Francis Ngannou claims his friend Kamaru Usman ‘didn’t practice properly’ since he was injured for much of his training camp leading up to his UFC 286 loss to Leon Edwards.
The former UFC heavyweight champion, who left the organization earlier this year to explore other possibilities, is close to Usman and said the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ was not totally fit for his London headliner at the weekend.
Usman was defeated by Edwards, who defended his welterweight belt on home turf over the weekend.
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.’
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 stated that his training camp since being knocked out cold by a head kick last August had gone flawlessly, and he did not reveal any problems.
Afterward, he lauded Edwards’ game plan for allowing ‘Rocky’ to defend takedowns and land brutal strikes, typically to the knees.
Usman has experienced knee problems throughout his career and frequently trains while wearing a brace.