Francis Ngannou got the job done at UFC 270, but there was controversy in the immediate aftermath of the fight.
The 35-year-old had his belt wrapped around his waist by Nick Maynard, vice president of talent relations, instead.
Ngannou, nicknamed ‘The Predator’, was confused by White’s antics: “I don’t know [why that happened], you have to ask him.
“I did not have anything to do about that. I think that was their decision. I’m about to ask about that too.”
The relationship between Ngannou and White isn’t the healthiest due to the former’s financial demands. The Cameroonian’s contract expires in 2022 however the titleholder has a clause in his deal stating he is eligible to fight for another year.
In terms of striking a new deal, Ngannou’s demands do not match White’s aspirations. The fighter wants to delve into boxing whilst still being able to fight in the octagon.
White detailed the issues between them: “I’ve been in contract drama for 20 years with people. It’s part of the business.
“I honestly don’t know where we’ll end up after Saturday,” White says, adding, “We’ll see how the fight goes, we’ll see what happens and I’m sure we’ll figure it out one way or another.”
“Francis and I have had our moments over the last several years. I bumped into him at dinner a few weeks ago and we had a good conversation.
“It was funny because we needed to talk. We needed to see each other and the universe made it happen.”
“We’ll see how these things play out. I don’t blame Francis as much as I blame the not so very smart people that surround him.”
Ngannou started poorly in the encounter, allowing Gane to win the initial two rounds. However, Ngannou humbled Gane with a hefty body slam takedown.
Momentum swung and he utilised the same trick again in the championship rounds.
Judges gave Ngannou the victory unanimously after a convincing ending to the brawl. Gane attempted a leg lock but gave Ngannou the opportunity to reverse position and spend the vast majority of the round on top.