Undisputed UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has claimed footage from his previous training sessions with interim champion Ciryl Gane has been manipulated. But his former head coach is curious about exactly what has been tampered with or changed.
“I rolled my eyes because it just doesn’t make sense,” said Fernand Lopez, head of MMA Factory, in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Let’s put it this way… let’s take the worst case scenario – the UFC manipulated the images. Is this the wrong sequence? Why are you concerned about these pictures anyway? This is the fucking footage. You are not [wearing] the four-ounce gloves. You’re not trying to topple Ciryl Gane.
“We all know, I recognize his power. Ciryl Gane recognizes her power. The whole world recognizes its power. They can see in the video that Francis didn’t use all might to topple Ciryl Gane. To the right? So where is the manipulation?
In the run-up to Ngannou’s title unification against Gane in the main event of UFC 270, the reigning heavyweight champion said a video of highlights from their previous work made Gane look better. in order to sell the acting champion’s chances in the fight. Ngannou added that he knew “exactly what had happened during these training sessions”.
Lopez, however, would like to know what his veteran is actually referring to. During the training session in question, he is not entirely sure what Ngannou thinks has changed. He said the reality of what really happened was worse than the images released.
Lopez also admitted that the result was just a training session, and that a fighter taking the upper hand over another on any given day is part of the sport, which is why he was so baffled by Ngannou’s issue. .
“What you mean is there is a part of the video where Ciryl was in danger?” OK, so talk, ”Lopez said. “Come out and talk. Do you want me to tell you the truth? I have the full video of this thing. I didn’t want to do this because the fighters trust me, and ESPN at one point requested the video so they could show it. That’s it. When you have the opportunity to talk to Francis Ngannou, ask him this: Did you or did you not bend your knee in this video?
“Do you want me to tell you the truth about the video?” The video ends with Francis Ngannou sitting in the corner of the gym because he [ate] Ciryl Gane’s knee in the liver. Knee on the body. He sat down. He was fucking exhausted, tired, took the knee, [sat] down. Ciryl walked over to him, ‘Brother, come on, let’s go, let’s keep going, keep practicing.’ This is what happened at the end of the video. If you think there’s something special you did in the video, go ahead and speak up.
Lopez disputes Ngannou’s statement mainly because he was there when this particular workout took place. But more than anything, he knows the training footage from almost three years ago will have no real bearing on the outcome of the fight against Gane.
“I will show the video,” he said. “You just ate the knee of the kid who had been in the gym for a few months. You ate the knee in the liver and you sat down. You’re over there saying, ‘He knows.’ What the fuck does he know? What the hell are you talking about? He knows what? Go up. Speak. What are you talking about? Again, training is bullshit. François is a killer. François is going to knock everyone out. He knocks people out, no doubt. I am the first to say it. I’m the first to admit it.
“Francis, this is the maximum power you can have in your hands. But again, it’s not a fight. Fighting isn’t just about a punch. We’ve had people say, “I just need one,” and we know the result. It’s not just about saying, “I need one,” because to bring down Stipe Miocic, he needed more than one. I mean net shoot he gives Stipe probably eight clear shots and Stipe didn’t fall. He finally brought Stipe to the ground after probably 10 shots. So we know Francis is a killer, but please stop with the conspiratorial mindset.
As he prepares Gane to beat Ngannou on January 22, Lopez promises that there is no underlying mental warfare at work when it comes to the training streaks that have suddenly become the center of attention. He doesn’t understand why Ngannou seems concerned about the idea that everyone is against him, from his former head coach to the UFC as a promotion.
“There is no one trying to make you look bad,” Lopez said of Ngannou. “There is no one who manipulates the video. This is your video. If it wasn’t you, say “Oh, it’s not me” or “You know what, that speed, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me going at this speed,” or say : “You know what, at one point, I took him down. At one point, I don’t know, I just knocked him out. Do you have No. So what are you talking about.
“I’m a little bit surprised. I don’t really know where he’s going. People say, “There’s news coming in, Francis said he’s been manipulated.” What? What are you saying? I mean, how did they manipulate you? Is that your gang? Yes. Is this the real speed? Yes. Are you moving? Yes. Oh the [way it was edited], the part where you put Ciryl in danger? OK, can you talk? What was that? Did you jostle him? Have you submitted it? Did you knock him out? What the hell are you talking about? I do not know. I am not sure I understand where exactly it is going.
Outside of the fight itself, Ngannou has also been at a standstill with the UFC for several months as he nears the end of his current contract with the promotion. With only one fight remaining on his contract, Ngannou prepares to face Gane with an uncertain future ahead of him as he continues to work on some sort of resolution with the UFC.
This resulted in a public war of words that has now escalated to include UFC president Dana White and Ngannou manager Marquel Martin of the Creative Artists Agency. The end result is that Ngannou still remains at odds with the UFC and that’s what Lopez thinks he’s ultimately fueling his paranoia.
” We assist [this] a few times, Francis Ngannou continues [saying], ‘The UFC don’t like me, they want to do this to me, they do this. The MMA factory, they do this to me. Stop with that, ”Lopez said. “How many champions do you have there [in the UFC]? They aren’t complaining about Kamaru Usman, he’s good with the UFC. I mean it’s good for negotiation. Ali [Abdelaziz] is one of the best, if not the best in the UFC as a manager – he doesn’t fight Dana White. Israel Adesanya does not fight with Dana White. Khabib [Nurmagomedov] does not fight with Dana White.
“I mean they’ve got the bargain, but they’re finally coming out with something good. I mean even Conor [McGregor] will say, “I need stocks or stock options in the UFC” and Dana will say, “No, are you crazy? Certainly not. I’m just going to give you the place so you can put your whiskey, whatever, in the cage, ”and then they have a deal. It’s not just “They want to kill me, they don’t want me to be brilliant.” What the hell are you talking about? I do not really understand.