Ciryl Gane’s coach rejected Francis Ngannou’s suggestion that the fight images of upcoming opponents have been altered.
Fernand Lopez coached Ngannou ahead of the UFC Franco-Cameroonian heavyweight title win last March, and he has continued to coach Gane throughout.
Ngannou and Gane were training together at the gymnasium at the MMA factory in Lopez, France, and the former teammates are expected to become opponents this month during the main event of UFC 270.
Gane wears the interim heavyweight title in the bout, having secured gold in August, and the competition preparation has been dominated by conversations around training streaks for the Frenchman and Ngannou.
Ngannou suggested the footage involved some form of “manipulation,” something Lopez rejected.
“I rolled my eyes because it just doesn’t make sense,” Lopez told MMA Fighting.
“Let’s put it this way, let’s take the worst-case scenario: the UFC manipulated the images. Is this the wrong sequence? Why are you concerned about these pictures anyway? This is the sequence of f ***** g. You are not [wearing] the four-ounce gloves, you’re not trying to knock over Ciryl Gane.
“I recognize his power, Ciryl Gane recognizes his power, the whole world recognizes his power. They can see in the video that Francis didn’t use all of his power to topple Ciryl Gane, right? So where is the manipulation?
Ngannou (16-3) won the UFC heavyweight title by knocking out Stipe Miocic last March, avenging a 2018 decision loss to the American in the process.
The 35-year-old is widely regarded as the fiercest puncher in UFC history. He has won 12 of his professional MMA victories by knockout. Eight of those 12 knockout wins came in the first round, including three in the first minute.
Gane, meanwhile, is undefeated at 10-0, with seven stoppages to his name. The 31-year-old is known for his speed and technical abilities, which are among the most impressive in the heavyweight division.
“Do you want me to tell you the truth about the video?” Lopez continued.
“The video ends with Francis Ngannou sitting in the corner of the gym because he [ate] Ciryl Gane’s knee in the liver. Knee on the body.
“He sat down. He was fucking exhausted, tired, took the knee, to the ground.
“Ciryl went to him: ‘Brother, go upstairs, let’s go, let’s continue, let’s continue to train. This is what happened at the end of the video.
“If you think there is something special you did in the video, please come on, speak up.”