Francis Ngannou will be ready for the wrestling of Stipe Miocic.
Ngannou takes on Miocic in a heavyweight title rematch in the UFC 260 headliner this weekend. Their first meeting, of course, took place at UFC 220 in January 2018 in a contest that saw Miocic weather the early storm before going on to dominate Ngannou with his wrestling.
Ngannou was not only gassed, but clueless on the ground for majority of the fight as he went on to lose a lopsided decision. He has since bounced back as he is currently on a four-fight winning streak.
And while he is yet to show his grappling game since, he has been working extensively on his wrestling according to Xtreme Couture head coach Erick Nicksick.
“We had to implement [wrestling] in every practice that we do,” Nicksick told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin. “So it’s not like one practice you’re sparring or hitting pads. It’s MMA. So every practice you have to focus on defending a takedown. Furthermore, you have to focus on taking guys down yourself. You have to have offensive wrestling just as important as your defensive wrestling.
“Those are some of the things, as scary as it sounds, this dude is blowing through guys on takedowns, putting guys on their backs and beating them up from the top. This guy is now enjoying the elements of wrestling offensively and defensively and understanding there is another path he can find a victory and not shy away from wrestling. You need to implement it one way or another.”
Of course, we’ll only know for sure when the fight actually takes place. That said, Nicksick is excited to see his pupil implement his new skills against Miocic.
“We can talk about it we’re blue in the face but you have to prove it,” he added. “You have to show people. Everybody is going to have their doubts until you’re able to implement it.”
Do you think Ngannou will more prepared for Miocic’s wrestling this time?