UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou feels disrespected by the way he's been treated recently from the promotion.
Ngannou spoke with GQ's Tyler R. Tynes about his feelings on the UFC's decision to host an interim title fight between Cyril Gane and Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 in Houston, Texas this month, just five months after he won the title from Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.
"Yes. I have that feeling," Ngannou responded when asked if he felt disrespected by the promotion. "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. Before the [Stipe Miocic] fight, the only thing the UFC was talking about was how the winner of Stipe and I would face Jon Jones, and that never came along. And here we are: with an interim title and everything."
The Cameroonian champion continued on to discuss how an unwillingness on his part to sign a contract offer from the promotion, might have been the thing that led to the recent hostility they've seemingly shown him.
"Well—[*sighs]—*a lot is going on. 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."