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Francis Ngannou Coach Eric Nicksick Goes Off On UFC Over ‘Slap In The Face’ Interim Heavyweight Title Fight

Eric Nicksick explains how Francis Ngannou is feeling after the UFC's announcement of an interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane

Francis Ngannou Coach Eric Nicksick Goes Off On UFC Over ‘Slap In The Face’ Interim Heavyweight Title Fight

It is safe to say that Francis Ngannou was quite disappointed in the news that the UFC had booked an interim title fight between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane. His coach, Eric Nicksick has given some insight on why the heavyweight champ feels disrespected by this news.

Ngannou won the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic just three months ago, knocking him out at UFC 260 in March. Nevertheless this did not stop the UFC from booking this interim title fight in short order, simply because they wanted Francis to fight in August and he was not free until September.

Speaking to SirusXM, Eric Nicksick, who coaches Francis, explained just how personally his athlete took this decision from the UFC. He says that he did not understand why the promotion made an interim title so quickly, especially given how little the heavyweight strap has been defended over the last few years.

“I know (Ngannou) is hurt. I don’t know why they would have done this. I get the fact that essentially they’re a promotion and they’re trying to book fights, I get all that stuff. I don’t even mind that that they made that fight, I just think the fact that it’s an interim is kind of what the slap in the face is,” Nicksick said.

“If they have to move on and get Gane and Lewis a fight because they need to headline a card, I understand they have a business to run and that’s their job. But I think the whole idea of this guy just won the title, why are they slapping an interim on? I think that’s where it becomes personal.”

Francis Ngannou Deserved An Interim Title

The reason why Francis Ngannou seems to be so disappointed with the rapidness of this interim title being implemented is because he was rightfully deserving of one himself, before he became champ. After all, he had to sit out while former champs Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier settled their rivalry.

Moreover, with Francis planning to defend his belt in September, this would have been the first time the heavyweight title was up for grabs twice in one year, since 2018. This adds to the baffling nature of the interim title being made so quickly.

This is certainly a complicated situation, and one that does not make Francis Ngannou happy. Of course, this is not something that has ever stopped the UFC before.

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