Francis Ngannou was beloved prior to letting his relationship with the UFC get contentious. Ngannou’s manager is reportedly hardballing the organization when it comes to contract extension which is leading to a lot of controversy. For one – UFC crowned an interim champion in the Frenchman Cyril Gane and has scheduled a title unification bout for January of 2022.
This match up in particular highlights an unfavorable side of Gane. His former coach accused him of being very cheap time and time again and is backing up Gane in process. The last round of verbal war comes from an old sparring video his gym had posted some time back.
According to Ngannou the two had trained a total of a month together and the video neglects to showcase how dominant Ngannou was during that time.
“When I saw that footage, my first reaction was laughing. Because I know exactly what happened at those training sessions. But this is the thing. When they want to like, 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, he was like, they were filming our training session to promote him, his fight, and everything. So, there was a lot of footage from those few training sessions. But a lot of them never came out and would never come out, will never come out. And I know for a fact that they will never come out.”
Ngannou went on to claim that he believes his former camp in manipulating public opinion:
“It’s about to make him look better and make me look bad; to prove that he’s the man,” Ngannou added. “I really get intrigued by those stuff sometimes. And then how they just control people’s mind, conditioning them to think. And they just think like, suddenly they just shift from one way to other way of thinking. And I’m like, how easy is that to manipulate people, which, they’re really good at manipulation. But at the end of the day, as I said, we both know; everyone knows for a fact.”
The Predator left MMA Factory following his losses against Miocic and Lewis. In 2018 he joined Xtreme Couture. He trained there under the coach Eric Nicksick for another shot for the title. And the new approach worked. Ngannou was finally able to take seek revenge from Miocic and won the title in March 2021.
Why did Ngannou leave MMA Factory and Fernand Lopez?
However Lopez is claiming Ngannou had left over some gym fees:
“When Francis fought against Anthony Hamilton [in 2016], that fight, I choose to not go. I said to him, ‘I’m not coaching you anymore, I need you to step out of the gym.’ Because Francis said to me, ‘There’s a guy who is calling to get money in the gym from fighters, membership.’ And Francis said to me, ‘I’m the one bringing the (spot)light in the gym. I shall not pay any membership.’”
“I said, ‘This is crazy.’ I mean, you must be crazy. You spent four years of your life, for free in my gym. I never asked you for anything, any penny. And now that you’re not poor anymore, and I keep bringing poor guys in my gym, there’s around 40 guys homeless in my gym, poor people, that I’m taking care of them. I call that ‘file zero.’ When a guy shows up in my gym, I send him to my secretary and I say, ‘Give him file zero.’ Means take him to the gym for free.”
“And I said ‘Okay, you become a successful man, you have money, you pay me 10 percent. On top of the 10 percent, you ask me to pay the sparring partner with that money that you give me. On top of that, you’re saying that that will be a shame to know that a big man like you is paying the membership.’ Do you know how much is the membership in a year in my gym? €600. €600 per year, one year. And he said, ‘No, I will not pay.’”
“So, I said, ‘You know what, you don’t listen to me anymore when I’m giving the class, you choose the easy way to train, please let’s just split.’ And he did.”
Ngannou disputes these claims:
“It’s a selfish sport. And that’s what people sometimes don’t; they don’t understand. But, you know, you always have to understand something, learn from it, because like – Listen, I went to that [Alistair Overeem] fight. That fight, then I think I signed a fight contract like six weeks before the [first Stipe Miocic] fight. But I found I was here [in the US]. I didn’t have anything; didn’t have nobody around. And I’ve been here for like, eight months already. Then, I’m like, ‘Oh, what am I doing?’ You know? And I have to go to Paris, you know, like, oh, I’m going to MMA Factory and all that. It was three weeks before the fight.”
You can watch the full clip of Francis Ngannou reacting to the sparring footage below: