Francis Ngannou had no intention of his words being lost in translation while answering questions from a couple of French journalists at the UFC 270 pre-fight press conference on Thursday.
After calling France his home for many years, Ngannou left the country while exiting his former gym at the MMA Factory to begin training full time at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. In the lead up to his fight against Ciryl Gane this weekend, Ngannou was flooded with questions about the time they trained together as well as his past at the gym based out of Paris.
While Ngannou acknowledged training with Gane in the past, he refused to call him a true teammate based on the little bit of time they actually spent together under the same roof.
“That was back in 2019 that we trained together and you can ask him,” Ngannou said. “I moved to Vegas back in 2017. April 2017, I officially moved to Vegas. I just went back in France, stopping by for a month and then we trained together but I still came back to Vegas.”
That led to Ngannou being asked if he had somehow “brainwashed” his time at the MMA Factory out of his memory as if it “does not exist anymore.”
“Of course I can recall that but I wasn’t in the MMA Factory that’s what I’m meaning,” Ngannou countered. “Now I’m not in the MMA Factory, do you get that?”
Later in the press conference another reporter was asking Gane to respond to a quote from Ngannou where he called former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic his toughest opponent.
Unfortunately the reporter’s phrasing stated that Ngannou called Miocic his toughest fight while the matchup against Gane would be “pretty easy” by comparison.
Ngannou definitely didn’t take too kindly to that particular wording, especially when it made it sound like he was disrespecting Gane as an opponent.
“Excuse me, sir, where did you read that I said Ciryl is a pretty easy fight?” Ngannou asked. “I’m very confused. You said I said that.”
The reporter attempted to rectify his statement before eventually apologizing for mixing up his words regarding Ngannou’s original statement about Miocic and Gane.
“Did I say Ciryl is an easy fight? Did I ever say some fight is an easy fight? Did I say that?” Ngannou said when addressing the reporter. “I’m just quoting you. Toughest meaning toughest, tougher than other. Toughest. Meaning other are tough but someone is toughest. That’s not an easy fight, my friend. If you ever fought in your life, you would know there is not an easy fight.
“So please be very accurate when you ask questions unless you have something in mind that you want to say.”
That led to a loud reaction from the audience in Anaheim as it was clear Ngannou was in no mood to be misquoted in regards to his upcoming fight against Gane.
Regardless of that exchange, Ngannou will look to put all the drama related to this fight behind him when he faces off with Gane in the UFC 270 main event on Saturday night with the winner being declared the undisputed heavyweight champion.