Close sidebar

Fernand Lopez wasn’t surprised by Francis Ngannou’s wrestling but didn’t think he did much with it

Fernand Lopez Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou’s former coach Fernand Lopez claims that he wasn’t surprised by Ngannou grappling with Ciryl Gane but doesn’t believe he did much with it besides wear Gane down.

After a surprising UFC 270 main-event, Fernand Lopez said that Francis Ngannou’s decision to wrestle wasn’t actually the part that surprised him.

“I knew that there would be wrestling,” said Lopez on The MMA Hour.

“I said that in many interviews. I said that I don’t see in the two first rounds how there’ll be a challenge in the boxing department.

“There will not be a challenge and that’s what happened. There’s no challenge with Ciryl in the boxing department.

While Lopez didn’t expect Ngannou’s striking to be a match for Gane’s, he knew that Ngannou’s power could cause issues in other areas.

He said: “Then we went to the wrestling department and that first wrestling takedown… Francis is powerful.

“I think he did a good job on wrestling but I wasn’t surprised.

“I’m not trying to say that I don’t appreciate it but I wasn’t surprised at all.”

The real surprise

While most people were surprised by Ngannou’s path to victory, most had been saying that the grappling was unexpected, Lopez admitted his surprise but claimed the part that surprised him was the decision win.

“I don’t agree with people, that’s not true. Remember that Francis won four of his fights by submission including, in the UFC, (Anthony) Hamilton by Kimura.

“I didn’t think at any time that Francis would win the fight by decision.”

Lopez didn’t expect Gane to become fatigued throughout the fight but after seeing Ngannou wear him out he appreciated Ngannou’s fight IQ.

Ngannou Lopez

While Lopez did appreciate Ngannou’s fight IQ, he claims Ngannou didn’t actually out-grapple Gane and that he just wore him out.

“Francis on top of you can wear you down. He’s heavy, he’s powerful, he’s solid.

“I’m trying to say that when people say he out grappled someone, that’s not the case.

“You can win the round because you take someone down and you can win the round because you lay on someone… but again, if I asked you as a referee, what did he attempt exactly to submit or to evolve the fight, it’s kind of hard to say.”

Read Next: Chael Sonnen has misdemeanour charges dropped in Las Vegas battery case

Read More About: , ,