One of the main storylines of Saturday’s UFC 270 heavyweight title headliner between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane is their past as training partners. The two men shared a lot of mat time together at the MMA Factory in France under the tutelage of Fernand Lopez.
Some clips of the said sparring sessions have since made the rounds online, which “The Predator’’ claimed to be a “manipulation” tactic to make it seem like Gane had the upper hand.
During the UFC 270 media day this week, Ngannou also revealed badly hurting Gane during another training session.
“Yes, I knocked him out. Bad. High kick, left high kick,” he told reporters.
But unlike the videos shared by Team Gane, Ngannou says the footage of that session won’t see the light of day.
“There’s a lot of reasons why that footage didn’t come out. Let me say this: that knockout, it wasn’t a voluntary knockout. It was in sparring, it was an accident. I didn’t intend to knock him out. I didn’t go there to knock him out,” he said.
“Personally, it’s not something that I will be proud of and walk around and feel tough because I knocked my sparring partner out. Or knock him down, or whatever.
“Usually, stuff like that happens in training, but it’s always an accident. Because we’re committed to take care of our partner, that’s how it was.”
UFC 270 takes place on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Coheadlining the event is the third fight between flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo.
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