Francis Ngannou’s former coach slams his mindset for complaining about ‘manipulated’ footage
Ahead of his match against Ciryl Gane, much has been made of Francis Ngannou’s link to his former coach, who is also Gane’s current coach.
While the drama has been unfolding with Ngannou’s contract disputes, leaked footage of Ngannou sparring with Gane has surfaced and made an even bigger splash.
Ngannou wasn’t happy with the leaked footage and claimed that it had been manipulated. A statement that his former coach, Fernand Lopez wasn’t happy with.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 6, 2021
After being asked in an interview on MMA Fighting, if Ngannou’s claims made any sense, Lopez responded saying, “I roll my eyes, like you said, because it makes no sense…
“Is it the wrong footage? Why are you concerned about that footage. It’s just fucking footage.
“You are not trying to knock Ciryl Gane down. We all know and I recognise his power, Ciryl Gane recognises his power, the whole world recognises his power.
Focus. Discipline. Skill. Respect.
Martial Arts was the real winner last night. Ciryl Gane, Fernand Lopez and all at MMA Factory Paris should be extremely proud of the professionalism displayed all week.
— Orbital MMA (@OrbitalMMA) August 8, 2021
Ngannou Manipulation claims.
Claims that the footage had been manipulated seemed to be particularly frustrating to Lopez as he couldn’t even understand what Ngannou meant by that.
“Where is the manipulation? I don’t know what’s going on with Francis… ‘The UFC, they set me up’… That’s bullshit.
“‘They set me up, they manipulated the video.’ What way did they manipulate the video, it’s not you in the video? Did they make you slow in the video and they make Ciryl faster in the video? Did they make you miss your punch then bring the punch of Ciryl touching you?”
Lopez even claimed that the video wasn’t the most condemning part of footage that he had from that session. He claims that what came next would bode even worse for Ngannou.
“When you have a chance to talk with Francis Ngannou, ask him this. Did you, yes or no, bend the knee in that video.
“The video ends up with Francis Ngannou sitting in the corner of the gym because he hit the knee of Ciryl Gane in the liver. Knee to the body and he sat down. He was fucking exhausted.”
Lopez still has a lot of respect for Ngannou but asked that he give up this current mindset that everyone was out to get him.
“You’re out there saying, ‘He knows, he knows.’ What the fuck he knows? What are you talking about.”
“We know that Francis is a killer but please stop with this mindset.”
Ce genre de métier à haut risque… ?
— Fernand Lopez (@fernandlopez) January 7, 2022
Dealing with Ngannou’s latest claims wasn’t the only thing Lopez discussed as he also relived how close they once were.
“It’s not often that you’re facing someone that you did train deeply. That happened already with me at a small stage but this is a big thing. This is the biggest level of fighting ever.
“Having a guy that I spent five years with, sleeping in the same room with sometimes in some fight weeks, travelling the same flights sitting by his side, interpreting for him when he didn’t speak English, even though his English is now better than mine.”
This big fight had always been on Lopez’s mind, however, as he knew that the two heavyweights would one day have to clash.
“So, yeah, it’s kind of weird to have him in front of me, to have to prepare against him but then again, it’s part of the job.
“It’s almost four years that I knew this would happen. As soon as Ciryl Gane signed in my gym I knew this would happen, so I’ve had a very long to prepare for this.”
Ciryl Gane knows what he’s up against when he meets Francis Ngannou in a couple of weeks: Power. pic.twitter.com/Msu7YpUWZp
— The Mac Life (@TheMacLife) January 7, 2022
A mix of emotions.
While Lopez will be rooting for Gane in the bout, he won’t forget that he needs to respect the power of Ngannou.
“I think on the fight day that it will be a mix of emotions. I’ll be proud of what my gym and my people did, having these two names on the top of that mountain, I will be a little bit scared because for my guy, that I love, which is Ciryl.
“I know that he’s confident, I am confident but you can never have enough confidence when you go against Francis Ngannou. You need to remember and know that he’s a monster and he can just rip you apart with a punch.
While the two have distanced themselves, Lopez thinks Ngannou may be underestimating how much Lopez knows about him.
“Francis is trying to say that I don’t know anything about him. That’s bullshit.
“He knows that we spent so much time together and I can tell when he’s scared and I can tell when he’s afraid.”