Dana White launched a verbal attack on Francis Ngannou after his fight against Derrick Lewis at UFC 226. He said Ngannou’s ego has gotten out of control.
Afterward at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White had one word to describe the fight and he said that word was ‘Horrible’.
White went on to say:
”I think that [Ngannou] had a pretty quick rise here and obviously the fight over Alistair Overeem catapulted him, everybody was talking about him,” White said. “I thought he was going to be the next [big] guy. I think his ego ran away with him, big time. I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him. The minute that that happens to you in the fight game, you see what happens. You start to fall apart.”
”I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and this guy’s ego was just so out of control,” White continued. “It’s like, before the Stipe fight, he took off and went to France. Didn’t even really train for that fight. And you see the results. Well, he came back and did train [this time], but ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
However, it’s not only Dana who thinks this way, Ngannou’s head coach Fernand Lopez agrees with White’s assessment.
“The only thing I can say is Dana was speaking about Francis’ ego is probably one of the truths that I witnessed that Dana White said,” Lopez told MMANews.pl (transcript via MMANytt). “It’s probably the only truth that I know for a fact, that’s a fact. Why am I saying that? I’m saying that because Ngannou is like a brother for me and when you’re dealing with a brother, problems with your brother, you have to be honest with your brother so he can be a better man.
“In order to make Francis a better man, there are some people that have to have the bad role. The bad job is to tell Ngannou ‘You have a big ego and you have changed with the time.’ That’s the truth. I had the conversation with Ngannou and I said to him ‘You have changed my friend, you have changed. You’re not the same anymore. Your ego is killing you and it’s just about your ego.’ That’s the thing like.”
Also for the last fight, Ngannou trained in Syndicate MMA rather than MMA factory.
“Myself I got hurt with a lot of dedication to Francis’ career, I got hurt, a lot. When Francis lost the fight with Stipe, no one ever heard Francis say he lost because he didn’t follow the gameplan. He did the opposite of the gameplan that we worked. That loss for Francis, for the belt, had a huge impact for him, but also myself and my gym. Francis being world champion means that I’m a champion coach and that means the MMA Factory is a champion training camp. We missed that because he did not follow the gameplan. He followed the gameplans until the title shot and then the next fight (against Lewis) he was in Syndicate MMA.”
“When all these people are saying what a bad coach I am, it would’ve been nice for Francis to back me up and say ‘No guys, this guy did his job, this guy tried to help me with the best gameplan that he could and he gave me the thing that I should do and I didn’t do that,” Lopez continued. “Instead of saying that he just stayed quiet and people were killing us saying how stupid could I be to just keep training Francis on the feet and not on the wrestling and not the ground game.
“This is just crazy because the MMA Factory was building Francis a lot time ago and for this and the wrestling and the ground game was taking almost 80-percent of his training, but because whenever the television come in the gym we were showcasing everything on the pads because it looked good for TV. We didn’t show Francis struggling or sharing the thing that he’s working on, on the ground. We only just showed to everyone what he was good at so they didn’t see any weakness in Francis, but actually, we were working so hard. We were taking all the best ground game guys in France.
“We lost the fight as a team, as a team, we lost the fight,” Lopez continued. “There’s a fault of mine in losing the Stipe fight because it’s the team losing the fight. I don’t want to say only Francis lost that fight, but Francis didn’t follow the gameplan and it was up to himself to say he didn’t follow the gameplan.”