Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, held a special Q&A earlier today (Weds., Jan 26, 2022) hosted by Laura Sanko, fielding fan-submitted questions. After answering a couple, White cut right to the chase and took it upon himself to give everyone what they really wanted: An explanation for his disappearing act after UFC 270 concluded.
The outspoken head honcho explained the reason he didn’t wrap the belt around Francis Ngannou after he defeated Ciryl Gane (highlights), and why he didn’t attend the press conference afterward (watch it). While many assumed White was ghosting Ngannou because of all of the chatter surrounding his unhappiness with his contract, he claims that could be furthest from the truth.
“Let’s jump on this one. No one asked it, but I’m sure they were dying to ask why I wasn’t out there for the main event,” he explained. “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.
“But, for anyone to think that I was showing any type of disrespect toward Francis, I saw Francis all week, you idiots,” White continued. “I shook his hand and said ‘Hi’ to him. I was out there for the staredowns, for the whole thing. So for anyone to think there was some type of disrespect shown toward Francis ... I wasn’t there for the Bisping vs. Rockhold fight, either, because I was dealing with some stuff,” he added, referring to Michael Bisping knockout win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 199.
“I sprinted from the back and I didn’t even have my jacket on, only my shirt on, to go out and put the belt around Bisping, but I couldn’t make it out there to put the belt on Francis. There was only one time when I walked out on a fight, and I made it very clear when I showed up at the press conference why I walked out,” he said. “It was in Abu Dhabi when Anderson Silva beat Maia, or whoever he fought. So there is the answer, I don’t know if anyone asked it, but I know they wanted it, so there you go.”
As far as the fight itself, White says he was very surprised to see Ngannou utilize his wrestling, though he did call it a “genius” gameplan.
“I think the main event was a shocker, I don’t think anyone expected to see Francis come in and wrestle,” he said. “It was genius of him to work his wrestling. I don’t know this for a fact, but I would guarantee you that Gane did almost no wrestling preparing for that fight. So to come in and implement that gameplan, it was brilliant.”
As far as anything else Ngannou related, White says if there was one “super” fight people have been begging him to put on it’s one between Ngannou and Jon Jones. Furthermore, he said he’d be open to it if all parties can come to an mutual agreement, which has proven troublesome in the past.