Ngannou defended his heavyweight title against Gane in the main event of UFC 270 earlier this year. After the bout, he revealed that he had injured his knee during training camp. 'The Predator' has been out of commission since.
What many did not know until now was that Nicksick tried to convince Ngannou to pull out of the title bout. Their conversation was documented in Ngannou's YouTube series, and viewers can hear the coach saying:
"Let me play devil's advocate in this regard only because I'm talking about... we love you. That's it, the bottom line is what do you gain if you're fighting injured? If you knock this dude out and we win, then what's next?"
Nicksick presented the consequences Ngannou could suffer by fighting with his injured knee. The Xtreme Couture head coach continued:
"But what do you have to lose if this gets hurt or you or you lose this fight? What are the pros vs. the cons? And I'm not telling you one is more than the other, but I think that's what we need to decide as a team or a family and then you have to make a decision at the end of the day. I know, we all know, these motherf***ers don't give a f*** about you, bro. So why are we doing them a favor?"
Watch the video below:
Francis Ngannou reveals why he decided against Eric Nicksick's advice
Francis Ngannou ultimately decided to risk his MMA career by fighting Ciryl Gane with an injured knee. His gambit ultimately paid off as he kept his title reign alive and was able to neutralize the man who many believed could be his biggest threat.
According to the UFC heavyweight champ, he was afraid he could lose bargaining leverage by withdrawing from the fight:
"I'm like I couldn't take that for so long. Like, my only concern was like this will keep going for over months again. And then I'm losing control of the talk and everything. Like, 'No this is not happening.'"
Check out Francis Ngannou's post below:
Ngannou is currently engaged in contract negotiations with the UFC. By losing his belt, he could have flushed away his greatest bargaining chip. While Ngannou was unable to use his ungodly knockout power to put Gane away, his grit and championship spirit carried him through the fight.