Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lopez Reveals How Usman Played Peacekeeper Between Him & Ngannou

Ciryl Gane’s coach Fernand Lopez has revealed what Kamaru Usman said to him after Francis Ngannou‘s victory at UFC 270.

While it may have somewhat drifted into the background with the remarkable situation surrounding the heavyweight champion’s future in the UFC and ongoing contractual dispute with the promotion, Ngannou’s bitter and public feud with MMA Factory founder and head coach Lopez was an intriguing narrative heading into the opening pay-per-view main event of 2022.

Fueled by a dramatic backstage snub at UFC 268 that was worthy of a place in a soap opera, Lopez and Ngannou’s 2019 split rose back to the surface in recent months. While the Frenchman accused his former student of refusing to pay the gym membership and attempting to sabotage Gane’s rise to the UFC, the Cameroonian branded his ex-tutor as “evil”.

In the end, it was Ngannou who had the last laugh. Pushing through a heap of adversity, including the possibility of “irreversible damage” from a torn MCL and damaged ACL, “The Predator” wrestled his way to a unanimous decision victory over “Bon Gamin.”

Usman Pushed For Peace

With the culmination of the unification showdown and the crowning of an undisputed titleholder, most will hope we’ve seen the end of the public criticisms and insults between Ngannou and Lopez. One man who certainly feels that way is reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.

Usman, a good friend of his fellow African UFC champ, was in Ngannou’s corner for the UFC 270 main event. While Lopez didn’t share any words with “The Predator” after Gane’s defeat, he did interact with “The Nigerian Nightmare.”

During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Lopez revealed Usman pleaded with him to leave his differences with Ngannou in the past, something the 43-year-old says he is more than happy to do.

“When I shake Kamaru Usman’s hand, he stopped me and said to me, ‘Fernand, we are brothers. Let’s stop this. Let’s just move on.’ And I said, ‘You’re right. Let’s move on…’ I’m done. I’m exhausted with that topic,” said Lopez.

While we may not have seen the interaction and in-person make up between Lopez and Ngannou many wanted, the Frenchman’s post-fight words with the likes of Usman and opposition coach Eric Nicksick suggest both sides are willing to put their differences behind them.

That is, until we see Ngannou vs. Gane 2 down the line…

Should the beef between Fernand Lopez and Francis Ngannou be put to bed now that UFC 270 has passed?

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