Coach claims Francis Ngannou advised UFC officials not to sign former teammate Ciryl Gane

By Harry Kettle - November 15, 2021

According to Fernand Lopez, Francis Ngannou once advised the UFC that Ciryl Gane wasn’t quite ready to sign for the promotion.

Francis Ngannou

At UFC 270, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane will battle it out with the undisputed UFC heavyweight title being on the line. It’s the definition of a blockbuster showdown between two men who, in more ways than one, share a lot of history together.

During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, MMA Factory’s Fernand Lopez told a somewhat surprising story about Ngannou discussing Gane being in the UFC.

“At the time (the start of Ngannou’s career), what I was doing was that every time they (MMA Factory fighters in the UFC) had an interview, I will ask them to drop the name of Francis Ngannou; name-drop him. So every time that they will get caught in an interview, they will say, ‘Oh, we have so much good talent, you will know, soon enough you will know Francis Ngannou.’ That’s how I was trying to build his name… That’s how I used to push guys.

“As a matter of fact, I did do the same for Ciryl Gane… I tried to sign him with Mick Maynard. And you know what, Francis went back to Vegas and he said to me, ‘Hey, I had Mick and he asked me if young guy in my gym name Ciryl Gane is good.’ And I said, ‘Oh yeah, he did? He said, ‘Yes, but you know what, because that people in the matchmaking, because they expect me to be very, very dithyrambic on the name of the guy, I didn’t say that, I said he’s a little bit good, but he’s not good yet to go to the UFC.’ That’s coming from Francis Ngannou’s mouth. For him, that’s a strategy to do not have Mick Maynard get suspicious of me and him being on the same page, which is not true.”

Quotes via MMA News

Who do you think will win when Francis Ngannou defends his belt against Ciryl Gane? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, BJPENN Nation!

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Ciryl Gane Francis Ngannou UFC