Ngannou claims 'Usman didn't train properly' for UFC 286 due to injury

Francis Ngannou claims ‘Kamaru Usman didn’t train properly’ for UFC 286 defeat by Leon Edwards, as he reveals ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ suffered injury problems ahead of London clash

  • Francis Ngannou is close friends with Kamaru Usman and revealed injuries
  • Usman lost to Leon Edwards as British star defended UFC title in London 
  • Ngannou said: ‘He didn’t have [time] to train properly because of a lot of injuries’

Kamaru Usman was injured for much of his training camp prior to the UFC 286 defeat by Leon Edwards, revealed Francis Ngannou. 

The former UFC heavyweight champion, who left the organisation to pursue other opportunities earlier this year, is close friends with Usman and claimed the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ was not fully fit for his London headliner at the weekend. 

Usman lost a decision against Edwards, who retained his welterweight title on home soil. 

Ngannou said on his YouTube channel: ‘I know that he didn’t train. He didn’t have [time] to train properly because of a lot of injuries, 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.’ 

Kamaru Usman lost against Leon Edwards on Saturday night at UFC 286 in London 

Francis Ngannou has claimed that Usman was injured for most of his training camp

Ngannou added: ‘Usually when people get knocked out, they don’t come back in the fight. Like, they will be like wobbly, he [Usman] was there before which is like a lot of step back. 

‘I know that he didn’t train, he didn’t have to train properly because of a lot of injuries, but he was there.’ 

And he also believes Usman can come back and win his old belt again, whether that be against ‘Rocky’ or someone else. 

‘Let’s see what’s next. I believe he’s going to get it back. I believe it,’ he said. 

Usman insisted his training camp since being knocked out cold by a head kick last August had gone perfectly did not disclose any issues himself. 

He credited Edwards’ gameplan afterwards, with ‘Rocky’ able to defend takedowns and land punishing shots, often to the knees. 

Usman has had issues with his knees throughout his career and often wears a brace to train. 

He insisted that when the fight starts it is not an issue whatsoever so it will be interesting to see if he was carrying any other ailments into the showdown with Edwards.

Edwards hammered Usman’s legs and slowed the advance of the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’

It will be back to the drawing board for Usman, 35, who is likely to have to fight one of the top challengers next, possibly someone he has already beaten during his run as champion. 

Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington are all familiar foes, so time will tell where the UFC find his next opponent. 

Edwards, meanwhile, is rejecting Dana White’s insistence that Covington will have the next shot and angling for a more deserving opponent. 

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