UFC president Dana White addressed why he disappeared after heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou's title unification win over interim champion Cyril Gane at last Saturday's UFC 270 and didn't put the belt on the champion as is tradition.
During an ESPN+ Q&A session Wednesday, White said he walked out of the arena in Anaheim, California, after the flyweight title co-main event "because there was stuff going on backstage that I was dealing with."
White bristled at the notion at anyone thinking he was showing disrespect to Ngannou by not being in the cage and also skipping the post-event press conference, calling them "idiots" and pointing out that he saw the champion all week, shook his hand and said hi to him.
He said the only time he ever did that intentionally was after then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva's lackluster UFC 112 title defense over Demian Maia in Abu Dhabi.
Ngannou and the UFC have been at an impasse on a new contract due to perceived disrespect and financial terms dating back to last year's creation of the interim title due to Ngannou not being able to commit to the fight timeline UFC wanted.
Ngannou is currently obligated to remain with the company for the duration of the year on a champion's clause after which time he will become a free agent. Ngannou said this week he is going to have knee surgery this year which will take him out of action for up to ten months.
Also on Wednesday, news broke via White that they are gearing up for another big pay-per-view card on May 7th with two titles on the line at UFC 274.
In the main event, lightweight champion Charles Oliveira will look to continue his hot streak of wins and finishes as he defends against action fighter and fan favorite Justin Gaethje. The champion has won ten straight and last submitted Dustin Poirier in December while Gaethje is 5-1 in his last six fights and is a former interim titleholder.
In the co-main event, light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will defend his title for the first time when he faces Jiri Prochazka.
Originally tabbed for Brazil, it's unknown where the event will take place. Neither fight has been made official, but considering White revealed the information to ESPN, it's essentially confirmed.
White also said they are trying to make a fight between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson for the future, but nothing has been signed. It's assumed that would headline a Fight Night event.