The UFC needed Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis to headline UFC 265 in Houston. What they acquired was Lewis competing in opposition to Cyril Gane in an interim title battle and shedding comprehensively.
When UFC didn’t get what they needed, UFC president Dana White went on the offensive about it.
Within the introductory video for UFC 265 final night time, White put the blame squarely on Ngannou.
“Should you [Francis Ngannou] don’t wanna battle, no downside. You’ll be able to wait and fly all over the world on trip, no matter you’re doing, knock your self out. Everytime you’re prepared we’re right here.”
In actuality, Ngannou solely received the heavyweight belt from Stipe Miocic on the finish of March. He’d solely been champion about two-and-a-half months when White picked up the cellphone with ultimatums.
After taking a visit again to Cameroon, Ngannou needed a full camp for his subsequent battle and thought September was the earliest he may get again within the octagon – but it surely needed to be early August. White had struck the take care of Houston on the premise Lewis would important occasion.
So, the interim title battle was made and now White has mentioned WWE boss Vince McMahon couldn’t have written the story higher himself.
White’s rationalization for the interim belt is easy: “Once they battle Francis, it’s just like the outdated days of the IBF vs. the WBC champion, and also you unify the belts,” White instructed MMA Junkie. “That’s precisely how I have a look at it.”
Ngannou doesn’t have a look at it that method, in any respect.
“I heard one thing right now (from Dana White) like, ‘It’s going to be just like the IBF and WBC unified title.’ No, there’s not a unified title,” Ngannou instructed Sirius XM’s Jimmy Smith.
“It’s one promotion, it’s one belt, the UFC belt. It’s not prefer it has a unique title just like the PFL coming to problem the UFC, then we discuss unify the belt. I used to be there anticipating to battle, they usually simply provide you with some kind of interim title.
“That was very shocking as a result of up to now we didn’t get an interim title, as a result of Stipe wasn’t lively they usually didn’t even take into account that in any respect. They didn’t need to discuss it.
“I’m on the level the place, in the case of me, nothing good is coming my method, it seems like. They aren’t making something good to come back my method. It’s OK, however I believe at this level concerning my final run, I deserve no less than some respect as a UFC champion,” Ngannou mentioned.
The Cameroonian went on to speak about how UFC makes use of ‘inappropriate methods’ to get fighters to bend to their will.
“We had been fairly stunned about that,” Ngannou mentioned. “It was identical to two-and-a-half months after I received the battle, and the previous month was a lot stress.
Presently, I shouldn’t be stunned anymore about something. On the finish of the day, I’m the UFC heavyweight champion of the world. I’m nonetheless the champion. It’s not like any person give it to me. I earned it. It’s my title.
“What they’re doing now on the market, it doesn’t matter to me. If any person say I don’t need to battle, they don’t know what they’re speaking about.”
The scenario at heavyweight is unfolding quick. Ngannou and Gane shall be made ‘ASAP’ in line with White, however Miocic could properly tackle Jon Jones to resolve who will problem subsequent.
“When he’s able to battle we’re able to go. He’s speaking about combating at heavyweight.
“However, within the heavyweight division proper now we’re going again to Houston, Derrick Lewis is taking up Ciryl Gane and whoever wins that battle will battle Francis Ngannou.
“Whoever wins that battle, if Jon Jones desires to come back again he can battle one among them. Or, he can battle Stipe Miocic. Stipe has accepted that battle and can take that battle.”
Miocic accepting that battle is one thing, however Ngannou says he has heard nothing from UFC since negotiations to battle at UFC 265 fell aside.
“Radio silence,” Ngannou mentioned. “It’s been radio silence. Hopefully they won’t come out and be like, ‘Oh, you’re combating this present day.’ Then I’m like, ‘It doesn’t make sense.’ Then they’re like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t need to battle.’
“I received’t try this once more, as a result of apparently they’re actually good at such a factor.”