Francis Ngannou to return favor, will corner Kamaru Usman at UFC 261

Francis Ngannou, Kamaru Usman
Image Credit: UFC

Francis Ngannou will be in Kamaru Usman’s corner at UFC 261 on April 24.

When Ngannou had his rematch against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260, he added Usman to his corner for some wrestling advice. It ended up working as Ngannou stuffed the takedown attempts and had some nice scrambles and went on to KO Miocic in the second.

Now, ahead of Usman’s title defense against Masvidal, he is having Ngannou in his corner due to the fact his brother Mohammed will be in the PFL bubble.

“Who better to replace someone like that than with the heavyweight champ himself, Francis Ngannou?” Usman said to ESPN, who also will have head coach Trevor Wittman and Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Jorge Santiago in his corner.

Usman and Ngannou have become close friends over the years due to their African roots. According to the welterweight champ, he says it is motivating to see them have so much success.

“It motivates me so much,” Usman said. “I said that to him. It motivates me so much to even just be around him.”

Kamaru Usman, Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya

Francis Ngannou, meanwhile, will be much calmer than his UFC 260 fight as he said he was putting a ton of pressure on himself to join Usman and Israel Adesanya as the third African UFC champion.

“I had that pressure on my shoulders and I was afraid of letting them down, since they were expecting me to become champion and join them as an African champion,” Ngannou said about Usman and Adesanya at his post-fight press conference after UFC 260. “We stand for a hope as a whole continent when it comes to sport.”

Kamaru Usman enters his UFC 261 rematch against Masvidal coming off an impressive third-round TKO over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258. In the fight before, he beat Masvidal at UFC 251, in a fight he took on short notice.

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