There was a time when UFC President Dana White was one of Francis Ngannou’s most vocal supporters. A little less than a year ago, the UFC boss was referring to the Cameroonian-French heavyweight as a future superstar and the next big thing at heavyweight.
Yet in the wake of Francis Ngannou’s back to back decision defeats to Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis — the latter of which was a particularly disappointing performance — UFC President Dana White has accused the heavyweight of having an ego problem.
“I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him,” Dana White said of Francis Ngannou. “The minute that happens to you in the fight game, you start to fall apart. I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and this guy’s ego was so out of control.”
“Ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
While Francis Ngannou has assured that it was lingering fear, not ego, that hurt him against Derrick Lewis, he is still hoping to squash his beef with Dana White. He’s just not sure how to do that, as he hasn’t spoken to the UFC President in quite some time.
“No, I haven’t seen him, I haven’t talked with him,” Francis Ngannou said Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (transcript via MMA Mania). “Yes, I want to [clear the air] but I don’t know how I’m gonna handle that. Since my fight against Stipe, I haven’t seen Dana White. I never called him. We never spoke on the phone. I have to put that out of my head, people got disappointed with my performance. I have to put that away, that distraction, and focus on the fight.”
Francis Ngannou returns to the Octagon on November 24, when he rematches Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Beijing.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/25/2018.