UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou has his first title defense coming up against interim champ Ciryl Gane and is training with one of the best strikers in the world to prepare for the challenge.
Ngannou is training with Glory Kickboxing heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven down at Xtreme Couture MMA Gym.
Bringing in top global talent is nothing new for top-tier MMA gyms such as Xtreme Couture. Ngannou is preparing for what could be a tough test on the feet against the crafty Gane.
Check out Ngannou and Verhoeven training together below.
Francis Ngannou And Rico Verhoeven Are Two Of The Top Heavyweights In The World Today
Ngannou earned the UFC heavyweight title by knocking out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. Before that, he had won four fights in a row by knockout after suffering disappointing losses to Miocic and Derrick Lewis.
Ngannou is probably garnering a lot of knowledge from Verhoeven, who was originally supposed to fight Ngannou’s former opponent, Alistair Overeem, and a recent Glory kickboxing event. Overeem pulled out of the fight with an injury and Verhoeven ended up knocking out Jamal Ben Saddik in their trilogy.
Ngannou and Verhoeven are regarded as two of the most feared men in combat sports today. Both men usually put on a show when they’re in the cage, and often put on knockout performances against their opponents.
Verhoeven has a record of 59-10 in professional kickboxing and hasn’t lost a single fight since 2015. Ngannou isn’t just a striker but has also shown off improved grappling, as evidenced in his most recent win over Miocic.
It’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever get the chance to see Verhoeven and Ngannou go to battle in either kickboxing or MMA, but nothing is impossible. For now, it’s nice to see two of the best heavyweights in the world teaming up and making each other better.
What is your prediction for Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane at UFC 270?