Dana White Vehemently Denies Ngannou Was Given More Promotional Attention Than Miocic
Has the Francis Ngannou “hype train” been derailed? Was the champion Stipe Miocic neglected in the pre-fight promotional material that the UFC produced in the lead up to UFC 220 last evening? There are split opinions in regards to those two questions, but last evening UFC President Dana White vehemently denied that Ngannou was favoured by the UFC.
Speaking to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN, White addressed the opinion that Ngannou had been given more attention in the lead up to last evenings’ main event and he denied it was the case.
“I don’t think we built him up,” White said. “We didn’t build him up and give him shine. The shine came from knocking the number one contender’s head off his shoulders. Then you put him in a fight with the champ and yeah, the fact that he beat the number one contender in such brutal fashion, that’s the fight that everybody wanted to see.
“Whether people think with Stipe now beating him that he’s the guy they want to follow now, that remains to be seen.”
White then suggested that Bronsteter was trying to stir up trouble and then explained from his point of view why Ngannou had so much hype behind him heading into his first ever UFC title fight.
“You’re getting very Ariel Helwani on me here,” White said. “What you said is, your promos were built up to give him all of the shine and now Stipe will get some shine now he beat him, which is completely false and very Ariel Helwani-ish.
“We built Stipe up in the promos just as much as we did Francis Ngannou. What built Francis Ngannou up was the beheading of Alistair Overeem. The way he beat Overeem it got people excited to fight Stipe Miocic.”
At the conclusion of the interview, Bronsteter apologized for the misunderstanding and clarified he wasn’t trying to paint the pre-fight promotion in a negative light. White, with a smile this time, repeated what he previously and gave Ngannou all the credit for the attention he received heading into UFC 220.
“No I wasn’t [trying to say] you were trying to take Francis down, it was that you said we were giving more shine to Francis in the promotion than Stipe, which wasn’t true,” White said.
“All the shine came from the way he beat Alistair Overeem and what he did to Alistair Overeem. That enabled us to make a great heavyweight championship fight.”