The announcement that an interim heavyweight title is being introduced at UFC 265 just three months after Francis Ngannou became champion led to a heated exchange between Ngannou’s agent and UFC president Dana White.
The disagreement on social media occurred after Derrick Lewis was booked against Ciryl Gane with an interim title on the line in the UFC 265 main event on Aug. 7. Originally, the UFC wanted to book Lewis vs. Ngannou on that date but the current heavyweight champion took time off following his second-round knockout over 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 the response from White.
“This dude is so full of sh*t!” 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 this was coming. His management is incompetent and hopefully Francis starts taking a look at new people to help his career.”
That led to Martin firing back at White with a much longer message speaking to the issues surrounding this interim title fight being announced after an attempt was made to book Ngannou against Lewis in September.
Martin, who works for powerhouse talent agency CAA, offered to reveal all of the relevant information regarding this situation after the initial message received from White.
“Complete shock with your decision after we said September was good for us,” Martin said. “Complete shock that you guys made threats after less than three months after you all were aware. Complete shock after you knew why Francis needed more time. That is correct. I know you’re passionate but you are trying to discredit by integrity when I’ve been nothing but respectful to you, Hunter [Campbell] and your entire staff? Speaks more about you than it does me. I’m not even mad, I’m actually impressed that I’ve gotten your attention.
“Incompetent management? I think we’ve done a damn good job. I think you really don’t like the fact that Francis is being represented by not only me but an entire agency, one which you can’t control. Hence why you have people tryin to rep him all the time to your benefit. [Laughing crying emoji.] I tell you what, let’s disclose everything for people to see. Emails, calls, texts, everything. Deal? Cause I’m ready to get blackballed by the UFC. I’m not defined by it, you or anyone else for that matter. How’s that sound? Sincerely, your old employee, Marquel Martin.”
White has never been shy about calling out a fighter or their representation in a public format but it appears Martin was ready to go to war with the UFC president over this situation.
While the UFC is crowning an interim champion in August, Ngannou is still holding onto his heavyweight title with the expectation that he’ll face the winner of Lewis vs. Gane in his next fight.