Fernand Lopez knows very well that Ciryl Gane will face his biggest career challenge in his fight against Francis Ngannou.
It’s because Lopez is the main architect responsible for carrying out Ngannou in the senior ranks, he who was his coach for years at the MMA Factory, in Paris.
Whereas Ngannou (16-3) rose to the top, the young Gane (10-0) also rose through the ranks.
And now Lopez will see his two students battle for UFC Heavyweight King status during the main event, at UFC 270.
Though Ngannou would have ended his association with Lopez leaving Paris and the MMA Factory more than three years ago, Lopez knows very well how far Ngannou is a great athlete.
There is certainly an animosity between the two since their separation, but while Ngannou captured the world heavyweight title at UFC 265, Lopez now finds himself in the situation where he has to plot against Ngannou :
“Francis is smart, Ciryl is a computer,” first said Lopez via Mma junkie.
“Francis is very, very strong. Ciryl is strong as a heavyweight. “
Gane won the interim heavyweight title by stopping Derrick lewis (26-8) who holds the record for most UFC knockout wins.
Whereas Gane is about to face another terrifying puncher, Lopez really sees Ngannou like a bigger threat than Lewis :
“Definitely it’s a good preparation but that doesn’t mean anything,” Lopez said of Gane’s victory over Lewis.
“Francis is a whole different animal, he moves faster, he’s pretty quick for a guy in this weight division. “
“People underestimate how fast Francis is. Ciryl is faster but Francis is also fast. “
“Francis has good footwork and is athletic. When Ciryl Gane fought Derrick Lewis, there were various occasions when Derrick Lewis sought to put pressure on him by trying to cut corners. “
“But because of his athleticism, Ciryl Gane was able to move faster, and eventually he was able to keep him at bay. “
“If it was Francis rather than Lewis he could have reduced the distance further so I think that’s what he should be doing using his speed. “
“But then again, you never know what will happen if Ngannou tries to reduce the distance further by wanting to move faster.” If he tries to do this, there are things that will get out of your control and you put yourself at risk. ”
“It means that if the direction changes, it will fall. And that’s what kind of makes this fight so intriguing, ” Lopez concluded.