It’s always been company tradition for UFC president Dana White to present the champion with the belt after a title bout, but defending heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic was having none of that at UFC 220.
Miocic, who beat Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision in the main event at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, took the belt from White before he had the chance to wrap it around his waist and handed it over to his coach, Marcus Marinelli.
Marinelli was the one who presented Miocic with the belt, and the reigning champ referred to him as family at the UFC 220 post-fight press conference.
“(He’s) my dude,” Miocic said when asked about why his coach presented him with the title (h/t Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting). “He respects me and I respect him. End of story”.
When asked if he thought White respected him, Miocic said he doesn’t know and doesn’t really care.
“I don’t know and I don’t really care,” he answered.
“Where’s my coach at? Those dudes right there are my family. They all respect me and I respect them. They come with me. We go to war no matter what – win, lose or draw. That’s my family. We all respect each other no matter what the situation is.”
Although Miocic didn’t say so at the press conference, the 35-year-old felt disrespected with the way he was promoted in the pre-fight buildup for UFC 220 and felt there was a clear bias for Ngannou, who was being marketed as heavyweight’s next big star.
“Listen, I feel a little bit disrespected, but I’m not going to dwell on it,” Miocic told Ariel Helwani earlier this month.
With that said, the Croatian-American isn’t in a hurry for a serious promotional push.
“No man, we’ll keep doing what we do,” Miocic said when asked if he wanted to be promoted more.
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I don’t really care. Honestly, I’ve got so much on my plate right now. I’m so happy with my beautiful wife and our child. I’m very lucky, I’ve got my coaches here and they’re amazing. Listen man, I don’t worry about repairing anything. I don’t know.”
Miocic, who also works as a part-time firefighter in Ohio, broke the record for the most number of heavyweight title defenses (3) at UFC 220 and earned his status as, not the scariest, but ‘the baddest man on the planet’ by slaying the beast that is Francis Ngannou.