Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou used to be coached by Fernand Lopez at MMA Factory in Paris, France, but a subsequent falling out led “The Predator” to abandon ship and train stateside under Eric Nicksick at Xtreme Couture.
Had Ngannou listened to his psychiatrist, then perhaps his exit would have come much sooner. Turns out his shrink predicted their demise during a random session roughly three years back, when “The Predator” was still trying to find his way.
“I won’t say I’m surprised, knowing the person,” Ngannou told Megan Olivi about the recent trash talk from Lopez. “I always knew that something like this might come from him. I was in Paris three years ago after the Derrick Lewis fight and I was dealing with some personal stuff on my end. I was so in a bad place that I decided to see a psychiatrist. And if you look at the psychiatrist’s notes, it’s funny because even three years ago, she pointed out Fernand as a problem, to watch out. I thought she was crazy, and she started to break it down and put it on the note. But now I think she was all right.”
Lopez wasn’t the only one trashing Ngannou. After “The Predator” came up short against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 back in early 2018, promotion president Dana White told the combat sports media that Ngannou (and his ego) were out of control.
We’ll see who gets the last laugh when Ngannou battles former sparring partner and current interim champion Ciryl Gane — still training under Lopez — at the upcoming UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Sat. night (Jan. 22) at Honda Center in Anaheim.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 270 click here.