Coach Eric Nicksick puzzled to see so many Francis Ngannou haters: ‘Why not cheer for people?’

Fighters, pundits, promoters, and fans all took their shots at Francis Ngannou as the former UFC heavyweight champion explored free agency following his departure from the UFC. That’s something that Ngannou’s head coach, Eric Nicksick, doesn’t understand.

Nicksick was puzzled and sad to see the negative comments thrown Ngannou’s way as he looked to find an alternative to the UFC that fit him better. Now that Ngannou signed a lucrative PFL contract, Nicksick questions why so many chose to tear down Ngannou instead of rooting for him to succeed.

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“The thing that I was most disappointed about, and this is kind of where our society is today, is that people cheer for failure,” Nicksick said on “Morning Kombat.” “They want to see people fail for no reason whatsoever. And I remind people, I even tweeted at someone, ‘Success isn’t finite. It’s infinite, and there’s enough to go around for everyone.’ You don’t go to the store and say, ‘Hey, we’re fresh out of success. Sorry, you can’t have anymore.’ It’s there for everybody. Why not cheer for people? Why not welcome that into your own heart and your own life and hope that people make the money that they deserve or get that success or find that value they feel that they’re worth?

“I was disappointed to see some of that stuff, because it really has no effect on them whatsoever. It doesn’t matter. You’re just on the same sh*t. So for Francis to go through all that and just really brush it off, from what I saw, he didn’t care about anything to be honest with you.”


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Ngannou turned down a UFC contract that, according to UFC president Dana White, would’ve made him the highest paid heavyweight in UFC history.

The gamble did pay off for Ngannou as he now has a multi-million dollar contract and the freedom that he was looking for. Nicksick believes this is a great example for fighters unhappy with their perceived value by a promoter.

“I think it’s ground breaking for this generation of combat sports,” Nicksick said. “He really bucked the trend. He broke the mold and stepped outside the comfort zone. Most people are moved by money. Obviously money plays a factor, but it’s more his worth. … I think that it’s going to open the eyes of other people in this sport and see what their worth might be, whether it’s in the UFC or outside that organization. He set a huge standard.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie