatever he needs, I’m there to help.”
Ngannou has decimated the competition of late to fight his way back into this spot. The terrifying heavyweight finisher has stopped his last four opponents by way of first-round knockout and hasn’t seen a second round since his decision loss to Derrick Lewis back in 2018. It’s important for Ngannou to maintain his confidence heading into his second UFC title fight but also to take things slow against a champion who already beat him.
“I think he has to be relaxed because we put so much pressure on ourselves because we understand what us being champion does to where we’re from,” Usman said. “We understand that, and that’s a ton of pressure to put on yourself, and I just think he needs to relax. If he’s able to relax, I mean, we’re probably looking at one of the scariest men on the planet to date. So if he’s able to relax, I think he’ll shock a lot of people with all his newly acquired skills.”
Only time will tell if Usman is able to help Ngannou from his corner and if “Predator” has made the proper adjustments to hand Miocic just his second loss in the past six years.
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