Francis Ngannou keeps trading strikes with his upcoming opponent Ciryl Gane.
In the main event of UFC 270 on Saturday, Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) will face his former training partner. Ahead of their heavyweight title unification bout, a short clip of a sparring session with Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) began making the rounds in which it appeared Gane may have bested Ngannou.
“It wasn’t sparring footage. It was a clip of the sparring footage,” Ngannou explained Wednesday during the UFC 270 media day. “Because the footage doesn’t look that good.”
“That knockout 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. Personally, it’s not something that I feel proud of. I don’t walk around and feel all tough because I knocked my sparring partner out or down or whatever. Usually stuff like that happens in training, but it’s always an accident because we’re committed to taking care of our partner.”
“We just spent a few sessions in three weeks,” Ngannou said. “It was maybe six sessions of training, definitely less than eight. That was back in January 2019, because after I fought Curtis Blaydes in China, I went back to Cameroon and on Christmas I had the Cain Velasquez fight. So, I couldn’t come back to Vegas in time to set up a training camp because the fight was on February 17th.”
“I stopped in France and trained there for one month and at the time Ciryl was there training for his fight, I believe. So, he left even before I left. I think it was three weeks before I left to go for his fight. So after that, I think it was February 3rd, I flew to Phoenix, I was there two weeks before my fight, and that’s it.”
“I do believe that many people deal with a lot of stuff before fights, whether it’s a contract, drama stuff, or some ex-girlfriend sh*t, or ex-wife, I don’t know, people deal with stuff,” Ngannou said. “You have to figure out your own sh*t and do what you have to do.”
“My prediction is a knockout in two rounds,” Ngannou said firmly.