UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou is lamenting about being disrespected by the UFC following the interim bout for his title.
After claiming the heavyweight title with a stunning second-round knockout over Stipe Miocic back in March, Ngannou saw an interim champion crowned barely five months later after Ciryl Gane finished Derrick Lewis at UFC 265.
Despite telling the UFC he would not be ready to compete again until September, Dana White decided to introduce an interim title in the build-up to the August card.
When asked whether he feels disrespected, Ngannou told GQ: ‘Yes. I have that feeling [I’m being disrespected],
‘Just recently they gave me the UFC heavyweight champion, and months later they’re talking about someone else being the champion. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I’m really the champ or not. It’s really confusing.’
‘I think it was all business, and the UFC wanted to do a pay-per-view in Houston,
‘It wasn’t the right timing for me, but they wanted to do it no matter what. Just before that, they were asking me if I was ready to fight in September and I told them I’d be more than ready.
‘Then, suddenly, we just saw they had an interim title…I don’t know what truly happened. It’s all from the UFC’s end. They will be the only ones who know what happened.’
- Cameroon’s Ngannou stuns Miocic with a devastating knockout to claim heavyweight championship at UFC 260
The Cameroonian fighter also revealed a previous situation where he was offered a contract by the UFC but he realised it was against his own interest.
‘There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, [but] people don’t see it and they have their own opinion.
‘Before my last fight, the UFC wanted me to sign some contract and that contract wasn’t right. I didn’t sign that contract and I feel like they weren’t happy about that. I signed a contract before, and it didn’t play out very well on my end.
‘So, in order to sign another contract I think it’s my right to at least look out for myself and get what is right for me to fix whatever was the mistake in the previous one.
‘And if someone doesn’t believe they should fix their mistake then that means that person is not looking for anything good for you.’