There was a time not all that long ago when UFC President Dana White was at the wheel of the Francis Ngannou hype train. The UFC boss had nothing but good things to say about the Cameroonian-French knockout artist.
Then, Francis Ngannou lost back to back decisions to then UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic and fellow contender Derrick Lewis, and White changed his tune. Instead of praising Ngannou, he began to publicly deride him.
“I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him,” White said last year, after Ngannou lost to Lewis. “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.”
Given the way Dana White has spoken about Ngannou recently, it should probably come as no surprise that they haven’t spoken in awhile. In fact, Ngannou says, they haven’t spoken in a year.
“I haven’t talked to Dana White since one year ago, maybe more,” Ngannou told ESPN recently. “I haven’t talked to him. We are not calling each other. That would change what?”
In the same interview, Francis Ngannou discussed the next phase of his fighting career. After his win over Cain Velasquez, he says he’s hoping for a title fight with Daniel Cormier, but he’s not sure what the UFC has planned.
“I don’t know what is the heavyweight title position because [Daniel Cormier] is talking about retirement,” Ngannou said. “No new news about the title right now. I just want to fight for the title. I don’t know if it would be interim or a challenge against DC but however, I want to fight for the title.
“I don’t know. Once again, it’s up to the executives,” he added. “We don’t have a hand in it. They decide everything but I think I deserve it.
“Sure [I would like to rematch Miocic]. But if I had the option, I would like to fight for the belt next.”
Do you think Dana White and Francis Ngannou will ever squash their beef?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/20/2019.