UFC president Dana White has clarified why he didn’t put the belt around heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 270.

Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision at UFC 270, using his wrestling in the later rounds to wear Gane down. As the official decision was read by Bruce Buffer, White was a notable absence and matchmaker Mick Maynard took White’s spot and put the belt around Ngannou.

Ngannou and White have had their fair share of differences over the last few years. But during a recent Q&A session with ESPN’s Laura Sanko, White explained why he wasn’t present for Ngannou’s first successful title defense.

“Let’s jump on this one,” White said. “I wasn’t out there for the main event. I actually walked out of the arena for the co-main event because there was some stuff backstage that I was dealing with. But for anyone thinking that I was disrespecting Francis… I was with him all week, you idiots. I know someone out there was dying to ask it or wanted to.”

Dana White Doesn’t Provide Update On Francis Ngannou Contract Talks

Many fans and media personalities blasted White on social media for appearing to snub Ngannou of the ceremonial post-fight moment. White wouldn’t get into details as to what he was dealing with backstage that resulted in him missing the main event and the post-fight press conference.

Ngannou has remained adamant that he wants to be treated better by the promotion going forward. He’s not just looking for more money, but a fair contract that allows him to also potentially pursue fights in boxing.

Ngannou will have surgery done on his right knee after suffering an injury before UFC 270. He’s expected to miss at least 9 months of action and could potentially return at the end of the year.

What is your reaction to Dana White’s explanation regarding the Francis Ngannou belt snub?