Monday morning’s MMA news likely came as a shock to many of you as it did to me. In an unexpected twist, the UFC decided to book an interim heavyweight title fight between Derrick Lewis and Cyril Gane for UFC 265 on August 7. Francis Ngannou’s manager seemed surprised by the move too.
Reigning champion Francis Ngannou was left baffled by the recent turn of events, and expectedly so. Francis Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin later spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto to give a statement.
“This comes as a complete shock. To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise.
“Francis is just now returning to the States to begin training, and he just won the title three months ago. We’re unsure of what the reasoning is behind this, but we hope to get clarity soon and figure out something with the UFC soon. At the end of the day, they’re in control of these decisions.”
The statement seemed to have touched a nerve in UFC president Dana White, who issued a response shortly after on Instagram.
This dude is SO FULL OF SH-T! 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
Francis Ngannou’s manager, Martin then went on to send a lengthy reply of his own.
lol… complete shock with your decision after we said September was good for us? Complete shock that you guys made threats after less than 3 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 trying to discredit my integrity when I’ve been nothing but respectful to you, Hunter, 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 of which you can’t control. Hence, why you have people trying to rep him all the time to your benefit.
He’s even willing to show receipts.
I tell you what, let’s disclose EVERYTHING for people to see. Emails, calls, texts, everything. DEAL?? Cuz I’m ready to get blackballed by UFC… I’m not defined by it, you or anyone else for that matter. How’s that sound.
Sincerely, your old employee – Marquel Martin
Regarding White’s “incompetent” comment, it’s worth noting that Creative Artist Agency (CAA), which currently manages Ngannou, is considered to be one of the 40 most valuable sports agencies in the world.
According to Forbes, the company has so far negotiated deals worth more than $56 billion in the past year alone. Apart from “The Predator,” it boasts other big-named athletes like NBA star Chris Paul, four-time Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby and 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan.
Ngannou last saw action at UFC 260 in March, when he knocked out Stipe Miocic to win the heavyweight crown.
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