Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Ngannou Claims He Accidentally Knocked Gane Out While Sparring

UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou claims he once knocked out upcoming opponent Ciryl Gane during a sparring session at Paris’ MMA Factory gym.

After returning from a four-week break last weekend with UFC Vegas 46, the world’s premier MMA promotion is set to open its pay-per-view account for 2022 this weekend in Anaheim, California.

Opening the year will be UFC 270, an event headlined by a blockbuster heavyweight title unification showdown with a backstory that is, according to Dana White, better than Vince McMahon could write.

Former teammates Ngannou and Gane are set to collide in a clash of power and a new breed of technical heavyweight fighting. With their history, the title of ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ at stake, and the champion’s uncertain future, the opening PPV headliner of the year is set to bring fireworks to the Octagon.

Ngannou Flips The Script On Lopez’s KO Claim

One of the many intriguing narratives heading into January 22 has been the two heavyweight titleholders’ experience sparring with each other, and how that may impact the result inside the Honda Center.

Fans were given a glimpse of the pair’s sparring sessions in a leaked clip. While the brief video showed Gane making a good account of himself, a disgruntled Ngannou suggested it made the Frenchman look better than he is. Gane himself even admitted the footage certainly did him some favors.

But after the Cameroonian’s displeasure at the sparring session’s release, MMA Factory’s Fernand Lopez threatened to post footage of the interim champ dropping “The Predator.” At UFC 270 media day on Wednesday, Ngannou turned the tables on his former coach by claiming he once put Gane to sleep during sparring.

“Yes, I knocked him out,” Ngannou said. “(It was) with a high kick, a left high kick… There’s a lot of reasons why that footage didn’t come out.”

Ngannou went on to insist that accidentally knocking out a training partner was certainly not something he is proud of, given the need to protect teammates while sparring.

“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,” added Ngannou. “So, personally, it’s not something that I will be proud of and walk ’round feeling tough because I knocked my sparring partner out… Usually, stuff like that happens in training, but it’s always an accident. We are committed to taking care of our partner.”

In his fast rise to the top of the food chain in the UFC, Gane has comfortable dealt with some of the biggest and most powerful hitters in the UFC, including Jairzinho Rozenstruik and UFC KO record-holder Derrick Lewis.

But if Ngannou’s sparring claims are true, those backing a sixth-straight KO for “The Predator” will now be a whole lot more confident in their pick.

Do you think Francis Ngannou will add a 13th KO to his record this Saturday against Ciryl Gane?

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