Manager Targets Immediate Gane/Ngannou Rematch In Paris
published on February 4, 2022
curated and posted by BRWLRZ Team

MMA Factory Coach Fernand Lopez wants to see Ciryl Gane and UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou run it back in Paris, France.

At UFC 270, Gane’s rapid rise from MMA newcomer to the top of the heavyweight food chain met its first hurdle. That hurdle? Former teammate and Cameroonian powerhouse Ngannou.

In the opening two rounds, it looked like “Bon Gamin” was well on his way to outlasting “The Predator” and reaching the undisputed throne as an undefeated fighter. That all changed with one caught kick and one takedown.

From rounds three to five, Ngannou imposed his wrestling will and maintained heavy top control. In doing so, he upset the odds and added the first blemish to the record of Gane. But much more than that, he had the last laugh in his bitter public feud with his former coach.

In the build-up to UFC 270, Lopez unleashed a host of revelations about Ngannou’s time at Paris’ MMA Factory gym, from refusing to pay the membership fee to attempting to sabotage Gane’s UFC signing.

While the hatchet has seemingly been buried in the aftermath of the pay-per-view, largely due to the peace-keeping mission of Kamaru Usman, Lopez doesn’t want the possibility of a rematch between Gane and Ngannou to similarly simmer down.

Lopez: Close Fights Usually Get Rematches

During an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Lopez was asked what’s next for the former interim titleholder. While he acknowledged Jon Jones will be the promotion’s target, the 43-year-old admitted the ideal scenario for his party would see Ngannou and Gane run it back in France later this year.

“I would like that fight with Francis to happen in France (next) if that’s possible. But, that’s the last thing the UFC is thinking right now,” said Lopez. “If they solve the problem with Francis, what they’d like to do, what everyone would like to have, is Jon Jones/Francis.

“But again, as a manager, Ciryl made a lot of money for this fight (UFC 270), a lot; enough, actually,” added Lopez. “And he has time. We can wait six months, seven months. We have time to wait until maybe they can sort out the problem with Francis at some point. What I’m saying is that I don’t know about you, but I feel the fight was close, and when the fight is close, generally we’re talking about immediate rematches, which can make sense. But I’m realistic.”

While Gane is a native of La-Roche-sur-Yon, France, Ngannou emerged from the streets of the country’s capital to make it as a successful mixed martial artist. With the interest in both men in the region, Lopez believes a rematch in Paris would be beyond huge.

“If you ask me as a manager, I’m like, let’s go for the immediate rematch in Paris. If they fight in Paris, because of Ciryl, if they fight in Paris, Francis would make good money in Paris. I mean like, France is going nuts about this fight, African people are going crazy about this fight. Most of the followers of Francis are African people living in Paris or Europe. That would be bananas if they have this fight in France,” concluded Lopez.

With the reception he received upon his arrival back in France, it’s clear Gane is immensely popular across the Atlantic and growing into a popular fan-favorite among the French population.

While Ngannou certainly has his supporters there as well, he recently commented on the fickle nature of the French media, who, in his mind, brand him as French when he wins and Cameroonian when he loses.

With the attitude of the media members who made the long trip to Las Vegas for UFC 270, which was shown during a heated back-and-forth between Ngannou and a French reporter at the press conference, it would be interesting to see how Ngannou is received and treated by the media if a rematch goes down in Paris.

Would you like to see Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane run it back in Paris, France?

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