MMA Factory head coach Fernand Lopez has cleared up what really went down between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane in their sparring sessions and now-viral footage.
The buildup to Ngannou vs. Gane at UFC 270 has been interesting, to say the least. After Gane won the interim heavyweight title over Derrick Lewis, sparks have flown from both sides, especially between Ngannou and Lopez.
Things turned up a notch after footage of Gane and Ngannou sparring each other during their time at MMA Factory went viral. The clips show the two going at it in a light sparring session, with Gane arguably showing a bit more technical striking, despite it being in a training environment.
During an exclusive interview with LowKickMMA, Lopez asserted in never before released footage that Ngannou got dropped by a knee from Gane, briefly halting the session.
Fernand Lopez Claims Francis Ngannou Got Dropped With A Knee To The Body While Sparring Ciryl Gane
“That footage didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in training,” Lopez said. “There were so many opportunities where they got the better of each other in sparring. So we couldn’t have manipulated the footage. He didn’t want me to release the whole footage because, in that specific training, Francis Ngannou ate a knee shot to the liver and got dropped. Stopped the whole training. These are facts. Francis was on his backside. If he’s saying this isn’t true, I’ll release the whole footage. But, my content manager didn’t want to release it because we have privacy in the gym. When guys train in your gym, they expect things to stay in the gym.”
Lopez’s comments come after Ngannou went as far as calling his former coach “evil and manipulative” for leaking the sparring footage. Gane has also said that he’s able to manage Ngannou’s power and that the heavyweight champion is aware of this.
The first UFC pay-per-view of the year features a heavyweight showdown for the ages, and this ongoing controversy will surely fuel the fire of both men.
What do you think about the Francis Ngannou/Ciryl Gane sparring controversy?