Former undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has revealed that a host of injuries suffered in the lead-up to last weekend’s UFC 286 championship headliner, prevented former welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman from “properly” training for his trilogy rubber match with Leon Edwards.

Headlining UFC 286 last Saturday night at The o2 Arena, Usman suffered a second consecutive loss to Birmingham native, Edwards, dropping a close, majority decision defeat to the incumbent welterweight kingpin.

Back in August of last year in Salt Lake City, Utah – Usman dropped both his undisputed crown and pound-for-pound number one status, after suffering a fifth round high kick knockout loss to Edwards at the Vivint Arena. 

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As for Francis Ngannou, the former undisputed heavyweight titleholder was stripped of his status as division champion back in January of this year, as well as booted from the organization after his contractual obligations with the UFC ended in December of last year.

Francis Ngannou shares some insight into Kamaru Usman’s camp ahead of UFC 286

A close friend of fellow former African champion, Usman, Ngannou took to his official YouTube channel where he reflected on the Auchi native’s decision defeat to Edwards – claiming the former was unable to train sufficiently for his trilogy rubber match, after suffering from injuries.

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“Usually, when people get knocked out, they don’t come back in the fight,” Francis Ngannou said following UFC 286. “Like, they will be like wobbly, he (Kamaru Usman) was there before tonight, which is like a lot of step back. I know that he didn’t train [for the fight] – he didn’t have to train properly because of a lot of injuries, but he was there.” (Transcribed by MMA News)

Welcoming the opportunity to fight Edwards for a fourth time in the future, Usman has been offered a route back to the welterweight title by former two-time division championship challenger, Stephen Thompson – who admitted he would consider fighting the Nigerian as he targets a July Octagon comeback himself

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.