Snitch: Ngannou Rattled By UFC 270 ‘Drama’

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou made it very clear, long before he was booked to throw hands against Ciryl Gane in the UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) headliner this Sat. night…


UFC 260: Miocic v Ngannou 2
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou made it very clear, long before he was booked to throw hands against Ciryl Gane in the UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) headliner this Sat. night (Jan. 22, 2022) in Anaheim, Calif., that he was not going to bend over backwards for UFC if the favor was not returned on payday.

I believe his exact words were “fuck no.”

Ngannou, 35, has one fight remaining on his current UFC contract, but a championship clause binds “The Predator” — on a fight-by-fight basis — if he wins this weekend in Anaheim. A loss, however, will send Ngannou on his merry way. That’s not really the kind of cloud any fighter wants to have hanging over them in preparation for a monumental showdown, like the one that awaits him in the UFC 270 headliner.

Much has been made about the psychological effects of the “big spot,” and it’s not a phenomenon relegated to combat sports. That’s why a pitcher who is six innings into an MLB no-hitter will sit alone on the bench, as teammates cautiously avoid his safe space. Even Ngannou has seen a therapist to help manage his MMA career, a decision that — based on these comments — did not bode well for ex-coach, Fernand Lopez.

And the presence of Lopez adds another layer of drama to the UFC 270 main event.

Ngannou previously trained with Gane at MMA Factory in Paris, but parted ways with Lopez after losing a lopsided decision to Stipe Miocic at UFC 220. “Bon Gamin” stayed behind and rose through the heavyweight ranks uncontested, while the new-look Ngannou avenged his loss to Miocic at UFC 260 under the tutelage of Xtreme Couture coach Eric Nicksick. That hasn’t stopped the past from tainting the present, perhaps more so for Ngannou.

“I gotta be honest man, I’ve heard whispers that all the things that Francis is dealing with, outside of the actual fight, may be taking its toll a little bit mentally,” former UFC heavyweight champion-turned-local snitch Daniel Cormier said on his ESPN show. “I’m not sure, but we will see. I know that Francis Ngannou is a man. He’s going to fight in any circumstance, he’s got the ultimate equalizer, but he’s got to be locked in if he is going to keep his championship on Saturday night.”

Even UFC President Dana White wants Ngannou to settle down.

There’s no doubt “The Predator” feels a tremendous amount of pressure heading into UFC 270. But are the demons of self-doubt more prevalent now than they were ahead of his Miocic rematch? Is the background noise of his Lopez drama any louder than White’s “ego” complaints in front of this legendary stinker? Gane is dangerous, no doubt, but so was Miocic, and Ngannou passed that test with flying colors.

That doesn’t mean the Cameroonian slugger will or will not prevail. I just don’t think that Ngannou is dealing with anymore pressure or distractions than he has in the past. And let’s face it, his life prior to sports excellence was not an easy one, so I can’t imagine he’s feeling anything new in terms of anxiety. How that translates to his performance inside the Octagon remains to be seen.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 270 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ early “Prelims” bouts scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

For the rest of the UFC 270 fight card and PPV lineup click here.

UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane Pre-Fight Press Conference Highlights

The UFC 270 pre-fight press conference took place earlier tonight, and we’ve got the highlights for you right here!

UFC 270 takes place this Saturday, January 22, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In the main event, Francis Ngannou wil…

UFC 270

The UFC 270 pre-fight press conference took place earlier tonight, and we’ve got the highlights for you right here!

UFC 270 takes place this Saturday, January 22, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In the main event, Francis Ngannou will face Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight title unification showdown. The co-main event will see the trilogy bout between flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and his opponent, Deiveson “Deus Da Guerra” Figueiredo.

Each of the above fighters was present during Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. Here were some of the most memorable moments and exchanges from the event.

The Arrivals

Memorable Moments

Extended Highlights & Face-Offs

You can find the extended highlights from the UFC 270 pre-fight press conference below along with the face-offs!

Full Replay

Finally, if you’d like to experience the full UFC 270 pre-fight press conference uncut, you can do so right below!

Be sure to stick with MMA News for all your UFC 269 coverage leading up to, during, and after the event!

Continue Reading UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane Pre-Fight Press Conference Highlights at MMA News.

Tate: Seed Of Doubt Has Been Planted In Nunes’ Mind

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s champ-champ, Amanda Nunes, recently announced her plans to split with her longtime camp, American Top Team (ATT), in order to start…


MMA: UFC 269-Nunes vs Pena
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s champ-champ, Amanda Nunes, recently announced her plans to split with her longtime camp, American Top Team (ATT), in order to start her own gym in Florida.

The move comes a month after her upset loss at the hands of Julianna Pena, who submitted “Lioness” at UFC 269 via rear-naked choke to win the Bantamweight title (see it again here). The two are likely to run it back in an instant rematch later this year. Ahead of the do-over, Pena commented on Nunes’ decision to leave the team that she’s called home for eight years and helped her win gold in two separate divisions.

“Yeah, what a zoo, huh?” Peña said during the UFC 270 media day via MMA Junkie. “Best of luck. I just hope everything goes according to her plans and that we can get this fight booked. That’s all I care about.”

While a rematch should be intriguing, to say the least, there is at least one more person who doesn’t see a different outcome. According to Miesha Tate, who lost the 135-pound belt to Nunes at UFC 200, “Lioness” now has doubt on her mind and it will be something that she won’t be able to push through.

“She [Pena] just has a no quit, no give up mentality and now that the seed of doubt has been planted in Amanda’s mind, that’s probably where I see the biggest change going. That’s not gonna favour Amanda,” said Tate on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (via BJPenn.com).

“Once someone dethrones you, it’s such a big tumble and then you’ve got to try to fix things, and the mental shift that happens in all of that, I imagine it’s very challenging to try and get right back up there and fight the person who just figured out how to unlock Pandora’s Box. You know what I mean? How do you come up with something they haven’t seen, when you don’t have time to try and develop it and use it on someone else.”

Of course, Pena is one of Tate’s oldest training partners so it’s no mystery as to why “Cupcake” backs “The Venezuelan Vixen” in the rematch.

But, at the end of the day, that’s why they fight and the two are on a collision course to tango one more time in a bout that will either end the rivalry or set up a trilogy fight down the road. And according to the bookies, a third fight is highly possible.

Vettori: Adesanya ‘fights like a b—ch’

Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.

The ‘Italian Dream’ has once again criticized ’Stylebender’ for his fight style.  Marvin Vettori is clearly not a fan of Israel Adesanya and his approach to fighting.
The one-time title cha…


Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.
Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.

The ‘Italian Dream’ has once again criticized ’Stylebender’ for his fight style. 

Marvin Vettori is clearly not a fan of Israel Adesanya and his approach to fighting.

The one-time title challenger has once again slammed the current UFC middleweight champion for what he deems as an unwillingness to engage with his opponents during fights. Though frustrating for him to deal with, the strategy has served quite well for Adesanya, who has now bested Vettori on two separate occasions at UFC on FOX 29 and UFC 263.

The ‘Italian Dream’ previously said that ‘Stylebender’ was not a better fighter than him, and it appears as though he is doubling down on that sentiment. In a recent interview with EsNews, Vettori explained why he cannot stand how Adesanya fights, especially as an undisputed champion.

“The way Adesanya fights, he fights like a b—ch, bro,” said Vettori. “I swear. He fought me like a b—ch. He fought [Yoel] Romero like a b—ch. When he knows, like he can’t really hurt a guy or nothing, he’ll fight like — he’ll fight, he’ll run, he’ll score. He’s like, ‘Oh, you got to beat me to become the champion.’ His mentality is not like, ‘I’m the champion, I’m going to f—k you up.’ That’s my f—king reign. He’s thinking like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna cruise. If you want to come and beat me, you’ll have to beat me.’ That’s how he thinks.”

Because of his supposed lack of championship mentality, Vettori believes Adesanya should not be considered a pound-for-pound great. The City Kickboxing talent is No. 3 on that list, right behind teammate and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and longtime friend and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Vettori said he considers the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ as the No. 1 pound-for-pound great, not Adesanya.

“That, to me, [he] will never be — he can’t be the pound-for-pound best,” said Vettori. “Pound-for-pound best is like, ‘You’re f—king with the champion, this is my reign, I’m gonna destroy you.”

Despite being 0-2 against him, Vettori is still pursuing another fight with Adesanya in the near future. The 28-year-old has already rebounded from his defeat with an entertaining unanimous decision (at light heavyweight) over Paulo Costa at UFC Vegas 41 last October. Following that performance, UFC president Dana White was keen on Vettori as a backup for the upcoming rematch between Adesanya and Robert Whittaker set to take place at UFC 271 next month.

However, the Italian received a potential six-month medical suspension for injuries suffered in the Costa fight, so whether he can be ready to step in for either man has not been revealed at this time.

Report: Tom Aspinall vs. Alexander Volkov To Headline UFC London

Rising heavyweight Tom Aspinall and divisional veteran Alexander Volkov are expected to headline UFC’s return to London, England later this year, per a report.

Volkov and Aspinall are set to serve as the main event for a March 19th UFC “Fight Night…

Tom Aspinall, Alexander Volkov

Rising heavyweight Tom Aspinall and divisional veteran Alexander Volkov are expected to headline UFC’s return to London, England later this year, per a report.

Volkov and Aspinall are set to serve as the main event for a March 19th UFC “Fight Night” event from the O2 Arena, per a report from Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

The matchup gives Aspinall a chance to compete in his first UFC main event fight. His short run with the promotion has been explosive thus far, stopping all four of his opponents in the cage. This includes two wins from last year, which came against Andrei Arlovski and Serghei Spivac.

Aspinall was first initially booked to face Shamil Abdurakhimov in a non-headlining fight on this card. It is not known what the plan is for Abdurakhimov now that this matchup has been booked.

Volkov Returns To Familiar Headlining Position

Alexander Volkov, Alistair Overeem
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Volkov has fought some of the top names at heavyweight for most of his 11-fight UFC career. He is no stranger to headlining cards, as the new booking is scheduled to be his sixth time in the main event spot.

Volkov is coming off a win, as his last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Marcin Tybura in October at UFC 267. His last main event fight was in June 2021, when he lost to now-interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane.

Aspinall is just one of the many England-based fighters that are expected for the show. Earlier today, it was reported that Paddy Pimblett will also return on the card against Kazula Vargas.

The event marks UFC’s first time in London in over three years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the number of locations they can travel to.

With this main event announced, here is the updated lineup for UFC London:

Heavyweight Bout: Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall

Lightweight Bout: Paddy Pimblett vs. Kazula Vargas

Featherweight Bout: Mike Grundy vs. Makwan Amirkhani

Bantamweight Bout: Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev

Flyweight Bout: Molly McCann vs. Luana Carolina

Flyweight Bout: Muhammad Mokaev vs. Cody Durden

Strawweight Bout: Elise Reed vs. Cory McKenna

Flyweight Bout: Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento

How do you think Tom Aspinall will do in his very first UFC main event fight?

Continue Reading Report: Tom Aspinall vs. Alexander Volkov To Headline UFC London at MMA News.

Report: Tom Aspinall vs. Alexander Volkov To Headline UFC London

Rising heavyweight Tom Aspinall and divisional veteran Alexander Volkov are expected to headline UFC’s return to London, England later this year, per a report.

Volkov and Aspinall are set to serve as the main event for a March 19th UFC “Fight Night…

Tom Aspinall, Alexander Volkov

Rising heavyweight Tom Aspinall and divisional veteran Alexander Volkov are expected to headline UFC’s return to London, England later this year, per a report.

Volkov and Aspinall are set to serve as the main event for a March 19th UFC “Fight Night” event from the O2 Arena, per a report from Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

The matchup gives Aspinall a chance to compete in his first UFC main event fight. His short run with the promotion has been explosive thus far, stopping all four of his opponents in the cage. This includes two wins from last year, which came against Andrei Arlovski and Serghei Spivac.

Aspinall was first initially booked to face Shamil Abdurakhimov in a non-headlining fight on this card. It is not known what the plan is for Abdurakhimov now that this matchup has been booked.

Volkov Returns To Familiar Headlining Position

Alexander Volkov, Alistair Overeem
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Volkov has fought some of the top names at heavyweight for most of his 11-fight UFC career. He is no stranger to headlining cards, as the new booking is scheduled to be his sixth time in the main event spot.

Volkov is coming off a win, as his last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Marcin Tybura in October at UFC 267. His last main event fight was in June 2021, when he lost to now-interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane.

Aspinall is just one of the many England-based fighters that are expected for the show. Earlier today, it was reported that Paddy Pimblett will also return on the card against Kazula Vargas.

The event marks UFC’s first time in London in over three years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the number of locations they can travel to.

With this main event announced, here is the updated lineup for UFC London:

Heavyweight Bout: Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall

Lightweight Bout: Paddy Pimblett vs. Kazula Vargas

Featherweight Bout: Mike Grundy vs. Makwan Amirkhani

Bantamweight Bout: Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev

Flyweight Bout: Molly McCann vs. Luana Carolina

Flyweight Bout: Muhammad Mokaev vs. Cody Durden

Strawweight Bout: Elise Reed vs. Cory McKenna

Flyweight Bout: Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento

How do you think Tom Aspinall will do in his very first UFC main event fight?

Continue Reading Report: Tom Aspinall vs. Alexander Volkov To Headline UFC London at MMA News.