Dana White and Ngannou’s manager beef on social over new UFC 265 headliner
It seems that team Francis Ngannou was just as surprised as fans were about Dana White and the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s decision to make an interim heavyweight title fight in August.
Yesterday afternoon, ESPN first reported that the promotion had decided to place second-ranked heavyweight stalwart Derrick Lewis in an interim-championship bout with unbeaten third-ranked French talent Ciryl Gane. The battle of top five big men will now headline UFC 265 and the promotion’s pay-per-view return to Houston’s Toyota Center.
Dana White and Francis Ngannou’s representation have words on Instagram
In April, UFC President Dana White told the Ringer that plans for new heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s first title defense had shifted from a possible fight with Jon Jones, to Lewis. Saying “The Black Beast” deserved the fight more than the former light heavyweight champion. The plan seemed set, however, when a fight for UFC heavyweight gold was made, “The Predator” was not included. The move shocked Ngannou and his Creative Arts Agency manager Marquel Martin. Especially, since the champ just earned his title three months ago at UFC 260. Martin explained his surprise to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto (via Instagram).
This comes as a complete shock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. Francis is just now returning to the States to begin training, and he just won the title three months ago. We’re unsure of what the reasoning is behind this, but we hope to get clarity soon and figure out something with the UFC soon. At the end of the day, they’re in control of these actions.”
As you can see in the post, Ngannou’s boss, White, was none too pleased with the opinion of his champion’s representation. Responding directly to Martin when he said:
“This dude is SO FULL OF SH*T!!!” White wrote in his reply. “He knows EXACTLY what’s going on and isn’t “shocked” at all. Because we told him several times this was coming. His Management is incompetent and hopefully, Francis starts taking a look at new people to help his career.”
Ngannou’s manager goes in-depth on interim title fight ‘shock’
However, the conversation did not end there, as Martin challenged the UFC head honcho to release “Emails, calls, texts, everything” on negotiations between the promotion and him for plans to set up his client’s first title defense in September. Even going as far as saying, “I’m ready to get blackballed by the UFC…I’m not defined by it, you or anyone else for that matter. How’s that sound.”
“Complete shock with your decision after we said September was good for us?” Martin questioned. “Complete shock that you guys made threats after less than three months after you all were aware. Complete shock after you knew why Francis needed more time. That is correct. I know you’re passionate but you trying to discredit my integrity when I’ve been nothing but respectful to you, Hunter (Campbell), and your entire staff? Speaks more about you than it does me. I’m not even mad, I’m actually impressed that I’ve gotten your attention.
“Incompetent management? I think we’ve done a damn good job. I think you REALLY don’t like the fact that Francis is being represented by not only me but an entire agency…one of which you can’t control. Hence why you have people trying to rep him all the time to your benefit. I tell you what, let’s disclose EVERYTHING for people to see. Emails, calls, texts, everything. Deal?? Cuz I’m ready to get blackballed by the UFC…I’m not defined by it, you or anyone else for that matter. How’s that sound. Sincerely, your old employee – Marquel Martin.”
Ngannou, 34, has been mostly quiet since the Lewis and Gane title fight news first broke. Although, he did retweet a post from former ESPN reporter and analyst Ariel Helwani agreeing with the odd nature of how the promotion has handled his schedule over the last few years.
UFC 265 takes place on August 7 in Houston, Texas. The ESPN+ exclusive event also features a co-main event bantamweight title clash between two-division queen Amanda Nunes and The Ultimate Fighter season 18 champion Julianna Pena.Join the discussion on this topic...