UFC champion turned boxer Francis Ngannou is working out for up to nine hours a day and loading up on ‘clean, exotic foods’ ahead of his blockbuster fight this week, his trainer revealed to DailyMail.com.

Ngannou, 37, is set to face off against British former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on March 8 and has spent the last few months working out two to three times a day for as long as three hours each.

The Predator’s head coach, two-time world boxing champion Dewey Cooper, told DailyMail.com that Ngannou is ‘very disciplined’ and ‘self-motivated’ going into the all-star matchup after shocking the world with a stellar performance in his boxing debut against the unbeaten Tyson Fury.

‘It’s going to be electric,’ he said.  

And though Ngannou has a varied palate, the fighter is an ‘exotic eater’ who prefers ‘very clean, gourmet’ meals packed with fish, chicken, greens, and a rainbow of spices. 

But the 6ft4in, 257-pound heavyweight does like to cheat with a slice of cheesecake every now and then. 

Francis Ngannou (left) with his trainer, two-time world boxing champion Dewey Cooper. Cooper said The Predator's next fight is 'going to be electric'

Francis Ngannou (left) with his trainer, two-time world boxing champion Dewey Cooper. Cooper said The Predator’s next fight is ‘going to be electric’

Ngannou is gearing up for his next big fight this weekend against British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua

Ngannou is gearing up for his next big fight this weekend against British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua

The matchup comes several months after Ngannou was defeated by British heavyweight Tyson Fury, which Cooper insists was an unfair ruling. 

‘He honestly beat Tyson Fury to have it taken from us by the judges,’ he said. ‘No one does what he did. No one expected him to even compete with the great Tyson Fury that night.’

‘We had a grueling camp for Tyson Fury. He worked very hard. And it’s going to be the same for this fight.’

‘He’ll have fought two of the three best heavyweight boxers in the world in his first two fights. This has never been done before. That is an enigma.’ 

‘He’s feeling confident. He’s feeling good. He knows he can do the entire 30 minutes of the fight.’

Cooper said that he feels specially equipped to lead Ngannou to victory, calling himself a ‘lifetime martial artist.’ 

He started his more than 30-year fighting career with Muay Thai kickboxing at age nine, followed by professional fighting in both boxing and kickboxing. 

This included 25 professional boxing fights and three professional MMA matchups. He also won two world championships and was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in 2008. 

‘I’m like a Renaissance man when it comes to fighting,’ he said. ‘I was honestly born to do this.’ 

‘This is truly my passion. I don’t think there are many guys who are more energetic and more motivated than I am.’ 

Cooper and Ngannou sparred earlier this week to prep for Ngannou's fight against Anthony Joshua

Cooper and Ngannou sparred earlier this week to prep for Ngannou’s fight against Anthony Joshua

This upcoming matchup comes months after Ngannou suffered defeat against Tyson Fury (on the ground), which Cooper insists was an unfair ruling

This upcoming matchup comes months after Ngannou suffered defeat against Tyson Fury (on the ground), which Cooper insists was an unfair ruling 

Cooper is also the president of Team Combat League, the first combat pro sports league featuring both male and female fighters.

Cooper said that Ngannou has been in a 12-week training camp since the Fury fight, which includes two to three training sessions per day, six days a week. These can last anywhere from an hour and 45 minutes to three hours. 

‘He’s working out a lot right now. We’re trying to get maximum work in right now to really load the body and get him prepared,’ Cooper said. 

These include high-intensity sparring exercises to increase his stamina and endurance. On conditioning days, there are ‘a host of drills that he has to do.’

Many of Ngannou’s conditioning moves are ‘high-frequency explosive plyometric exercises.’ 

Plyometrics involve short, intense bursts of activity focused on building strength, coordination, agility, and flexibility, according to Harvard University. These usually target lower body muscles.

Common examples of plyometrics include side jumps, jump rope, and forward hops. 

When he's not working out, Ngannou is fueling up with a mix of lean meats, fish, greens, and spices, Cooper told DailyMail.com

When he’s not working out, Ngannou is fueling up with a mix of lean meats, fish, greens, and spices, Cooper told DailyMail.com

Cooper noted that Ngannou’s routine often involves medicine ball thrusts, push ups, box jumps, squats, ladder drills, high-knee drills, hills, and lateral leaps.

‘There are so many things we do,’ he said. ‘It’s a very, very grueling regimen. Not many people can train the way he trains.’

‘Every day is important. Every workout is crucial.’ 

In between training sessions, Ngannou focuses on helping his body heal up with stretching, muscle massages, and a dip in the jacuzzi.  

The length of training camp depends on when fights are announced. For example, camp to prepare for the Fury fight lasted roughly 16 weeks, while this camp was 12 weeks. 

When he’s not working out, Ngannou is fueling up with a mix of lean meats, fish, greens, and spices. 

Lean meats like chicken and turkey are crucial for building and maintaining muscle, as they’re packed with protein.

When protein is consumed, the body breaks it down into amino acids, which are used to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that becomes damaged during intense exercise. 

Additionally, a 2021 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in dark leafy greens called nitrates improved vascular and muscular function.

Spices like turmeric have also been shown to quell muscle soreness and stress. 

Cooper also hinted that Ngannou often picks traditional Cameroonian dishes, such as beef tail, black bean and mango rice bowls, and fufu, which is made from the starchy root vegetable yuca. 

‘He’s a very exotic eater,’ Cooper said, nothing that Ngannou prefers ‘clean, gourmet’ food.

Cooper didn’t specify how many calories Ngannou is taking in every day, but it could be significantly higher than the generally recommended 2,000-calorie daily limit to keep up his 6ft4, 257-pound physique. 

Joshua’s team revealed in 2018, for example, that the fighter consumes anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 calories, depending on how close he’s getting to a fight.

However, massive 6ft9, 265-pound heavyweight Fury only gets about 2,700 to 3,200 calories, his nutritionist George Lockwood previously told DailyMail.com.   

‘You’re burning a lot of calories. A lot of energy is being exhausted,’ Cooper said.

Ngannou does, however, like to cheat every now and then with a slice of cheesecake, though he’s largely ‘very responsible’ during camp. 

‘This is hard work. But it doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s what you do,’ Cooper said. ‘And he pushes hard, and we do out very best to motivate and push him hard.’ 

‘He has the right mentality, the right personality, and that’s why he’s so great.’

You May Also Like

Congo is suffering biggest mpox outbreak ever that could soon spread to US…after arrival of new, ultra-infectious, deadly strain, CDC report warns

Health officials warn that cases of mpox have reached an all-time high…

Six foods that could ease arthritis pain in the 'ultimate' diet

Across the UK millions of people are living with arthritis and other…

Major win for Aussie workers who refuse to get the Covid vaccine as 'unreasonable' mandate is scrapped

Mandates requiring health workers in NSW to receive two doses of a Covid vaccine…

'Game-changer' weight loss jab study sparks stampede for prescriptions

Pharmacies reported a surge in enquiries following promising research (Image: Getty) The…