Francois Ngannouvictory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 last weekend was a moment overshadowed by the controversial absence of UFC President Dana White, who did not pin the heavyweight title to the Cameroonian fighter.
Blanc did not put the belt on Ngannou in the cage as usual and his place was taken by UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard, plus the UFC leader also did not appear at the post-fight press conference, so immediately there was talk of a show of “disrespect”.
“For anyone who thinks I was disrespecting Francis – I’ve been seeing Francis all week, you idiots, I shook his hand, I said hello. I was there for the stars -downs, all that,” White said via ESPN+’s Laura Sanko.
Rumors that White disrespected Ngannou surfaced after the Cameroonian fighter and the mixed martial arts company are in a messy contract negotiation, raising the level of speculation after the leader didn’t return backstage to the octagon in time because he apparently had something to sort out.
UFC president highlights Ngannou’s performance
Additionally, White pointed to the strategy of the heavyweight champion, a fighter known for his punching power, who relied on his wrestling and grappling after coming down on the scorecards in Gane.
“I don’t think anybody expected Francis to come in and wrestle… A brilliant game plan from Francis to do what he did the way he did,” White said.
Previously, the UFC reportedly threatened the reigning heavyweight champion with a lawsuit for talking to people close to Jacques-Paul.
The 35-year-old revealed that The UFC sent him a threatening email on his way to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.