Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Helwani & Activist Shaun King Blast White For Ngannou ‘Disrespect’

UFC President Dana White‘s abrupt exit from the Honda Center following Francis Ngannou‘s UFC 270 title retention did not go unnoticed by the spectating public.

Among the various observers of White leaving the arena without customarily wrapping the world title around Ngannou’s waist or taking part in the post-fight press conference were renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani and civil rights activist, journalist, and New York Times best-selling author Shaun King.

While MMA fans have grown accustomed to Helwani criticizing White and the UFC on various issues over the years, it is not every day that a social justice activist shares a strong commentary about the current happenings of the UFC.

However, after White conspicuously took no part in any post-fight festivities, King shared the following to his 3 million-plus social media followers.

“Something wildly disrespectful happened last night for the @UFC. 1. The @UFC account was ordered not to tweet a single highlight during the fight as they did every other fight. 2. Then @DanaWhite refused to put the belt on Ngannou and refused to attend the press conference,” King wrote.

King later embedded the above tweet in a follow-up post on Facebook, where he wrote: “It’s so ugly to see @danawhite and the @UFC treat the HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP OF THE WORLD this way. And @francisngannou is a GREAT guy. A hero all over the world.”

To King’s point, if one were to visit the UFC’s Twitter page, they would not find a single highlight from Ngannou’s victory over Gane. This is indeed a very strange, if not historic occurrence for a pay-per-view main event ever since the promotion began posting highlights to the page.

The running theory is that White’s behavior is due to the very tense contract negotiations between the UFC and Ngannou. Ngannou and his management have been quite public about their unhappiness with how the champion has been paid and promoted by the company.

Ariel Helwani Stunned By White’s Exit, Tyron Woodley Chimes In

Back around to MMA circles, Ariel Helwani also had something to add about one of the biggest talking points following the UFC 270 event.

“After all that, didn’t put the belt on and didn’t show up to the press conference. Remarkable. Respect to Francis for handling it all with class and grace,” Helwani wrote.

Among those to chime in under the post was none other than former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley.

“seen this before,” Woodley wrote.

Woodley is referring to White’s post-fight reaction when Woodley retained the welterweight title over Darren Till at UFC 228, a reaction that gave us the following timeless meme.

Dana White Even More Upset Than First Thought, Cage Side Reaction Photo To  Woodley-Till Revealed - MMA Imports

Many took notice of the similarities between White’s reaction to Ngannou’s win and Woodley’s 2018 victory over Till. In both cases, White declined to attend the post-fight press conference.

Several other notable figures had something to add in the comments section of Helwani’s Instagram post, including Quinton “Rampage Jackson” and Mark Hunt.

You can also view how some of the fans reacted to White’s sudden exit in an installment of The Pulse of MMA published earlier today.

What are your thoughts on Dana White leaving the Honda Center without wrapping the world title around Francis Ngannou’s waist or taking part in the post-fight press conference?

This article was published on on January 24, 2022, at 12:00 PM ET.

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