There’s already drama heading into UFC 270 on January 22 around the undisputed UFC heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane. The latter has finally decided to discuss some of it.
Once teammates, Ngannou and Gane have grown further apart after a video surfaced at UFC 268 of Ngannou ignoring interim heavyweight champion Gane, as well as his former trainer Fernand Lopez and Nassourdine Imavov.
Appearing in MMA Time with Ariel Helwani, Gane is disappointed in Ngannou’s recent actions and felt the snub was unnecessary.
“This is wrong, that’s all,” Gane said. via MMA Fighting. “For me, it was only for Fernand López, but it was a bit [of] shame because you have your future opponent, you have your old sparring, [and] also for Nassourdine Imavov ”.
Imavov, to whom Gane referenced, made his MMA debut in 2016. His last fight was at UFC 268 last November, where he beat Edmen Shahbazyan by TKO. Imavov was one of Ngannou’s main sparring partners when he was at the MMA Factory. Tensions grew when Ngannou made a mistake in Imavov’s name in a recent interview, leading to López calling him on social media.
So why is there bad blood?
Ngannou and López were once roommates when Ngannou trained at the MMA Factory from 2013 to 2018, where López was the head coach.
The two parted ways for many reasons, one of which was that Ngannou said Lopez wanted to be the center of attention on him, the wrestler, prompting Ngannou to move to Xtreme Couture in 2018.
Ngannou unsuccessfully challenged for the UFC heavyweight title in 2018, but beat Stipe Miocic last March in a rematch to win the title.
Ngannou’s success since leaving the MMA Factory and López’s inability to explain the breakup without looking bitter or jealous, according to Ngannou, are currently fueling the fire.
Add another log to the fire when training images that were released de Ngannou and Gane in what Ngannou said was published to make him look bad and “a game of manipulation” as further evidence of why there is bad blood between both sides.
Still, Gane believes that Ngannou’s rejection was the wrong move.
“Nassourdine Imavov did a lot of fights for Francis Ngannou, perhaps the biggest fight he ever had in his career,” Gane said. “So that’s why we were a bit embarrassed. He just won his fight at Madison Square Garden. That’s why it was a bit embarrassing, that’s why it was a bit bad for me. “
Making his MMA debut in 2018, Gane joined the UFC in 2019. Gane is 7-0 with the promotion, beating Derrick Lewis for the interim title in August. Win will try to bypass all the drama surrounding his camp and Ngannou is heading into the title fight.
UFC 270 will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on January 22. The co-main event will be a trilogy fight between UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo.