Team Ngannou battled a lot of adversity at UFC 270, including word of a potential lawsuit.
The UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou had a lot of problems last week in Anaheim, but nevertheless, he’d come out on top when faced against Cyril Gane. Fighting against his former teammate & coach, a knee injury, and contract issues wouldn’t be enough to stop ‘The Predator’.
Even when he was down two rounds against Gane, he wasn’t out. He’d come back to outwrestle Gane to a unanimous decision.
These weren’t the only issues that the team had to worry about though. On fight day, Ngannou heard that his manager, Marquel Martin might be facing a lawsuit with the UFC.
For those who don’t know, Nakisa Bidarian is Jake Paul’s advisor. He was allegedly in talks with Marquel Martin, Ngannou’s manager. There was in fact a UFC email sent to Martin, which has been authenticated by MMA Fighting.
The Info Got Leaked On Purpose
Ngannou’s head coach, Eric Nicksick would give his thoughts on the matter, while on MMA on SiriusXM.
“I didn’t want to add more,” Nicksick says he didn’t talk to Ngannou regarding the potential lawsuit. “We feed off each other, coaches and corners. So I was like, bro, I’m just going to be a serial killer. Nothing’s going to affect me at all. My mind, my focus is going to stay the same. So I hope that energy also exudes on to my fighter and he didn’t show one bit of concern.”
The timing of it all felt off for Nicksick. It was fight night, hours before the main event, and now they have a potential lawsuit on their hands. Nicksick believes it was supposed to throw them off their game.
“I felt like that information was getting leaked out for a purpose, to try to ruffle the feathers.”
‘Mending Some Fences’ With The UFC
The future is uncertain for Francis Ngannou. Him staying in the UFC is a big question as he looks to recover from his current injury and plan his next move. He may wait out the UFC for a year, if he doesn’t negotiate a new deal with the promotion. But we’ll see soon enough.
“He does need surgery,” added Nicksick. “We found out yesterday he’s going to need surgery on the knee. I think it’s important to try to sit down with the UFC and mend some fences, just talk. I’m not really the confrontational type, but I want to try to help mediate and help mend some of this stuff.
“I understand that they’re a business and yet, so are we. There’s some sticking points that Francis is fighting for. I think those sticking points are, are honorable. He wants to see fighters get health insurance. If we’re classified as independent contractors, why are we treated as employees? There’s some things that I think he just wants to try to help, not only for himself, but the rest of the UFC roster and future fighters to come.”
"He [Ngannou] didn't show one bit of concern…"@Eric_XCMMA discusses the environment of the locker room after hearing the news of UFC threatening to sue and what's next for Ngannou in terms of surgery and contract status 👀@RJcliffordMMA,@lionheartasmith pic.twitter.com/5jiSrbUrhr— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) January 25, 2022