Ngannou’s coach Eric Nicksick has revealed that his wrestling team for the UFC 260 fight against Stipe Miocic consisted of Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture, and Aljamain Sterling. Additionally, Ngannou’s close friend Kamaru Usman was also a part of his UFC 260 wrestling team.
Erick Nicksick has taken to his official Instagram account to post a photo featuring Francis Ngannou and several other individuals. The photo shows Nicksick, Ngannou, Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture, Aljamain Sterling, and a couple of other people in the frame.
Kamaru Usman isn’t in this particular photo but was an important part of Ngannou’s UFC 260 fight camp.
Eric Nicksick’s Instagram post that featured the photo also contained a statement from him which read as follows:
“A little #TBT from last camp, and everyone questioning the wrestling...#haterswillsayitsphotoshop #4champs1pic #teamXC @dc_mma @xcnatch @francisngannou @funkmastermma @kaiboikamaka @punahele_soriano @xcmma @gokostal @badbirdiegolf”
Daniel Cormier has held the UFC light heavyweight title and the UFC heavyweight title. Similarly, Randy Couture too has held the UFC light heavyweight title and the UFC heavyweight title.
Meanwhile, the two reigning titleholders who were part of Francis Ngannou’s wrestling team at UFC 260 are UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Francis Ngannou trained at the MMA Factory under the tutelage of coach Fernand Lopez, but he eventually parted ways with the gym after a fallout with Lopez. Since his departure, Ngannou has been training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Xtreme Couture MMA training organization has a chain of several gyms operating in different parts of the world. Xtreme Couture’s gym in Las Vegas is home to several world-class fighters who train under the guidance of top-tier coaches with brilliant infrastructure and nutrition.
Considering that, it isn’t all too surprising to see Francis Ngannou’s coach, Eric Nicksick of Xtreme Couture Las Vegas, put together an unparalleled wrestling team to help Ngannou counter Stipe Miocic’s extraordinary wrestling skills at UFC 260.
Francis Ngannou’s wrestling training paid off at UFC 260
The first fight between Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic took place at UFC 220 (January 2018). Ngannou entered the fight as the challenger, looking to take the title off then-champion Miocic.
The matchup witnessed Miocic utilize his superior wrestling and overall grappling skills to repeatedly take the fight to the mat and outpoint Ngannou en route to a unanimous decision win.
Ngannou then suffered another defeat, losing via unanimous decision to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 (July 2018), but he then put together an impressive four-fight win streak. Meanwhile, Miocic competed in a trilogy of fights against Daniel Cormier, winning the trilogy 2-1.
The rematch between Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic transpired at UFC 260 (March 2021). It once again saw Ngannou entering the fight as a challenger and Miocic coming in as the champion. The fight played out differently, however, as Ngannou showcased vastly improved takedown defense and successfully kept the fight on the feet.
Francis Ngannou then proceeded to out-strike and defeat Stipe Miocic via second-round KO, winning the UFC heavyweight title. Although Francis Ngannou was initially said to be defending his title against MMA legend Jon Jones next, UFC president Dana White has indicated that a rematch with Lewis will be Ngannou’s next fight.