Ahead of their heavyweight title unification bout at UFC 270, sparring footage was released between former teammates turned opponents Francis Ngannou and Cyril Gane.
Ngannou says they sparred in 2019, but didn’t really train together often. He also took offense to the clips that were released, saying they were edited and chopped up to make it look like Gane was getting better of the gym sparring sessions.
“When I saw that footage, my first reaction was laughing. Because I know exactly what happened at those training sessions,” Ngannou said on his YouTube channel. “But this is the thing. When they want to like, do some highlight, they always choose the part of the video that they use. And they have a lot of videos like that because, at the time, they were filming our training session to promote him, his fight, and everything. So, there was a lot of footage from those few training sessions. But a lot of them never came out and would never come out. And I know for a fact that they will never come out.
“It’s about to make him look better and make me look bad, to prove that he’s the man,” Ngannou said. “I really get intrigued by those stuff sometimes. And then how they just control people’s mind, conditioning them to think. And they just think like, suddenly they just shift from one way to other way of thinking. And I’m like, ‘wow, how easy is that to manipulate people,’ which they’re really good at manipulation. But at the end of the day, as I said, we both know, everyone knows for a fact.”
Ngannou did give Gane some props, while also maintaining that he’s the better fighter.
“Ciryl is pretty good and I knew that from day 1. He’s good, he’s really good, and will just get better,” Ngannou said. “He’s good. He’s talented, that’s for sure. That’s the reason why he’s there, where he’s at right now. I’m just better. I’m just the man that’s gonna stop the hype.”
Ngannou isn’t the only one who didn’t like this training footage being released. UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman also commented on Instagram, calling it a “dirty” move.
“Wait how does training footage all of a sudden appear smh,” Usman wrote. “This is dirty.”
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