Last night, UFC heavyweight Stipe Miocic made easy work of surging knockout artist Francis Ngannou, defending his title with a lopsided, unanimous decision. If you watched the pre-fight promos for this fight, however, this result might have come as a bit of a surprise.
In the buildup to this fight, many members of the MMA community noted that the UFC hype machine seemed to be focused on Ngannou. Even Miocic was aware of this, admitting he felt a bit “disrespected.”
“Listen, I feel a little bit disrespected, but I’m not going to dwell on it,” Miocic said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. “He’s got more hype on him I guess. The guy hits super hard. We’re making a big thing about it, I’ve fought some good guys, you know? That’s how we are. I’m not much of a trash talker I just like to fight, that’s what I do.”
The disrespect Miocic felt manifested itself when UFC President Dana White attempted to put the heavyweight belt around the champ’s waist in the moments after the fight – as per tradition. In a moment of what seemed like frustration, Miocic could be seen taking the belt from White, and giving it to his coach, who then adorned him with it.
— McDuckMMA (@McDuckMMA) January 21, 2018
Speaking at the UFC 220 post-fight press conference, Miocic explained his choice to give the belt to his coach, rather than letting White wrap it around his waist.
“[He’s] my dude,” Miocic said of his coach. “He respects me and I respect him. End of story”
While Miocic admitted he’s felt disrespected by White and the UFC in the past, he was noncommittal about these feelings of disrespect when asked about them at the presser.
“I don’t know and I don’t really care,” he said.
“Where’s my coach at? Those dudes right there are my family. They all respect me and I respect them. They come with me. We go to war no matter what – win, lose or draw. That’s my family. We all respect each other no matter what the situation is.”
What do you make of the situation between Stipe Miocic and Dana White?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/21/2018.