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How Teddy Atlas’ influence is helping make Francis Ngannou – and his coach – better

Coach Eric Nicksick admitted he couldn’t help but be in awe of legendary boxing coach Teddy Atlas, who recently paid a visit to Xtreme Couture.

Atlas linked up with Francis Ngannou to help sharpen the UFC heavyweight’s boxing, but the Cameroonian contender’s head coach Nicksick also got the opportunity to benefit from Atlas’ decades of experience of coaching in the fight game.

“For me personally, Teddy hit more of the coaching side in understanding the timing with your family, when to say ‘no’ to certain people,” Nicksick told MMA Junkie Radio. “He spoke a lot of things that I see, and I experience, but he helped me understand a little bit more and how to package it, how to express my feelings to the fighters – it was absolutely gold.

“And as far as the technique stuff goes, he sat and worked with Francis on two or three little things and it was literally for two hours. So just the fine-tuning of some of the things we’re doing with Francis and how to be better, so it was an unbelievable interaction. I was blown away the whole time, I was trying not to be starstruck while we’re there with him, but he was a great guy and it was a great experience.”

Ngannou, who has knocked out his past four opponents in less than three minutes combined, has climbed his way back up to the No. 1 contender position, and is all set for a rematch with heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

Dana White confirmed that Ngannou is next in line for Miocic and Nicksick hopes that the title fight happens before the end of the year.

“We’re hoping so and that’s what we’re pushing on our end,” Nicksick said. “I know that’s what the UFC wants as well. They wanna get that December card lined up and make it Stipe and Francis, but it’s obviously gotta be on Stipe’s end as well so right now we’re just training. Since he’s been back home from Cameroon, the guy hasn’t missed a day.”

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