Injured within the knee earlier than his shock in opposition to Ciryl Gane, Francis Ngannou nonetheless managed to retain his crown of heavyweight champion of the UFC. But why didn’t the French facet benefit from this bodily concern when rumors concerning the Cameroonian’s harm have been circulating? Coach of “Bon Gamin” and ex-coach of Ngannou, Fernand Lopez defined himself. And took the chance to bury the hatchet together with his former athlete.
Should we goal for the injured knee of Francis Ngannou to benefit from his bodily concern? After the Cameroonian’s victory over Ciryl Gane final weekend in California, a number of observers raised this query when discussing the technique of the French nook. The consequence of rumors about this harm, who will require an operation and several months of absence for the heavyweight champion, who had toured the online earlier than the conflict. But for Fernand Lopez, Gane’s coach and former Ngannou’s coach, it was onerous to believe them.
The one who had introduced earlier than the struggle to know “the medical history” (and subsequently the weak factors) of the person handed beneath his command earlier than a separation suffused with resentment noticed them extra as a entice. Guest on The MMA Hour of the MMAFighting web site, the boss of the MMA Factory recounted his response when Gane’s brother David despatched him a screenshot saying Ngannou’s harm: “I don’t believe it.” For Lopez, these rumors have been a “bait” launched by the opposing camp to push the French fighter to vary his plans. And the knee protectors worn by the defending champion whereas climbing into the octagon didn’t change his imaginative and prescient. Quite the opposite.
“I said to Ciryl, ‘Don’t go for the low kicks. I don’t think Francis is hurt. He’s going to counter you and knock you out. Don’t kick down, stay on the kicks we use.'” Lopez additionally explains how Gane’s taekwondo-style kicks allowed him to maintain the space and management his opponent with out large danger within the first two rounds. Until this third spherical or a excessive kick will trigger the turning level of the struggle by permitting the Cameroonian to seize the leg of the Frenchman to crush him in an extremely spectacular takedown.
Behind, Ngannou will depend on his battle, a selection dictated by the state of affairs firstly of the struggle in addition to by his bodily situation, to show the scenario round and search a victory by unanimous determination. Not a shock for Lopez, who had introduced earlier than the struggle “to know well” his former pupil however who won’t have been capable of counter this technique. “I knew they would leave on the fight. I had repeated it in several interviews: I did not see how he could worry us in boxing on the first two rounds. And that is what happened. Francis is powerful and did a good job in wrestling. But I wasn’t surprised by that. I’m not saying what he did wasn’t good. But it wasn’t surprising.”
This doesn’t stop him from promising a close to future full of soil to his athlete, to whom he gave ten days of relaxation earlier than returning to the coal with a program which passes by compatriots of Khabib Nurmagomedov. “I have already called two big wrestlers from Dagestan. Ciryl will eat grappling like never before for the next few months!” The alternative to proceed working, amongst different issues, this heel lock that Gane tried within the fifth spherical however technically misplaced (and which ate up his remaining power when it had little likelihood of succeeding on this place) when it allowed him to win his second UFC struggle, in October 2019 in opposition to Don’Tale Mayes.
“I don’t regret that he did it, responds Lopez in the face of criticism. If he hadn’t done it and we had lost by decision, I would be sorry for not having tried it because he’s very good in that take. It’s part of the show. You want Ciryl to put on the show, he did. Who in both camps wasn’t scared of that key? But it went wrong. We will go back to training and continue to learn.” Leaving behind the media rivalry with Ngannou. “I’m relieved it’s over. When I walked through the octagon and shook his hand, it was my way of saying, ‘OK man, I’m done with this’. I’m tired of this subject.”
But earlier than transferring on, Lopez provided a closing evaluation of this verbal squabble together with his former athlete: “Anyway, whatever you say on this subject, it goes badly. You seem bitter, you look like an ex talking about her former husband. If I regret anything, it’s not having succeeded as a coach in this story. I’m not sorry that the first four years with Francis went well but for not having managed to maintain this relationship by keeping him in a good state of mind. It’s always painful for me, it makes me feel like I’ve missed something. It all started because I responded to journalists approvingly what Dana White said about his ego. I regret that. If I hadn’t admitted that, I think everything would have stayed the same.”
Lopez stated he had an extended dialog after the struggle backstage on the Honda Center with Marquel Martin, Ngannou’s supervisor, and shared a hug together with his present coach Eric Nicksick. He additionally endorsed the recommendation given by Kamaru Usman, UFC welterweight champion and shut good friend of the Cameroonian whom he once more helped to arrange for this struggle: “Fernand, we are brothers, let’s stop all this”. The MMA Factory boss appears to agree.