White denies disrespecting Ngannou at UFC 270 following early exit

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

On Tuesday, UFC president Dana White explained his absence following UFC 270's main event between Francis Ngannou and Cyril Gane.

White said he walked out of the arena right after the bout because something was going on backstage that he needed to deal with, according to TSN's Aaron Bronsteter.

The promotion's president then referred to people who thought he was disrespecting Ngannou as "idiots," according to Bronsteter.

The UFC boss added that he has only walked out of a main event once during his tenure for fight-related reasons, Bronsteter adds.

White - who usually walks into the Octagon and wraps the title around the champion - was notably absent following Ngannou's unanimous decision win over Gane, and instead, UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard placed the heavyweight belt around the champion's waist. White also missed the post-fight press conference.

White complimented Ngannou's performance over Gane, calling him a "genius" for scoring a victory despite dealing with a knee ailment, according to Bronsteter.

The reigning heavyweight title-holder and White have had a rocky relationship since the former took issue with the contract structure and accused the promotion of trying to damage his brand since winning the belt in 2021.

"The Predator" advocated for a fighters' union or association to help address the pay discrepancy.

Ngannou's head coach Eric Nicksick called White's absence a "weak move" in an interview with Ariel Helwani on the "MMA Hour," according to MMA Fighting.

Meanwhile, Ngannou will undergo knee surgery after sustaining the injury three weeks before the PPV card and expects to remain sidelined for nine months.

White denies disrespecting Ngannou at UFC 270 following early exit
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