The announcement of the introduction of an interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 just three months after Francis Ngannou became champion led to a heated exchange between Ngannou’s agent and the UFC president, Dana White.
The social media disagreement came after Derrick Lewis was booked against Ciryl Gane with an interim title on the line during the main event of UFC 265 on August 7. Originally the UFC wanted to book Lewis against Ngannou on that date, but the current heavyweight champion took time off after his second round knockout against Stipe Miocic to return home to visit friends and family. in Cameroon.
In reaction to the news, Ngannou’s agent Marquel Martin released a statement saying he was “shocked” by the UFC’s decision to introduce an interim title, which then prompted White’s response. .
“This guy is so full of shit!” White wrote on ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto’s Instagram. “He knows exactly what’s going on and isn’t ‘shocked’ at all. Because we told him several times that this was going to happen. His leadership is incompetent and I hope Francis will start looking for new people to help him in his career.
This led Martin to strike back at White with a much longer post addressing the issues surrounding this announced interim title fight after an attempt to book Ngannou against Lewis in September.
Martin, who works for the powerful talent agency CAA, offered to reveal all relevant information regarding this situation after the initial message received from White.
“Total shock to your decision after we said September was good for us,” Martin said. “Total shock that you made threats less than three months after you all knew it.” Complete shock after knowing why Francis needed more time. That’s right. I know you are passionate but you try to discredit for integrity when I have only been respectful to you, Hunter [Campbell] and all your staff? Talk more about you than about me. I’m not even angry, I’m really impressed that I got your attention.
“Incompetent management? I think we’ve done a hell of a good job. I think you really don’t like the fact that Francis is represented not only by me but by a whole agency, an agency that you can’t control. That’s why you have people trying to portray it all the time to your advantage. [Laughing crying emoji.] I’m telling you what, let’s get it all out for people to see. Emails, calls, texts, everything. Agreement? Because I’m ready to be blackballed by the UFC. I’m not defined by that, you or anyone else for that matter. How does that sound? Sincerely, your former employee, Marquel Martin.
White has never shied away from calling out a fighter or his portrayal in a public format, but it looks like Martin was ready to go to war with the UFC president over this situation.
As the UFC crowns an interim champion in August, Ngannou retains his heavyweight title in hopes he faces winner Lewis against Gane in his next fight.