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Morning Report: Francis Ngannou says he hasn’t spoke with Dana White in a year

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On Sunday evening at UFC Phoenix, Francis Ngannou reintroduced himself to the heavyweight division, knocking out former two-time champion Cain Velasquez in 26 seconds. And while some people are questioning the validity of the stoppage, Ngannou does not care because he is focused on getting back to a title shot in a heavyweight division lacking clarity.

“I don’t know what is the heavyweight title position because [Daniel Cormier] is talking about retirement,” Ngannou told Ariel Helwani recently. “No new news about the title right now. I just want to fight for the title. I don’t know if it would be interim or a challenge against DC but however, I want to fight for the title.”

Cormier had previously set a hardline date to retire by March of this year but is currently dealing with injuries and has pushed off his retirement plans. But his injuries are stalling a heavyweight division that is getting crowded near the top, with Ngannou and Stipe Miocic both lobbying for title shots and Brock Lesnar’s return looming. Ngannou could perhaps have a little more clarity about what is going on except for one problem, he hasn’t spoken to Dana White in over a year.

“I haven’t talked to Dana White since one year ago, maybe more,” Ngannou said. “I haven’t talked to him. We are not calling each other. That would change what?”

Since Zuffa sold the UFC to WME for $4.2 billion, UFC President Dana White has been accused of being a less involved in the business of the company but not having had contact with one of the organization’s fastest rising stars is a startling revelation, especially considering the fact that Ngannou just delivered a 26 second knockout in the main event of the UFC’s debut on ESPN.

The genesis of this split with Ngannou could be the result of White’s less than generous remarks about Ngannou after his lackluster fight with Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 but Ngannou would not elaborate on why he has not spoken with White. What Ngannou would say is that he thinks he deserves a title shot next but know that he has no control over if it will happen.

“I don’t know. Once again, it’s up to the executives,” said Ngannou. “We don’t have a hand in it. They decide everything but I think I deserve it.”

Unfortunately for Ngannou, the man he hasn’t spoken with did tell media recently that Ngannou would not be next in line for a heavyweight title shot. If that’s the case, Ngannou says he’d be fine rematching Stipe Miocic in the meantime.

“Sure [I would like to rematch Miocic]. But if I had the option, I would like to fight for the belt next.”


Interim. Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum targeted for interim title fight at UFC 236.

Gracie. Gracie family reacts to Kron’s UFC Phoenix win.

Semifinals. Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page, Jake Hager’s Bellator return set for May.

USADA. Jake Collier accepts 10-month suspension from USADA.

Win. CSAC upholds Megan Anderson’s UFC 232 win over Cat Zingano.


Looking at UFC Prague.

Predicting fights with body language.

Kang got a promo up for UFC 235.

Vicente Luque made TMZ.


Eurobash. Interviews with Jan Blachowicz, James Gallagher, and Myles Price.

Mookie & Crookie. Discussing Cormier’s injury, Mayweather’s exhibition money.


Izzy.

I thought you already were champion though?

Let’s go.

Statement.

Beef.

Well that escalated quickly.

Call out.

Friendly neighborhood Predator.

Bout that action.

Cejudo.

Cortney Casey.

Interesting.


Norman Parke (25-6-1) vs. Borys Mankowski (19-7-1); KSW 47, March 23.

Israel Adesanya (16-0) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-1); UFC 236, April 13.

Michael Page (14-0) vs. Douglas Lima (30-7); Bellator, May 11.


2005: Mirko Cro Cop knocked out Mark Coleman at Pride 29.


Shout out to SodaPopinski in the comments. Mark Kerr at the time probably was terrifying. I wasn’t a fan then but everyone seems to agree and that was a great answer I hadn’t even considered.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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