UFC 270: Francis Ngannou, Ciryl Gane Expand Of Sparring Controversy

UFC 270 is almost here, and the story of Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane has not dwindled one bit.

Ngannou, who is defending his heavyweight belt for the first time Saturday, clarified that he and Gane, the interim champ, were never teammates. He was passing through MMA Factory in Paris and happened to start sparring with Gane, but that’s all.

In regard to the sparring, the two still have their differences on how the leaked sparring footage actually went.

“He was knocked out, probably, because he doesn’t remember,” Ngannou said.

“This is not the truth,” Gane said in response. “We did some sparring – and it was really great sparring from Francis. It was a beautiful left kick. The problem with Francis is he doesn’t like technical sparring – (he likes) to make power. … You gave me the left kick. You hurt me. You see? I’m honest – you hurt me. You hurt me. But you didn’t knock me down.”

Ngannou continued and said he can’t necessarily prove it because he doesn’t have the video tape. But, at the end of the day, he does respect Gane.

Gane responded by saying he’d like to see Ngannou respect him publicly in front of the crowd.

UFC President Dana White chimed in with Jim Rome on Thursday.

“You’re talking about, you don’t want to fight under your contract – he gets a piece of pay-per-view, like all the other champions do,” White told Rome.

“You’re worried about all these other things – I want to box Tyson Fury. … You’re the underdog on Saturday night. You’re not a huge, 10-1 favorite. … Beat Ciryl Gane. Win this fight, then you can start talking about the possibility of other things.”

The two will finally meet on Saturday, January 22 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT in Anaheim, California.

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