With UFC 270 right around the corner, the stage has been set and everything else that goes along with it with the entire world glued to their screens to watch two of the biggest and meanest hitters in the history of the UFC ready to throw it down for the heavyweight title. It’s Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane in the main event taking place at the Honda Center, California.
Though we can only expect the best in entertainment on Saturday night, Ariel Helwani on his podcast ‘The MMA Hour‘ on MMA Fighting sat down with Eric Nicksick head coach of Francis Ngannou to find out how the UFC heavyweight champion was holding up and if he was all ready for 25 minutes of maximum power and pressure.
Helwani jumped right off the bat to the main topic at hand that is the drama and beef that has been created and going on leading up to this super fight and asked Nicksick whether Ngannou is able to drown out all the distractions and focus on the bout to which he replied, “Yeah, very much so and I think he just kind of understands that this is the relationship that him and Fernand [former coach of Francis Ngannou and current coach of Ciryl Gane] had had in the past. Um, I think it’s something he’s put behind him and we don’t really talk a whole lot about it to be honest with you.”
Nicksick went on to praise the professional Ngannou brings into camp and the mindset he brings into the fight.
“We went over some of the scenarios and what the possibilities were if – if you know win, lose, or draw, like what happens. Um, and he’s at peace with everything Ariel. Like he’s comfortable. He’s like, ‘Hey. I’m going to be fine. I feel good about my situation that I’m in. No matter what’ and it gave me a sense of peace man.”
Eric Nicksick speaks about the old sparring footage of Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane back when they were teammates
Eric Nicksick was asked about how he felt when old sparring footage of Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane was released back when they were teammates to which he said that though it wasn’t something that he has done or would do as in the era he was brought up in “it was frowned upon” but he doesn’t consider it wrong if other gyms or coaches had a practice of doing it.
He also was asked if he ever felt wanting to protect and speak on the behalf of Francis Ngannou since the buildup to this fight was pretty unique to which he said, “For sure and I think a lot of times you just have to take the mature route in a lot of those areas. Like he posted a couple of Sundays ago. Fernand posted on his – on his Instagram and it was completely out of context. He was like calling me kind of a hypocrite.”
Nicksick said that he went on to tell the opposite camp’s coach Fernand Lopez that they shouldn’t feel the need to make the fight about them and wished him the best of luck for the fight, “May the best win. See you next week and I just, I shut it down.”
With all that being said, respect needs to be given to Nicksick who’s not only surely but certainly made sure Francis Ngannou will be at his best-come fight day.