August 11, 2022

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Ngannou says UFC threatened agent with lawsuit

UFC president Dana White stated his not placing the heavyweight title belt on Francis Ngannou...

UFC president Dana White stated his not placing the heavyweight title belt on Francis Ngannou after UFC 270 final weekend had nothing to do with “disrespect.”

White addressed the postfight scenario in a fan Q&A on Wednesday evening with interviewer Laura Sanko on ESPN+.

White didn’t put the belt on Ngannou within the cage following Ngannou’s profitable title protection over Ciryl Gane on Saturday, as is customary. As a substitute, UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard did the honors. White additionally didn’t attend the postfight information convention like he usually does.

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Many speculated that White didn’t carry out these features as a result of Ngannou and the UFC are embroiled in messy contract negotiations. On Wednesday, White stated that was not the case, explaining he had one thing to take care of backstage and was unable to make it again to the Octagon in time. White didn’t go into element about what he had to do this prevented him from returning for the principle occasion.

“For anyone that thinks I used to be exhibiting any type of disrespect in direction of Francis — I noticed Francis all week, you idiots,” White instructed Sanko. “I shook his hand, I stated hello to him. I used to be on the market for the stare-downs, the entire thing.”

White did attend the prefight information convention and the ceremonial weigh-ins, as ordinary, going through the fighters off on stage for each occasions.

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White stated within the interview that he has missed pay-per-view foremost occasions earlier than, referencing UFC 199 in June 2016. On that evening, White was backstage having reporter Ariel Helwani and different then-members of the MMAFighting.com workers faraway from the Discussion board in Inglewood, California, and pulling their UFC media credentials due to a scoop Helwani broke earlier within the night.

Ngannou and the UFC have been at odds over his contract for nearly a 12 months. If Ngannou had misplaced to Gane, Ngannou would have been a free agent. However due to the UFC’s champions’ clause, Ngannou stays below UFC contract for the span of 1 12 months or three fights, whichever occurs earliest. Ngannou has stated he desires to have the power to field written into his UFC contract, which has not been finished earlier than.

Ngannou has stated he’s prepared to carry out and never battle for the complete 12 months in an effort to turn into a free agent. In an interview on “The MMA Hour” on Monday, Ngannou stated the UFC threatened to sue his agent, Marquel Martin of CAA, in an electronic mail despatched Saturday evening, simply hours earlier than the Gane battle. The UFC allegation was that Martin mentioned Ngannou going into boxing with Jake Paul’s enterprise accomplice, Nakisa Bidarian, whereas Ngannou was nonetheless below UFC contract.

Concerning Ngannou’s victory Saturday evening, White praised the champion for his technique, utilizing his wrestling and grappling to overhaul Gane after being down on the scorecards early. Ngannou is understood for his punching energy, not his floor sport.

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“I don’t assume anyone anticipated Francis to return in and wrestle,” White stated. “Sensible sport plan by Francis to do what he did the way in which that he did it.”

Ngannou wants surgical procedure to restore a broken MCL and ACL in his proper leg and can probably be out for no less than 9 months, Martin instructed ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Wednesday.

White stated within the interview with Sanko that he’d wish to have Ngannou defend towards all-time nice Jon Jones subsequent. White referred to as it a “large battle,” including, “If it’s doable to get it finished.”

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