Francis Ngannou revealed he knocked out Ciryl Gane with a left high kick in sparring.
Ngannou and Gane used to train with one another and before they fight for the heavyweight title on Saturday, sparring footage was released of the two where it appeared Gane was getting the better of Ngannou. Shortly thereafter, Fernand Lopez who coaches Gane and used to coach Ngannou claimed the Frenchman even dropped the champ once in sparring.
However, on Wednesday at media day, he responded to those comments.
“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.”
Francis Ngannou Claims He KO’d Ciryl Gane In Sparring With Head Kick
On the UFC Countdown show, he also revealed he once KO’d Gane in sparring which he further expanded on.
“Yes, I knocked him out,” he replied when asked to clarify the statement. “(It was) a high kick, left high kick. 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.”
There is no question this only adds to the intrigue of Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. They obviously know each other very well and this has also only added to the hype of the fight. Yet, the heavyweight champion says he and Gane only trained with one another a few times.
“We just spent a few sessions in three weeks,” he 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.”
In the end, training together or not, Ngannou is confident he will stop Gane inside two rounds on Saturday night.
“My prediction is a knockout in two rounds,” Ngannou said firmly.