UFC heavyweight behemoth Francis Ngannou's strikes hurt more than a crack from a baseball bat, his coach claims
- Francis Ngannou has "ungodly" striking power according to his MMA coach Eric Nicksick.
- The UFC heavyweight champion defends his belt in a title fight Saturday against Ciryl Gane.
- Ngannou claimed he accidentally knocked Gane out during a freak accident three years ago.
Gane, an unbeaten slugger, and Ngannou, the big-punching champion, practised alongside one another at the MMA Factory in Paris, France, three years ago.
Fast forward to Saturday, January 22 and the heavyweight rivals collide in a high-stakes showdown at UFC 270.
Ahead of the event, Nicksick, who trains Ngannou at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, described the extraordinary power the 35-year-old generates when he throws his fists and legs with bad intentions.
"I've been hit in the back with a baseball bat before, and literally the bat, it broke," said Nicksick. "It was a wooden bat, it broke across my back, and it didn't bother me one bit.
"And then I've been kicked by Francis to the point where I couldn't walk for two weeks, man. Like, it's bad. It hurts, man. It hurts bad."
Nicksick went as far as describing Ngannou's power as "ungodly."
He said: "It's a different type of power, man, the way that this man can kick and punch and throw and generate power. It's ungodly."
Striking coach Dewey Cooper assists Nicksick in preparing Ngannou for fights, and Nicksick said this comes at a cost for both of them.
"Poor Dewey," he said. "Dewey's elbows, my legs, my body, it's just getting beat up constantly."
Ngannou hopes to beat up Gane this weekend
Despite their former relationship, Ngannou appears confident he can dispatch Gane, telling reporters ahead of the fight that he once accidentally knocked him out in training.
"I knocked him out [with] a left high kick," Ngannou said. "There's a lot of reasons why that footage didn't come out."
Elaborating, he said: "Well, let me say this, that knockout wasn't a voluntary knockout. It wasn't in sparring. It was an accident. I didn't intend to knock him out. I didn't go there to knock him out.
"So personally, it's not something that I would be proud of and feel tough because I knocked my sparring partner out or knocked him down or whatever.
"Usually, that stuff happens in training, but it's always an accident. Because we are committed to take care of our partner. That's how it works."
Ngannou will try to knock Gane out on purpose Saturday night live on ESPN+ PPV in the US and BT Sport in the UK.Read the original article on Insider