The tense situation involving Francis Ngannou and the UFC was laid bare as Dana White refused to put the belt round the heavyweight champion's waist at UFC 270.
Ngannou had just successfully defended his heavyweight title, defeating the previously-undefeated Ciryl Gane in a unanimous decision victory.
But just as he was having his hand raised by referee Herb Dean, White was nowhere to be seen.
The UFC president is normally on hand to wrap the belt around the champion's waist as octagon announcer Bruce Buffer reveals the winner.
But when it came to doing it for Ngannou, the UFC boss seemingly wasn't interested.
During his post-fight press conference, Ngannou was asked about his thoughts on White's swift exit from the cage.
"I don't know. You have to ask him," Ngannou said.
"No, I did not have anything to do about that. I think that was their decision. I'm about to ask about that, too."
One of the reporters also revealed to Ngannou that White chose not to attend the press conference, something very out of character for the UFC president, especially after such a big pay-per-view event.
"Wow, OK, I didn't know that, too," Ngannou said.
"It's been a long time I've been wondering about my future in the company. So nothing has changed. I'm still in the same position.
"I've been going to the UFC a lot so I'd kind of like exhausted all my options."
To give some context, Ngannou and the UFC have been going back-and-forth in contract negotiations for what seems like an eternity now.
With neither party appearing to back down, this has caused huge friction between Ngannou and his current employer.
Add in the fact that the Cameroonian has one eye on a boxing super-fight with Tyson Fury and you can sort of see why this situation is so sticky, although Ngannou did his best to play it down during the press conference.
"It's not simply money," he said.
"Obviously money is part of it but it's also the term of the contract that I don't agree with it. I don't feel like it's fair. I don't feel like I'm a free man. I don't feel like I have been treated good. It's unfortunate I have to be in this position to be able to say that but I think it's something that everybody should at least have the right to claim for what's best for him.
"At the end of the day, we put a lot of work in this job. We take a lot on our body to make it happen. So at least we can have a fair and square deal."
Featured Image Credit: UFC/Zuffa/Alamy
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