Francis Ngannou Will Be in Kamaru Usman's Corner for Jorge Masvidal Fight at UFC 261

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 15, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 27: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses with Kamaru Usman backstage after his victory during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Kamaru Usman is going for his 14th straight win when he faces Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 on April 24 and he will have a familiar face in his corner.

Marc Raimondi of ESPN reported UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will be in Usman's corner. Usman's brother, Mohammed, who is normally in the corner, will be in the PFL bubble prior to his debut.

This comes after Usman was in Ngannou's corner when he knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 on March 27.

Raimondi noted the two fighters, who were born in Africa, have become friends with Usman inspired by Ngannou's story. Ngannou migrated from Cameroon to France, was jailed in Spain and was eventually homeless prior to becoming the UFC heavyweight champion.

"It motivates me so much," Usman said. "I said that to him. It motivates me so much to even just be around him."

Usman's welterweight title defense in Jacksonville, Florida, will be a rematch between the fighter and Masvidal.

While Usman won the first time around at UFC 251, it was under trying circumstances for Masvidal. He had just six days' notice prior to the fight because Usman's scheduled opponent, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for COVID-19.