UFC heavyweight champ, Francis Ngannou, recently sat down with former UFC two division champion, Daniel Cormier, on his weekly show, The DC Check-In.
In the interview, the two touched on Ngannou’s backstage encounter with UFC interim heavyweight champ, Ciryl Gane, former head coach, Fernand Lopez and former teammate, Nassourdine Imavov, at UFC 268.
Gane and Lopez were at the event in support of Imavov, who had competed and won earlier in the night on the preliminary card.
Ngannou was at the event in support of his close friend and fellow African, UFC welterweight champ, Kamaru Usman, who headlined the event.
Ngannou says that the encounter was manufactured by staff members of the UFC in an effort to build promotional value for his upcoming heavyweight title unification bout against Gane, set to take place on Jan. 22 for UFC 270 in Anaheim, California.
“So what happened is, there was this lady taking us to our seat,” Ngannou said in regards to how he believes the encounter took place. “And she was bringing us to (our) section. Then, they talked to her over the radio (and) she goes like, ‘oh sorry I’m wrong.’ So she turned around and when we get (to the) back, (they were there).”
“And when you look, by the time I come (around) the corner, the guy was ready with his camera. If you watch that video, he was on me by the time I (came) around the corner. And just zoomed in on me like, ‘oh he’s there, he’s coming, dun dun dun,’ you know like all these movie scenes.”
“He was there waiting for (me). You know, (it’s) not like (when) you see somebody and you’re like, ‘oh damn, let me film this moment,’ no. His camera wasn’t just there, ready to film something if ever something happened, no. He was waiting. He knew that I was coming.”
Whether or not the heavyweight champ is right about his theory as to why he ran into his former team, this fight is almost guaranteed to sell with or without added promotional scenes captured in the lead up.
The encounter did garner a ton of attention amongst fans, however, and will ultimately add to more money in Ngannou and Gane’s pockets when all is said and done.