i’m tired of people being surprised when dana white of the UFC flips from being supportive and positive about one of his fighters to cutting them down. i mean, 1) he’s a businessman, first and foremost, and 2) this is an established pattern for him. so no one should be shocked.
most recently, he’s been talking about what a “drama queen” the current welterweight champion (tyron woodley) is, and how he would be a way bigger star if he’d stop talking about race issues. but just a few weeks ago, they were at the super bowl together, taking selfies and posting them on social media. so the MMA world is talking about what a hypocrite white is, doing an about face on one of his champions.
but this isn’t anything new. i remember the first time i noticed it was about 4 or 5 years ago when white had a huge boner for frankie edgar. i remember him calling edgar a “stud,” a real scrapper, and talking about how much he loved him. at the time, i had the impression that white and edgar had some sort of warm father/son dynamic. but as time went on, white became very blase about edgar, even going so far as to promise him a title shot a year or two ago and then simply giving that shot to other fighters. edgar was understandably pissed and made comments to the media about the situation. i was pretty surprised at the time.
but then i continued to see the same story arc with other fighters. benson henderson was the lightweight champ for a while and put on some amazing performances which white lauded. then when henderson’s contract was finished and it was time to negotiate a new one, henderson and the UFC couldn’t come to an agreement and henderson eventually signed with bellator. and that was when white started talking to the media about how washed up and on the decline henderson was.
he did it with his pal nick “the tooth” who was part of white’s reality tv show, ‘looking for a fight.’ white talked about how crazy and awesome “the tooth” was and what good friends they were, but then they had a disagreement about some footage that was filmed for the show, and white threw nick off the show and replaced him with someone else. i haven’t heard of nick “the tooth” since. what great friends they must have been.
same thing with conor mcgregor. mcgregor has obviously been white’s golden child for a while now but when mcgregor recently said he would box floyd mayweather with or without the UFC’s blessing, white threatened that “if [mcgregor] wants to go down that road with us, let me tell you, it will be an epic fall.” past successes be damned, white isn’t about to give even his most lucrative employees that much leash.
the list goes on and on. GSP, cain velasquez, anderson silva, johny hendricks — all guys he hyped up as dudes he had great relationships with who were also phenomenal fighters, who he later downplayed as babies, over the hill, full of lousy performances, etc.
now, i don’t entirely blame dana white for this behaviour — shit, he’s running a massive, very successful company, and you don’t do that well by being best friends with and doing favours for all your employees. and that’s where the problem lies: he should stop acting like he’s best pals with all of them. well, he should if he’s interested in being a respectable, honourable person. but i don’t think he cares about that. i think he cares about making money, and i think that creating drama within the UFC makes for more news articles and publicity which ultimately sell more tickets and pay-per-views. i think he knows all this so i don’t see his behaviour changing.
in which case, all his fighters and employees need to wise up and quit biting at white’s fucking bait. god, people are dumb.
ronda rousey is actually the only fighter he’s been supportive of even when she’s lost fights and done no publicity for those fights. he has said numerous times that they are very close friends and blah blah blah, the usual bullshit, but i’m just waiting for that veil to drop too. give it time, because you know it will. dana white has no honour and anyone who thinks rousey is an exception to the rule is naive and deluded.