Kamaru Usman confirms Francis Ngannou will be in UFC 261 corner but unhappy about one absence

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal could take place soon
Kamaru Usman in action against Colby Covington (Getty)

Ahead of his UFC 261 bout against Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman has confirmed that Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will be his cornerman.

Usman will be defending his welterweight title for the fourth time against ‘Gamebred’ in the main event of UFC 261, next week. The pair had already met once – last year at UFC 251, which Usman won via. unanimous decision.

Jorge Masvidal lost to Kamaru Usman at UFC 251
Kamaru Usman kicks Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during UFC 251 (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is good friends with fellow African and UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. In fact he was one of the Cameroonian’s cornermen at the recently concluded UFC 260 fight against Stipe Miocic.

And now, it looks like Ngannou will be returning the favour as Usman is set to have ‘The Predator’ as his cornerman, in the absence of his brother Mohammed.

Stipe Miocic was knocked out cold by Francis Ngannou at UFC 260
Francis Ngannou after knocking out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 (Twitter UFC)

Mohammed Usman is a heavyweight plying his trade in the PFL (Professional Fighters League). Since the quarantine rules are quite strict in the PFL, he wouldn’t be able corner his elder brother, since he has a fight coming up as well.

In an interview with Marc Raimondi of ESPN, Usman was tasked with answering if the dangerous Ngannou will be in his corner. While The Nigerian did reveal that the heavyweight champ would corner him, he was upset with the fact that his brother wouldn’t be at the ringside.

Here is what Usman had to say:

“Look at you putting me on the spot! Breaking news Mark, breaking news. Yes, he will be in my corner. Unfortunately, my brother is not able to go to this fight, which is just silly to me that the PFL is doing a 17-day quarantine. Which is just ridiculous to me. He doesn’t fight till May 7 and they are having him go quarantine next week, so he can’t corner me.”

The welterweight champ then said:

“Who better do we replace someone like that with then? The heavyweight champ himself – Francis Ngannou.”

Kamaru Usman will be bringing in a lot of positives going into UFC 261

Usman last faced, his former teammate and sparring partner Gilbert Burns at UFC 258. Starting off slowly, the Nigerian picked up the pace as he knocked out the Brazilian in the third round.

By doing so, Usman went past Georges St-Pierre’s record for the most consecutive wins in the UFC welterweight division (13 wins). The Nigerian is still undefeated in the UFC with an overall record of 18-1 (13-0 in the UFC).

He will be looking forward to using his superior wrestling skillsets against the ‘Strike-heavy’ Jorge Masvidal, next week.

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Written by Gerard Crispin

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