MMA Factory Paris head coach, Fernand Lopez has denied recent suggestions from former student, UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou that he manipulated footage of himself sparring with interim champion, Ciryl Gane – claiming he has footage of the latter actually dropped Ngannou with a body shot.
Headlining UFC 270 later this month, Cameroon native, Ngannou attempts to successfully unify the heavyweight titles against interim gold holder, Gane, who enters the showdown boasting an undefeated 10-0 professional record.
In the run-up to the pair’s title bout on January 22. – footage has reemerged of the two briefly sparring at the aforenoted, MMA Factory facility in France, however, Ngannou had recently alluded to the fact that the footage released intended to paint Gane in a positive light ahead of the championship clash.
However, speaking with LowKick MMA reporter, Curtis Calhoun during a recent interview, Lopez insisted that he had possession of Ngannou suffering a knockdown agaisnt Gane during a sparring session, as the result of a knee strike to the midsection.
“If we changed the speed of either guy, then we would’ve manipulated it,” Fernand Lopez said. “There’s no doubt that was Francis Ngannou. But, that footage didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in training. There were so many opportunities where they got the better of each other in sparring. So could’ve we manipulated it? 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, Fernand Lopez said. “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.”
In his most recent outing back in March at UFC 259, Ngannou clinched the undisputed heavyweight title with an eventual second round knockout win over former two-time gold holder, Stipe Miocic.
Unable to defend his title due to scheduling conflicts back in August, an interim title was introduced to the division, with Gane stopping common-opposition, Derrick Lewis with a rather straightforward, one-sided ground strikes knockout in the third round.
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