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Dana White: No ‘Disrespect’ to Francis Ngannou After UFC 270 Controversy

UFC president Dana White said Wednesday he did not mean to “disrespect” Francis Ngannou as he missed the post-match ceremony after UFC 270. 

Ngannou secured the heavyweight title belt as he defeated Ciryl Gane on Saturday night. White traditionally places the belt on the winner of a given match, though on Saturday, he was absent from the post-fight news conference. 

White said Wednesday he didn't attend the ceremony because he “had something to deal with backstage,” per ESPN

“For anybody that thinks I was showing any kind of disrespect towards Francis, I saw Francis all week, you idiots,” White told interviewer Laura Sanko on ESPN+. “I shook his hand, I said hi to him. I was out there for the stare-downs, the whole thing.”

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White and Ngannou have been involved in a dispute regarding the fighter’s contract for much of the last year, in part over a clause that prevents Ngannou from boxing professionally. 

Ngannou will likely be out for extended time regardless of his contract. He needs surgery to repair a damaged MCL and ACL in his right leg, with the recovery process slated to last roughly nine months. 

More UFC Coverage: 

• What We Learned at UFC 270
• UFC 270 Recap: Ngannou Defends Heavyweight Title by Unanimous Decision
• Jake Paul Has Finally Picked a Real Fight in Dana White: Unchecked