Stipe Miocic wouldn't let Dana White put his heavyweight belt around his waist
UFC President Dana White would never admit to having a preference in fights.
At the end of the day, White is a fight fan and he just wants to see excitement which typically translates to satisfaction for him and those tuning into UFC broadcasts.
But we reckon it might just have hurt White a little to see Ronda Rousey knocked out cold by Holly Holm or Conor McGregor tap out to Nate Diaz's rear naked choke.
White is in the business of making superstars because his entire empire is built on pay-per-view dollars and, in most combat sports, the heavyweight division has been able to tickle most casual fans' interest due to the fact that anything can happen with one strike among the big boys.
A year ago, White identified Francis Ngannou as the next big thing in his marquee division.
"I believe that this guy (Ngannou) has the potential to become the heavyweight champion of the world," White said during an interview with FS1's Megan Olivi. "I also believe he has the potential to hold that title for a very long time."
Ngannou was hyped to the hilt ahead of his first title shot, which arrived last Saturday in the main event of UFC 220.
Defending champion Stipe Miocic would not be intimated by the owner of arguably the most imposing physique on the entire roster and the hardest punch of all time.
Miocic utilised a flawless gameplan and tactical nous to see Ngannou off when they met at the weekend, with the Cleveland fighter defending his title and becoming the first heavyweight champion in history to defend on three consecutive occasions.
Perhaps Miocic was irritated by the shine awarded to Ngannou in the build-up, however, as he would not let White put his successfully-defended belt around his waist when the result was called out.
— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 21, 2018
Miocic prised his belt away from White and, instead, let head coach Marcus Marinelli do the honours
"He's my dude," said Miocic of Marinelli. "He respects me and I respect him. End of story"
Having claimed the heavyweight title with a knockout victory over Fabricio Werdum in 2016, Mioicic has seen off the challenges of Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos and Ngannou but he remains unhappy with the conditions of his current contract.
And while it would be somewhat understandable for Miocic to be displeased about the promotional backing that the UFC gave to Ngannou in the run-up to UFC 220, he wouldn't admit that he has an issue with White.
"I don’t know and I don’t really care," Miocic added.
"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."