Francis Ngannou unified the UFC HW championship at UFC 270 against Ciryl Gane. Ngannou defended his championship for the first time after winning it from Stipe Miocic.
Ngannou after down two rounds changed the game plan in the third round and took down Gane. Ngannou did the same in the fourth round and won the third and fourth rounds. The fight was 2-2 going into the fifth round and Ngannou looked tired.
Before the fifth round in Ngannou’s corner, his coach Eric Nicksick motivated him and told him he believes in him and they have been through a lot and he can do this. Here’s a tweet from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani posting the video.
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Francis Ngannou Relied on His Wrestling to Keep His Championship
Francis Ngannou was dealing with knee injuries prior to his championship fight. Ngannou was not confident on his feet and was losing the first two rounds. Seeing things are not working in striking Ngannou caught a kick from Gane and slammed him on the mat. The whole arena was in shock, seeing Ngannou taking down Gane in that manner.
Ngannou spent most of the fight in the top position from that moment and got a to decision victory for the first time in his MMA career. Ngannou winning by decision and that too by using his wrestling shocked the entire MMA analyst and fans.
Later, Ngannou revealed the knee injuries he was facing before the fight. This made his performance even more impressive. His corner member and UFC WW champion Kamaru Usman praised Ngannou for his evolution and the things that he overcame inside the octagon to get the job done.
This was the last fight on Ngannou’s contract and we might have just witnessed him perform inside the octagon for the last. Though it is unlikely that Ngannou would leave UFC and go elsewhere, it is quite possible with the way UFC has treated him lately.