Why Francis Ngannou decided to fight Ciryl Gane injured at UFC 270
Francis Ngannou decided to go against his team’s advice and fight injured at UFC 270.
UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou tore his MCL and damaged his ACL just weeks before his title defense against Ciryl Gane in January, but was dead set on competing that night. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
But why risk it? Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) said he didn’t want to lose his bargaining power with the UFC amidst his contract dispute.
“I couldn’t take that for so long,” Ngannou said on Episode 2 of VLOG. “My only concern was this will keep going for over months again, and then I’m losing control of the talk and everything. Like, no – this is not happening.”
After doctors initially said Ngannou could cause irreparable damage to his knee by fighting, his head coach, Eric Nicksick, tried to talk him out of taking the fight.
“Let me play devil’s advocate in this regard only because I’m talking about – just, we love you,” Nicksick said. “That’s it. The bottom line is, what do you gain by fighting injured? What’s there to gain? If you knock this dude out and we win, then what’s next?
“But what do you have to lose if this gets worse, or you get hurt, or you lose this fight? What are the pros vs. the cons? And I’m not telling you one is more than the other, but I think that’s what we need to decide as a team or a family, and then you have to make the decision at the end of the day. I know, we all know, these motherf*ckers don’t give a f*ck about you, bro. So why are we doing them a favor?”
Ngannou, who underwent surgery after the fight to repair his knee, is targeting a March return and has been linked to a fight with former light heavyweight king Jon Jones for his next title defense. He recently was seen doing kicking drills during a training session as he gears up for his octagon return.
Francis Ngannou def. Ciryl Gane at UFC 270: Best photos
Twitter reacts to Francis Ngannou’s title defense against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270