UFC president, Dana White has labeled UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin “incompetent” following the creation of an interim title fight between the #2 ranked Derrick Lewis, and the #3 rated, Ciryl Gane for UFC 265 on August 7th.
Reports emerged last night that the promotion was putting together an interim title fight together between one-time title chaser, Lewis, and recent UFC Vegas 30 feature, Gane — to take main event status at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas on August 7th. The promotion reportedly attempted to make Ngannou vs. Lewis II for two separate events in June and August, however, scheduling conflicts prevented that rematch from taking place.
According to CAA Sports’, Martin, who represents Batie native, Ngannou — the creation of an interim title came from left-field, informing ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto that he as “shocked” and “surprised” by the interim title fight.
“This (interim title fight) comes as a complete shock,” Martin said in a statement released. “To make an interim title so soon, if you look at the history of this division, it comes as a surprise. Francis (Ngannou) is just now returning to the (United) States to begin training, and he just won the title three months ago. We’re unsure of what the reasoning is behind this, but we hope to get clarity soon and figure out something with the UFC soon. At the end of the day, they’re in control of these actions.“
Reacting to Martin’s statement, UFC leader, White commented on the post on his official Instagram account — claiming that Ngannou’s agent was “full of sh*t” and how his management is “incompetent“.
“This dude (Marquel Martin) is SO FULL OF SH*T!!!” White commented. “He knows EXACTLY what’s going on and isn’t “shocked” at all. Because we told him several times this was coming. His Management is incompetent and hopefully, Francis (Ngannou) starts taking a look at new people to help his career.“
Replying to White, Martin invited the promotional president to share text exchanges, which would prove that he was telling the truth regarding his surprise at the situation.
“Complete shock with your decision after we said September was good for us?” Martin said. “Complete shock that you guys made a threat after less than three months after you all were aware. Complete shock after you knew why Francis needed more time. That is correct. I know you’re passionate but you trying to discredit my integrity when I’ve been nothing but respectful to you, Hunter (Campbell), and your entire staff? Speaks more about you than it does about me. I’m not even mad, I’m actually impressed that I’ve gotten your attention.“
“Incompetent management?” Martin asked. “I think we’ve done a damn good job. I think you REALLY don’t like the fact that Francis is being represented by not only me but an entire agency… one of which you can’t control. Hence why you have people trying to rep him all the time to your benefit. I tell you what, let’s disclose EVERYTHING for people to see. Emails, calls, texts, everything. Deal?? Cuz I’m ready to get blackballed by the UFC… I’m not defined by it, you or anyone else for that matter. How’s that sound? Sincerely, your old employee — Marquel Martin.“