Francis Ngannou: Psychiatrist Said Former Coach Fernand Lopez Would Be ‘A Problem’
Francis Ngannou was once warned that his former head coach Fernand Lopez wasn’t good for him mentally.
Ngannou and Lopez have made headlines commenting on one another leading up to the heavyweight champion’s title defense against interim champ Ciryl Gane, who Lopez now trains. But Ngannou said he isn’t that surprised.
“I always knew that something like this could come from him,” Ngannou told UFC’s Megan Olivi.
“I was in Paris two years ago after the Derrick Lewis fight, and I was dealing with some personal stuff on my end.”
“I was so in the bad place that I decided to see a psychiatrist. If you look at the psychiatrist’s notes, it’s funny because even two years ago she pointed out Fernand as a problem and to watch out. I thought she was like, crazy. She started to break it down and put it on the note. Now I think she was all right.”
Ngannou found a home in Lopez’s gym in France, MMA Factory, and trained there without a cost. He was picked up by the UFC in 2015 and, after the gym started gaining traction, Lopez asked Ngannou to pay a gym membership, but the heavyweight reportedly refused.
A few days later after that news, Lopez said he would rather train Gane for free than train Ngannou again for $100,000.
After Ngannou reportedly refused to pay the gym membership, he was let go from the facility.
Ngannou will defend his throne for the first time this weekend at UFC 270. The heavyweight king will share the octagon with Gane.
Gane is the first-ever French champion in the history of the UFC.
Gane and Ngannou are former sparring partners. They were used to spar a lot, and Lopez had many videos, including the leaked footage where Gane seemed to overpower Ngannou.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Lopez said he wants to at least be cordial with Ngannou.
“…I think as a gentleman, we should be able to say hello, how are you doing? That’s it, and be polite,” Lopez said.