Ahead of his return at UFC 270 next month, heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has claimed that sparring footage released featuring himself and brief former teammate, interim champion, Ciryl Gane shows how good the MMA Factory Paris team is at “manipulation”.
Ngannou, who most recently headlined UFC 260 in March, seized the undisputed heavyweight throne with a second round thunderous knockout win over former two-time champion, Stipe Miocic in the pair’s title re-run.
However, scheduling conflicts prevented the Batié native from returning in August or September for a title rematch with recent headliner, Derrick Lewis, resulting in the introduction of an interim title.
Eventually scooped by the aforenoted, Gane in a third round knockout win over Lewis at UFC 265 in August – the undefeated Frenchman had set up an eventual unification clash with former teammate, Ngannou.
Francis Ngannou shares his thoughts on sparring footage between him and Ciryl Gane
The Cameroonian, who currently plys his trade at Extreme Couture in Las Vegas alongside head coach, Eric Nicksick, has a frosty relationship with past head trainer, Fernand Lopez to say the least. And believes sparring footage which has become more and more prominent of him and Gane recently, shows how manipulative the Paris-based team are at portraying Gane as the superior fighter of the two from the brief clip.
“When I saw the footage, my first reaction was laughing – because I know exactly what happened at those training sessions,” Francis Ngannou said on his YouTube channel. “But this is the thing: When they want to do some highlight, they always choose the part of the video that they use and they have a lot of videos like that because at the time, they were filming our training sessions to promote him (Ciryl Gane), his fight, and everything. So there was a lot of footage from those few training sessions, but a lot them never came out and will never come out, and I know for a fact that they will never come out.”
“It’s about to make him (Gane) look better and make me look bad – to prove that he’s the man,” Francis Ngannou explained. “I really get intrigued by (that) stuff sometimes and then how they just control people’s mind, conditioning them to think – and suddenly they just shift from one way to other way of thinking. And I’m like, how easy is that to manipulate people?… They’re really good at manipulation. But at the end of the day, as I said, we both know. Everyone knows for a fact.”
Whilst Ngannou has taken umbrage with the manner in which his training footage with Gane was portrayed, he still maintains his upcoming opponent is going to continue evolving in years to come, and become an even better fighter.
“He’s (Gane) good and he’s just going to get better,” Ngannou said. “He’s good. He’s talented, that’s for sure, and that’s the reason why he’s there, where he’s at. Right now? I’m just better, man, I’m just the man that’s going to stop the hype, and I can’t wait to get to this fight because what’s really funny about this is everybody that talks about this fight hype him up.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)