As far as Dana White is concerned, there is no animosity between himself and Francis Ngannou.
Following Ngannou’s unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 this past weekend, White was notably absent and didn’t wrap the heavyweight title around the champion’s waist.
Additionally, he didn’t show up to the post-fight press conference either which was certainly a rare sight.
Given the major talking point leading up to the event of Ngannou fighting the last fight on his contract as well as not being happy with his pay, many felt this was intentional by White.
Ngannou even planned on asking White about it.
“I don’t know. You have to ask [Dana]. I do not have anything to do about that. I think that was their decision, I’m about to ask about it too.”
Dana White: I Saw Francis All Week, You Idiots
It took a couple of days, but White finally responded to the accusations during an ESPN+ Q&A hosted by Laura Sanko on Wednesday. So why wasn’t he present?
He had some stuff he was dealing with in the back following the co-main event.
“Let’s jump on this. If nobody asked it, I know they’re dying to ask it is that I wasn’t out there for the main event,” White said. “I actually walked out of the arena right after the co-main event because there was stuff going on backstage that I was dealing with. For anybody to think I was showing any type of disrespect toward Francis, I saw Francis all week, you idiots. I shook his hand. I said hi to him. I was out there for the staredowns, the whole thing.
“So for anybody to think that there was some type of disrespect shown toward Francis, I wasn’t out there for [the] Michael Bisping vs. [Luke] Rockhold fight, either, because I was dealing with some stuff. I sprinted from the back. I didn’t even have my jacket on. I only had my shirt on to go and put the belt on Bisping, but I couldn’t make it out there to put the belt on Francis.”
Of course, there was only one time White had walked out of a title fight and that was for Anderson Silva’s middleweight title defense against Demian Maia at UFC 112 back in 2010.
And he made it clear on that occasion why he did.
“There’s only been one time that I’ve walked out on a fight and made it very clear, showed up to the press conference and said this is exactly why I left,” White added. “It was in Abu Dhabi with [the] Anderson Silva and Demian Maia fight… So there’s the answer. I don’t know if anybody asked that, but somebody wanted to, so there you go.”
You can watch the clip below:
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) January 27, 2022