UFC President Dana White claimed that Francis Ngannou’s ego was out of control following a lackluster performance at UFC 226.
Fernando Lopez was the coach of the MMA Factory, where Ngannou trains at, and he says that White is on the point with the Ngannou comments.
“The only thing I can say is Dana was speaking about Francis’ ego is probably one of the truths that I witnessed that Dana White said,” Lopez told MMANews.pl. “It’s probably the only truth that I know for a fact, that’s a fact. Why am I saying that? I’m saying that because Ngannou is like a brother for me and when you’re dealing with a brother, problems with your brother, you have to be honest with your brother so he can be a better man. In order to make Francis a better man, there are some people that have to have the bad role. The bad job is to tell Ngannou ‘You have a big ego and you have changed with the time.’ That’s the truth. I had the conversation with Ngannou and I said to him ‘You have changed my friend, you have changed. You’re not the same anymore. Your ego is killing you and it’s just about your ego.’ That’s the thing like.”
Ngannou returns to action in a few months since the lackluster bout when he faces Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Fight Night Beijing.
Lopez believes that it was the loss to then UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 that started the downhill fall for Ngannou.
“Myself I got hurt with a lot of dedication to Francis’ career, I got hurt, a lot,” Lopez said. “When Francis lost the fight with Stipe, no one ever heard Francis say he lost because he didn’t follow the gameplan. He did the opposite of the gameplan that we worked. That loss for Francis, for the belt, had a huge impact for him, but also myself and my gym. Francis being world champion means that I’m a champion coach and that means the MMA Factory is a champion training camp. We missed that because he did not follow the gameplan. He followed the gameplans until the title shot and then the next fight (against Lewis) he was in Syndicate MMA.”
UFC Fight Night Beijing takes place on Saturday, November 24 from a location to be announced in Beijing, China with Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, while broadcast plans have yet to be announced.