Fernand Lopez clarifies Ciryl Gane calling himself ‘lazy’ before Jon Jones title fight at UFC 285
Ciryl Gane raised eyebrows when he admitted last week that he gets lazy about training, but his coach, Fernand Lopez, says that’s no longer the case.
Ahead of his vacant heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones on March 4 at UFC 285, Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) said he’s guilty of training only once a fight is booked and has barely trained since knocking out Tai Tuivasa last September.
“Unfortunately I’m lazy,” Gane said. “That’s the truth.”
Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) responded by saying it’s probably mind games – “I smell a trap,” he tweeted – but Lopez confirmed that his star pupil is telling the truth. However, Lopez said his mindset changed after he suffered his first-career setback to Francis Ngannou in January 2022.
“That’s true. That’s how Ciryl used to be,” Lopez told MMA Junkie. “Before, Ciryl was the kind of guy that will train only if he have the fight announced, and since the loss that he had, that was a very good thing that happened, is that Ciryl just changed his mindset, and Ciryl started to train even when we don’t have a date.
“Ciryl now knows that the evolution is coming when you don’t have a date, so you can improve, so you can learn, so you can add some tools. But whenever you have a date, you cannot think about evolution anymore. You’re thinking about the fight, how to beat this guy in front of you. So when they give you the name Jon Jones, everything drops at the development. Now you focus on how to beat the fighter.”
Ciryl Gane reacts to the loss against Francis Ngannou at UFC 270. (Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)
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With Ngannou surprisingly parting ways with the UFC, Lopez said Gane didn’t have the usual time to prepare for a fight when he was offered Jones. However, Lopez insists that’s not a built-in excuse since Jones had just spent years preparing for Ngannou, not Gane, putting both fighters at a disadvantage.
“So before, that was Ciryl,” Lopez said. “But now I don’t complain with that. And people – I don’t know why people are surprised when Ciryl is saying that. He didn’t have enough time. He’s not trying to have any excuse. He’s not saying any excuse. He’s being truthful saying that. A camp, usually a camp when we do a camp is like three months, right? But we didn’t have three months, because when they announced the fight we had less than two months. That’s what he’s saying.”
He continued, “This time we had to make it different, work to maintain the stamina, to maintain the strength that he had during the time that we didn’t have a fight. Even when he was injured, he kept training on the strength and conditioning. So, I’m not worried about that. What he’s saying is not any excuse, try to prepare an excuse like if he lost, in case he lost because he didn’t train. That’s bullsh*t.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.