‘He Just Does Everything That Ciryl Does’- Francis Ngannou Says He Wanted the Middleweight Champion in His Training Camp

Published 01/10/2022, 11:10 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 07: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon stands in the Octagon before facing Derrick Lewis in their heavyweight fight during the UFC 226 event inside T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou wanted the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for his training camp. As he considers Izzy to be one of the best strikers in the UFC.

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‘The Predator’ and ‘The Last Stylebender’ reign their respective divisions in the UFC. Both the men share an African link and have mutual respect for each other as fighters.

In a recent video uploaded on Ngannou’s YouTube channel, the heavyweight champion called Izzy his brother and also lauded his fighting style. ‘The Predator’ also revealed that he wanted Izzy to be in his training camp as he is a better striker than his upcoming opponent. Hence, he wanted to sharpen his skills with the middleweight champion before the fight.

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Ngannou said, “It’s really hard for me to make a clear statement on Izzy. Because it’s going to be emotional, you know. I took Izzy as a brother, so things that I say about him might not be considered by somebody. But I say he’s a great guy, the best striker in the game definitely.”

“By the way, I tried to get him for this training camp. But travel restrictions with New Zealand wasn’t really helpful for us. So we couldn’t make it. But he would have loved to come here and help me for the striking part of the game, the footwork and everything.”

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“Because when you look at his style, he just does everything that Ciryl does, but in a better way, yeah. And he was willing to come down here and help me for my camp, but couldn’t make it.”

Francis Ngannou Is Ready for His First Title Defence

‘The Predator’ became the UFC heavyweight champion by defeating Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 on 27th March 2021. Ever since then, the heavyweight champion hasn’t entered the UFC octagon.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 27: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory over Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

He was waiting for a viable opponent for his first title defense. Later, Ngannou had some differences with promotion. Hence, the UFC snubbed him for a while and set up an interim heavyweight title fight between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis instead.

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‘Bon Gamin’ won the interim title fight by defeating ‘The Balck Beast’ via a knockout. He will now unify his interim belt at UFC 270 for the heavyweight gold on 22nd January.

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The fight has generated much hype among the combat sports fans, as Ngannou and Gane are ex-training partners. Their past made the fight more interesting. Both the men are some of the best heavyweights fighters in the UFC. Hence, fans can expect fireworks from this title fight.

What are your thoughts on Ngannou’s words? Are you excited about Ngannou’s first title defense? Let us know in the comments below.

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Afnan Chougle

439 articles

Afnan Chougle is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. Besides writing, this Media graduate is an integral part of the digital web stories team for combat sports. Before joining EssentiallySports, Afnan gained valuable experience as an intern at Jiostudios Production House.

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