UFC president Dana White explained his stunning decision to offer an interim heavyweight championship belt to the winner of the upcoming UFC 265 battle between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane. White said he wants fans, media, and anyone else who might disagree with the UFC boss about the matter to “just shut the f*** up” and let him do his job.
It’s not that White doesn’t see, hear or read all the different opinions expressed in regards to the UFC’s controversial decision to not wait for UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to be ready to defend his title just one month longer than maybe the UFC wanted to wait.
It’s just that he doesn’t care.
So White’s message to everyone is pretty simple. He’s in the business of making fights, and that’s all he’s going to keep doing no matter what.
“I put on fights every Saturday. You wanna fight? I got fights for you. You don’t wanna fight, no problem. You don’t have to fight. So what we got now is we actually have the guy who beat Francis Ngannou taking on the undefeated up-and-comer in Houston for the interim title and whoever wins, they can fight Francis when it’s time. It’s a great fight; it’s the fight that makes sense. It’s the two best heavyweights in the world that aren’t the heavyweight champion,” White said.
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UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane on August 7
UFC 265 is scheduled for August 7 in Houston, and it will feature two of the best heavyweights in the world.
Lewis is the No. 2-ranked contender according to the UFC’s official rankings, and Gane is ranked No. 3.
The No. 1 contender in the division is former champion Stipe Miocic, and then there’s UFC superstar Jon Jones.
“Bones” vacated his title at 205 pounds to move up to the heavyweight ranks last year, but he hasn’t been able to come to terms with the UFC about how much he should make for fighting in the new division.
Regardless, White explained the UFC’s interim title at stake at UFC 265 wouldn’t take anything away from Ngannou, and he also believes it will actually help make Ngannou’s next fight, presumedly against the winner of UFC 265, as big as it possibly could be.
“It’ll be champion vs. champion and if Derrick Lewis wins, Derrick Lewis is the guy who beat him. Ciryl Gane has never fought him, and he’s undefeated, which means if he beats Derrick Lewis, the guy who beat Francis Ngannou, and he’s still undefeated going in against Francis Ngannou, that’s pretty f****** exciting,” White said.
In that way, the value of the interim belt is mostly just as a promotional tool.
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White Wants Benefit of the Doubt
In short, White believes he deserves the benefit of the doubt at this point in his career. He wants it from fans, media, fighters, and the fighters’ teams, too.
“So why doesn’t everybody just shut the f*** up and let me do what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years? If you want to fight, I got fights every Saturday. If you don’t want to fight, no problem. Fly around the world, go on f****** vacation, do whatever the hell you want to do, and when you’re ready to fight, we’ll be here,” White said.
While some might suggest White should focus more of his energy on making the specific fights most UFC fans want to see such as Ngannou vs. Jones, the UFC boss seems to believe a better approach is to keep the action moving forward and letting the rest of it fall into place however it happens.
White might be a bit harsh with his words, but his point is that he’s the one who helped build the UFC into the biggest and best MMA promotional company in the world.
He thinks that should mean something, at least more than it usually does in the eyes of his harshest critics.
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