Coach Eric Nicksick: Francis Ngannou needs to be unpredictable vs. Tyson Fury, not look to outbox

Francis Ngannou’s coach, Eric Nicksick, is well aware of the monster challenger the team has on their hands.

Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, will face WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a non-title professional boxing match on Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia.

Although Nganngou is a top-tier talent in MMA, he will be an unproven debutant in the world of boxing. Nicksick understands what they’re up against, and that’s why he doesn’t think Ngannou can have a traditional approach to this bout.

“I think just understanding that if we’re going to try to outbox Tyson Fury and out-jab this guy, and out-footwork this guy, I think we’re at a loss,” Nicksck told MMA Junkie Radio. “I just feel our approach just needs to be a little more unpredictable and a little more relevant to MMA, things we’ve been working on his MMA career.

“So those were my thoughts, and he was understanding and receptive to what I was bringing up. Whether he uses it or not, we’ll see, but I think some of that stuff could work.”

Nicksick revealed he’s been involved in Ngannou’s preparation, but not much, at least for now. He just helped prepare Brad Tavares for his win over Chris Weidman this past Saturday at UFC 292, and now has to help Sean Strickland get ready to take on champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 on Sept. 9 in Australia.

After that’s over, Nicksick plans to get more hands-on with Ngannou. For now, Dewey Cooper has been leading the charge in preparation for Fury.

Regardless, Nicksick has done his due diligence and has poked around in the boxing world.

“I’ve talked to a lot of my friends in the industry before I presented anything,” Nicksick said regarding preparation. “I talked with Chris Algieri for quite a while and just people that I know and trust in the industry and people who are more prevalent in boxing.

“I just picked their brains. I just wanted thoughts and ideas on kind of what my mindset was in this situation and checks and balances like, ‘What do you think about this? What do you think about that?’ I presented those things to Francis and the team and I brought up sparring partners and other bodies I think would be good and stuff like that. But I haven’t sat down and gone over X’s and O’s.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie