Francis Ngannou has revealed his UFC 270 opponent Cyril Gane's strengths from their previous sparring sessions together.
UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou defends his title for the first time against interim titleholder Gane on January 22.
The top heavyweights used to train together at MMA Factory in France, but Ngannou left the gym after suffering his first UFC loss to Stipe Miocic in 2018.
Ngannou recently criticised old sparring footage between him and Gane that was released, stating it was " manipulated " to make him look bad.
'The Predator' only sparred with Gane less than 10 times as they trained at the same gym, but he does remember how good the speed of his soon-to-be opponent was.
"We didn't spar that much. We trained together, less than 10 times, but what I do remember even from that, was his speed," Ngannou said on his YouTube channel.
"His movement for a big weight and big guy, that was very impressive. For less than one month, we were just training, I didn't have to deal with him outside the gym.
"It was just on the mat, we train, change clothes, then everybody goes on their way. So personally, we didn't have that interaction.
"But what I know is he's nice, for what I can remember when we met, we greet each other pretty good and that was all."
Gane won the interim heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis in August and extended his unbeaten run in the UFC to seven fights.
Ngannou is unbeaten in his last five fights, with four of those wins coming by knockout in under 90-seconds.
The pair crossed paths backstage at UFC 268 in November, with Gane being confused after Ngannou gave him the cold shoulder.
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And Ngannou insisted he wasn't trying to be disrespectful towards Gane, but was instead ignoring his old coach Fernand Lopez on purpose.
"It wasn't like me giving them a cold shoulder, once again it's no problem with Cyril, I don't have any problem with him," Ngannou continued.
"If it was just him, I wouldn't mind saying hi to him even though we are going to fight because at the end of the day, it's just a business, we do this for a living.
"If you find the amount of things his coach has been saying on me, personally I can't take that. It would be very hypocritical from my end."
"They are very close and I don't want to be the one to say hi to somebody and not say hi to somebody [else]. So we skipped that path."
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