A clip of an old session between former training partners Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) and Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) during their days at MMA Factory Paris recently emerged, and UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou was not happy with the footage.
Two former teammates on a collision course.
Will we see Ciryl Gane and Francis Ngannou going at it for real in the Octagon? pic.twitter.com/3EUOQG7vHJ
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) June 28, 2021
Ngannou claimed that the clip was manipulated by his old gym and portrayed a false picture of what really happened. But Lopez, who was a pivotal part in Ngannou’s growth as a fighter, told MMA Junkie that manipulation is the wrong word for Ngannou to use.
“Nobody used that video in order to try to make him look bad or make him look good,” Lopez said. “No matter which one you decide to show, if you don’t show the whole training session, which is an hour of sparring, if you don’t put all of that online, there’s someone who’s going to say, ‘Oh, you put the part that I wasn’t looking good.’ There’s not any manipulation of the video as Francis said. Manipulation means you change the speed of the video, and you make him look slow when Ciryl is looking fast. Manipulation is if you put the video out when I’m looking bad when I was doing very good earlier.”
He continued, “I didn’t even think the footage was in Ciryl’s advantage to be honest with you. We can see in the video that a couple of times he got caught by Francis’ uppercut, so I don’t know what the big deal is with this.”
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Lopez revealed that the rest of the video would have only made Ngannou look worse, but he doesn’t put too much significance into that as interim champ Gane heads into his title unification bout with Ngannou in the UFC 270 main event on Jan. 22.
“I think that video looked exactly how the training used to go,” Lopez said. “The training used to go back and forth. Ciryl Gane is honest and said the sparring video, ‘I think I look good in that because we are going in a slow pace and when it’s a slow pace without using power, I’m kind of tactical, so I look good.’ But at the end of that video, you can ask Francis, he had a knee. He just bent a knee. he just sit down, literally stopped the fight because he got a big knee in the liver that day of the training session.
“I have that footage, but I don’t want to release that because I’m not there to try and use that as a – do you think if you show a video of someone knocking someone in the training, that means he’s a winner in the fight? No, I don’t think so. If the community manager of MMA Factory tried to make him look bad, they will have shown the video where Ciryl Gane is trying to pick him up because he (Ngannou) just ate a knee in the liver, he’s sitting against a wall, and he can’t go anymore.”