Francis Ngannou claims injury hindered Kamaru Usman’s UFC 286 preparation vs Leon Edwards

Watching Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards fight for the third time left former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou with conflicting emotions.

Ngannou had organized a watch party for UFC 286 in his hometown of Batie, Cameroon to support his friend Usman as he attempted to reclaim the welterweight title and recover from his previous loss to Edwards.

A video of Ngannou’s reaction to the Usman vs. Edwards fight was shared on his YouTube channel. The footage showed Francis enthusiastically supporting Usman’s takedowns and condemning Edwards for his fence grab, which resulted in a point deduction.

However, when the official decision was announced in Edwards’ favor, Ngannou expressed immediate disagreement.

“No, no, no, no,” Ngannou repeated. “F*ck.”

In a later moment in the video, Francis expressed his satisfaction with Usman’s performance.

“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.”

Francis Ngannou praises Kamaru for his performance against Leon 

Francis further commented that Usman was not in optimal health during his preparation for the third fight against Edwards, citing injuries that hindered the former welterweight champion’s performance.

Kamaru Usman vs Leon Edwards

“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 successfully defended the welterweight title five times before suffering back-to-back losses to Edwards. Nevertheless, Ngannou maintains his faith in “The Nigerian Nightmare” and anticipates Usman reclaiming UFC gold in the future.

“Yeah, let’s see what’s next. I believe he’s going to get it back. I believe it.”

Kamru Usman
Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman face each other off before UFC 286

Usman maintained that his training camp had gone smoothly despite being knocked out cold by a head kick last August and did not mention any personal issues. He praised Edwards‘ game plan in the aftermath, noting that ‘Rocky’ successfully thwarted takedowns and delivered powerful blows, particularly to the knees.

Throughout his career, Kamaru has experienced knee problems and typically wears a brace when training. However, he asserted that such issues do not affect him during fights. It remains to be seen whether he was grappling with any other ailments during his highly anticipated showdown with Edwards.

What are your thoughts regarding the fight between Leon and Usman? Let us know in the comment section below. 


Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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