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Francis Ngannou and Former Coach Fernand Lopez Reveal the Real Reason Why They Split Ahead of UFC 270- “We Always Disagreed”

UFC 270 will see Francis Ngannou putting his belt on the line for the very first time against his former teammate Ciryl Gane. He parted ways with his former gym MMA FACTORY in 2019 after falling out with the head coach Fernand Lopez.

The split came on the heels of two consecutive defeats. The first came after a humiliating defeat against Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight championship. It was his first loss in the UFC. The second loss against Derrick Lewis is considered the worst fight in heavyweight history.

Francis Ngannou and Fernand Lopez
via Bloody Elbow

After leaving MMA FACTORY, the current champ joined Xtreme Couture. Under the guidance of Eric Nicksick, Ngannou has built a 4 fight win streak that included all-time greats such as Cain Velasquez and Stipe Miocic. In a week’s time, he will face Ciryl Gane, who is a protégé of his former coach.

Fernand Lopez sheds light on what went wrong with Francis Ngannou

Ahead of UFC 270, UFC released the Countdown video. In that video coach, Lopez dropped crucial knowledge as to why Francis Ngannou and he parted ways. The French coach stated for the first time that it was him who decided to end the working relationship between the two.

He revealed how he helped Ngannou after his two back to back losses. Lopez said, “Two losses, he went back to France and said: ‘Can you help me?’ How can we work together?” He continued, “I said, ‘if you want to make that happen, you listen to what I’m saying. You follow the game plan, you follow the conditioning training.”

“He said, ‘I’m ready to follow all that.’ We went to Beijing, China. We won the fight (against Curtis Blaydes). And here come the bad Francis again!”

But Francis Ngannou did not follow the advice of his former coach. Fernand Lopez claimed, “He went back to America once again and started doing whatever he wanted to do. And it’s working for him.” But I said, “I don’t want to work with you anymore.”

The champion weighed in on the issue during the UFC Countdown video as well. He said, “Fernand and I, we had our ups and downs. We always did since Day 1. We always disagreed on stuff. But he has his dream, I have my own. So I moved on.”

Fernand Lopez’s current student Ciryl Gane will be the first fighter to challenge Ngannou’s heavyweight championship at UFC 270. The event will go down live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 22.

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