Fernand Lopez: The Mastermind Behind Francis Ngannou And MMA Factory Paris

Meet the mastermind behind Francis Ngannou's rise and the owner of the MMA Factory Paris in France.

Francis Ngannou’s incredible performance at UFC 218 this past weekend put a maker in the sand not just only just him, but for his coach Fernand Lopez of MMA Factory Paris.

Earlier today, Lopez released a video showing a pad session where he was working with Ngannou on the devastating knockout combination that rendered Alistair Overeem unconscious this past weekend.

Ngannou's amazing KO combo was planned!!!

Watch Francis N'Gannou drills his KO combination with his MMA Factory Paris coach Fernand Lopez 2 weeks before #UFC218!! Let that be a lesson to you…. practice makes perfect

Publicerat av MMAnytt.com den 5 december 2017

Lopez is the head coach of the facility in France and with the sport of MMA banned nationally in October 2016, it’s not been an easy ride. Despite the difficulties, Lopez has put together and incredible facility and he thinks it’s about time the world stared to recognize exactly what’s going on in Paris.

“I’m a firm believer that everybody is doing something in life because they have the goal of doing their best,” Lopez said. “Journalists do their job because they want to be the best journalist they can be. I’m doing my job because I want to be the best coach and gym owner.

I’m running the MMA Factory and I’m trying to give everything that I can to be the best at what I do. I believe that’s why we have been getting such good results internationally and I feel we, and I’m talking about the French and specifically the MMA Factory, we don’t have the respect that maybe we should have.”

Getting respect

Lopez has scaled MMA Factory Paris incredibly fast and they have now acquired some lucrative sponsorships. With the size of the membership growing weekly though, further support is needed for them maintain their current trajectory.

“Every time that I see those big teams in the world, they have those big names that I respect so much like John Kavanagh, Greg Jackson, Frias Zahabi, I respect them all so much and I learn from them,” Lopez said. “At some point though I want people to start to understand what we’re doing here. We are moving something big here and I think it’s time people start to recognize it. There’s not that many gyms in the world doing all the things we are.

“In the world there are only three gyms in the world that are sponsored by Reebok and it’s AKA, SBG and MMA Factory sponsored by Reebok France. I’m giving all my life for this and stopping everything I have for the gym. We now have nearly 700 members and 10% are top level professionals. We have 70 top professionals that are a very, very high level.”

Stacked roster

While Ngannou might be the highest profile fighter currently representing the gym, Lopez says he has a number of up and coming prodigies that he says are UFC bound. One of these men fought under the Cage Warriors banner only a few months ago and looked very impressive.

“I have lots of very high level guys, but for instance, Junior Karante, he just got a very big KO in Cage Warriors,” Lopez said. “I’m his coach and he was living in Sweden, but he will come to France and I will pay him to stay in a home in France and give him a place to stay. He’s doing very great and I many heavyweights in my gym, like over ten and I’m sure at least five of them will be in the UFC.

“In pretty much every weight class in France, I have the top ten and everything that I’m doing, I’m doing it to be the best and I’m trying to build a legacy. I’m trying to do something great. I’m not doing this for money. I’m doing this to recognize MMA in France and to recognize the MMA Factory.”

The UFC PI the model gym

The UFC PI is widely considered a state of the art training complex and it’s that model that Lopez had in mind back in he day when he started the MMA Factory. While maybe on a smaller scale, Lopez says he’s doing his best to offer fighters in France a similar setup closer to home and he knows that the full benefits are going to one day become very apparent to the rest of the world.

“The UFC Performance Institute, that’s what I was thinking when I created the MMA Factory,” Lopez said. “The goal was to always have something like the institute. I always wanted to have the first school hat could provide everything. Everything you could ever need from a masseur, chiropractor, language teaches, media training, just everything a fighter could possibly need. MMA Factory isn’t nearly as big as the UFC PI, but it was the vision I had when I first started to build it. I’m busting my ass to find sponsors and to help these guys.

“When we opened the gym, I was the only coach there. Now I have 19 coaches excellent coaches. In France, to be a coach you have to pass your degrees and I have the best guys with the best degrees across all facets of MMA. We are trying to change things and make a real difference. Now we have guys like Francis beating the best in the world. He’s beaten three guys from JacksonWink. I just want people to start recognizing us a big gym now because we are. Believe me, this gym is coming, this gym is working and this gym is here to stay. MMA Factory Paris.”

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