The UFC 270 pre-fight press conference is in the books and it did not disappoint.
We got some intriguing dialogue from Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane that added some spice to their main event bout.
Ngannou reiterated his point that he knocked out Gane with a left high kick during sparring while Gane respectfully clarified that he was simply hurt. You get the feeling that each fighter wants to make a big statement Saturday. This fight is giving me Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez or Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin vibes.
But man, Deiveson Figueiredo just had to go there with the expletive rant on champion Brandon Moreno.
Figueiredo wrote a lot of cheques with is mouth at the press conference that he will need to cash on Saturday. No pressure, big guy.
Then there was Media Day on Wednesday.
Ngannou briefly spoke to reporters Wednesday at media day and clarified both the contract negotiation and sparring footage controversy.
Ngannou clarified that the knockout of Gane during sparring was an accident, adding that he thinks he will knock Gane out within two rounds on Saturday. He looked cool and calm answering questions he’s probably heard more than once.
The Tyson Fury questions came and Ngannou remains confident he will box Tyson Fury someday. It is rather interesting that he will be taking part of his purse in cryptocurrency.
Ngannou said he does not have a lot of training time with Gane, so it could take a round or so for both fighters to feel each other’s style out.
“The Predator” looks ready to go.
Gane, meanwhile, looked relaxed as well for possibly the greatest UFC heavyweight battle in some time. He knows he is not the champion until he beats Francis, and is confident of his skills. He’s happy to endure the rigours of the media to improve the exposure of MMA in France and it appears he knows the task at hand and is ready to go about doing it.
Hats off to both guys. May the best man win.
But wait. There’s more!
Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno is also saying the right things going into his trilogy bout with Deiveson Figueiredo.
Moreno has made Mexico proud since winning the belt and he has another chance for the nation to celebrate Saturday. Despite a gruelling training camp, he was enthusiastic answering questions and thinks he will see a cautious yet aggressive Deiveson on Saturday.
Deiveson Figueiredo looked pretty chill, yet serious in saying he is going to get his belt back to reporters.
Brandon Moreno needs to be extremely prepared going into this one. Figueiredo trained with former bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and it appears he will not clown around like he did a bit in the second fight. Figueiredo means business, even saying he will be the first to knock out Moreno.
And UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Peña blessed Media Day as well.
So now, we await the final preamble before the weigh-ins and the fights: The pre-fight press conference, scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT at the Anaheim Convention Center.
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Enjoy the fights.