Francis Ngannou drafts in Tyson Fury's old sparring partner to help him prepare for huge Ciryl Gane fight

  • Tom Ward
Francis Ngannou and Rico Verhoeven

Francis Ngannou has drafted in Tyson Fury‘s old sparring partner Rico Verhoeven to help him prepare for his huge fight against Ciryl Gane.  

The Predator is set to face the Frenchman in what will be a battle of former friends-turned-enemies at UFC 270 on January 22.

Gane and Ngannou have some history together having sparred extensively before the latter’s first fight with Stipe Miocic back in January 2018. 

And according to MMA Junkie, Ngannou has tasked the Glory kickboxing world champion with helping him prepare for the fight.

Dutch heavyweight king Verhoeven – who knocked out Jamal Ben Saddik in Arnhem in October – helped the Gypsy King get to grips with Wladimir Klitschko‘s robotic style. 

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And now he is being used by Ngannou as a sparring partner. 

You can see the pair standing next to each other below:

Francis Ngannou pictured with Rico Verhoeven

The 32-year-old is 1-0 ever since trying his luck out in the cage but it doesn’t appear that he has any plans to step in there again anytime soon.  

Verhoeven said: “I’m happy where I’m at right now. 

“I think if you really want to be the best at something, you’ve got to be willing and able to put everything into it. 

“If you don’t have the ambition to be the very best at something, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

“So I think that’s the case with me when it comes to MMA.”

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