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« | Home | »

You can always tell when an attack is effective…

By Zach Arnold | April 1, 2009

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…by how loud a person squeals. Dana White understands what is at stake as far as labor relations in UFC is concerned.

Will there be any backlash by sponsors towards Dana White for his rant against Loretta Hunt? No. This is the same man who said that he didn’t need Coke, Coke needed him.

So what will hurt Dana White and UFC? The trend that their organization has gone through corporate sponsors left and right and has burnt several bridges publicly (t-shirt companies, toy makers, etc). The caveat emptor label is out there for sponsors who want to get involved in doing business with the company.

To address the initial argument about the purpose of managers and agents being backstage with their fighters… in most cases, it has to do with protecting their clients from promoters offering contracts and asking for signatures without legal representation. However, there are also other circumstances for agents to be present in front of fighters, and I noted a couple of these reasons when I did an article for CBS Sports about the drug problems in MMA. Mainly, during the PRIDE days, agents were concerned with drug testing procedures — including one agent publicly going on record for my article to claim that PRIDE promoters were encouraging the use of painkiller injections for a fighter… right before a fight.

In response to Brent Brookhouse asking why the media hasn’t jumped all over Dana White for what he said here, the reason is that most of the stick-and-ball media doesn’t pay attention to MMA. It’s a fringe sport for them. It’s not in their demographic zone, so they don’t care. They think MMA is barbaric in the first place, so why waste effort talking about it and promoting the business? As in the old adage, “Any publicity is good publicity.”

As I told a media friend a little while ago when talking about White’s rant, could you imagine Roger Goodell doing this towards a media writer in a video statement on the NFL web site if a reporter had written a story claiming the NFL was causing problems for players in the locker room? Every mainstream sports media writer would be banding together to go after Goodell, call for him to get out of the NFL, and go after the sponsors supporting the NFL.

Using a misogynistic or gay slur has nothing to do with media bias. Dana White is not a super hero because he is using this type of speech against a media writer. Furthermore, I find it amazing that UFC supporters are treating White the same way ECW supporters used to treat Paul Heyman when he would go on his rants. This “he’s speaking truth to power!” vibe from White’s defenders here is laughable considering that we have UFC on one side and the ‘power’ here is supposedly Sherdog.

In any other sport, the manner in which Dana White attacked Loretta Hunt would simply not be tolerated. However, because it’s MMA, the media doesn’t take it seriously despite the strong numbers the sport attracts amongst younger fans. Just look at the attacks made in the comment section of this Yahoo Sports post. I think the tone UFC supporters are using to defend White (as opposed to the actual act of defending him) is disheartening, even if the idiots are keyboard warriors.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 45 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

45 Responses to “You can always tell when an attack is effective…”

  1. Ivan Trembow says:

    In addition to the usual third-grader reaction to someone reporting on facts that may not portray Zuffa in the most favorable light, this rant also contains plenty of misogyny and homophobia— all of this from a man who says that the most important thing to him is for his kids to be able to know that he’s not a sleazeball promoter.

    As always, it will be very interesting to see how many MMA media outlets with UFC press credentials cover this story, and how many MMA media outlets without UFC press credentials cover this story. (and by “cover this story,” I mean actually quoting the offensive lines from it, not just posting the video without commenting on it as with most vlog links).

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I disagree. I think this was just the straw the broke the camels back for White/Hunt. As White said in the video blog, she bashed them previously for other things as well.

    It would be one thing if he “article” was fair, had credible sources, and wasn’t out there to bash. However, even her writing style just screamed “I want attention” & “This is a hit piece”. Hunt has always been a horrible MMA writer, and her streak continues.

    For Sponsors… The UFC has had no problems keeping Budweiser, Harley Davidson, or Tapout. Affliction has proven to be idiots. Full Tilt was a CBS decision. Xyience and a lot of the others were bush league sponsors to begin with. And Zuffa seems to have no problems getting all the major movie studios to promote their movies on UFC cards. Just because these movie studio’s aren’t promoting the same movies, doesn’t mean they don’t have a good relationship if they continue to come back.

    Lastly, I don’t know the definitive answer to this question, but I have a pretty good idea of the answer…

    When Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter gets a a drug test or is in the locker room before a game…. Does their agent have to be their to monitor them? A-Rod has Scott Boras as an agent. That guy is so high profile, he only shows up to a small fraction of any of his athletes games, nevermind being their for drug testing or to make sure a guy like Roger Clemends doesn’t inject himself with something before a game.

    Why should MMA be any different? I have to agree with Dana White on this one. They don’t exactly have a purpose backstage. They don’t in any sport. The only one I can think of his boxing, and that isn’t exactly a model of success or fair play.

  3. Alan Conceicao says:

    Dana White has the benefit of being the head of a fringe sport. If ESPN wanted to grab onto this and attack, they could, but who’s gonna care?

    In the meantime, I guess I know why the US team recruited such talents as Jason Dent: They gotta have people who the UK fighters are competitive with. Yikes. UFN wasn’t so bad though.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    Yeah, 45 Huddle is right, managers don’t have a purpose backstage. It’s not like fighters have gotten approached with contract offers backstage, both verbal contracts and written contracts. Oh, wait a minute, never mind… (seriously, I would question if you even read the article if I didn’t think you were just trolling)

    In any case, even if everything you say actually WAS true (which it’s not) and Hunt WAS 100% wrong (which she’s not), would that make it tolerable for a company president to go around calling women that he doesn’t like “fucking bitches”?

    Would that make it tolerable for a company president to go around calling people that he doesn’t like “faggots”?

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Verbal contracts? If a tree falls when nobody is around, does it make a noise? Verbal contracts mean absolutely nothing.

    Nor have I heard anybody credible talk about Zuffa cornering them and having them sign or else. I think you mentioned Lindland previously. The same guy who sued to get into the Olympic Games. He is far from credible.

    Lastly, how is what Hunt said true? She has mentioned no specific names of managers being removed. Where is the information? She makes a lot of accusations, yet did not provide one name.

    Come on…. If you are going to bash somebody, and make them seem evil, she should at least needs to get the names out there.

    Like I said, this was just plain bashing. She did it much more subtle then White. But what she got in return from White wasn’t anything over the line.

    Unless you guys are children, I’m sure you have heard bad language before. Don’t be so sensitive.

  6. Ivan Trembow says:

    Even if everything you say actually WAS true (which it’s not) and Hunt WAS 100% wrong (which she’s not), would that make it tolerable for a company president to go around calling women that he doesn’t like “fucking bitches”?

    Would that make it tolerable for a company president to go around calling people that he doesn’t like “faggots”?

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Hey, I like all types of people. Have friends who are different colors. Have a family member that is gay. I don’t find what he said offensive at all. Neither do a lot of people. The world doesn’t always have to be PC.

    And really…. That is what makes Dana White great to so many fans. You just don’t get it. You complain, but most people who don’t work a white collar job, LOVE to hear and see a PRESIDENT of a fight company talk like a regular person. I would much rather see a President say “F’N Bitches” then have him give a corporate answer. It’s refreshing.

    And once again… With Hunt… Where is the proof? Give me the proof? She has yet to do so.

  8. spacedog says:

    Ok 45 is part right and Ivan is part right. Obviously agents don’t need to be with their clients at all times. IF Dana and Co. want to ban them from being backstage, fine, but they have to agree not to use that as an opportunity to pressure fighters or conduct business.
    A-Rod may not have Scott Boras at his side at all times but any time there is ever a legal or professional decision to be made, from a drug test, contract negotiation, or public apology, you can bet your ass Scott is at his elbow.

    As for what goes on back stage at UFC events, there is video of Dana offering Shogun the Liddell fight. Not quite a contract but it is a bit strange- and unprofessional- to put Shogun in that position.

  9. spacedog says:

    And no 45, its not “refreshing” to see Dana use the term “fucking faggot”, “fucking bitch” or any other such foul mouthed homophobic BS.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    “A-Rod may not have Scott Boras at his side at all times but any time there is ever a legal or professional decision to be made, from a drug test, contract negotiation, or public apology, you can bet your ass Scott is at his elbow.”

    And none of those require Boras to really be in the locker room. Proving Dana White’s point.

    “As for what goes on back stage at UFC events, there is video of Dana offering Shogun the Liddell fight. Not quite a contract but it is a bit strange- and unprofessional- to put Shogun in that position.”

    That is purely matchmaking. I forget what agent it was, but I read it on the UG over a year ago. They basically said that once a fighter signs a multi year deal, there isn’t much for them to do.

    Shogun isn’t going to get paid any differently for his next fight. He is definitely fighting for the UFC. That’s matchmaking stuff. If anything, his coach is more important for those discussions based on his health and the time frames for training camps.

  11. Chris says:

    I think the only reason White is reacting this way, is because it hits very close to home. If the article had no validity, then he would not care what Loretta Hunt wrote or reported.

  12. Lester Grimes says:

    Despite the so-so credentials from the folks at MMAPayout, they fail to understand an important facet of running a successful business; “Know Your Customer” and “How they think”. In addition, MMAPayout reminds me of the Liberal bias prevalent in nut-hugging, Obama loving, gay-friendly, media organizations like MSNBC.

    Despite the mockery of homo’s by the infamous Dana White, he’s successful at running an MMA BUSINESS because HE KNOWS THE TYPICAL UFC FAN. In fact, there is a reason Dana and Zuffa Inc. built from ashes the most successful MMA promotion in the world (while others have miserably failed). There is a reason why Dana White drives a Ferrari, while the folks at MMAPayout are fighting for media credentials.

    And most important of all, Dana White can spew out homophobic rants because he KNOWS HIS CUSTOMER BASE. Do you think most UFC fans hang out at Gay Bars? Attend Gay rallies? Do they watch the Ellen Degenerate show? Do most MMA fans paste rainbow stickers on their car? Ummm….I think not.

    What MMAPayout.com fails to point out is that Miller Lite, Budweiser, and other Multi-national corporations also bring millions of dollars into NASCAR sponsorships as well. They bring more dollars into NASCAR than the UFC by a wide margin. And this is also a fan base that’s most likely to buy Harley Davidson Motorcycles too.

    I’ve been to plenty of NASCAR races in the past. I haven’t seen a rainbow flag in the stands or found a rainbow sticker on any car, truck or motor home. And most likely won’t see one in the near future. If MMAPayout.com doesn’t get my point about “running a business” and “knowing their customers”, maybe they should get off their Liberal High Horse and start selling Obama “CHANGE” t-shirts so they can support Loretta Hunt’s salary.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    In response to comment #7: Wow. Just wow.

  14. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Lester” wrote: “Do you think most UFC fans hang out at Gay Bars? Attend Gay rallies? Do they watch the Ellen Degenerate show? Do most MMA fans paste rainbow stickers on their car?”

    You don’t have to do any of those things to not use hate speech. And I don’t recall the president of NASCAR using homophobic terms or calling a female reporter a “fucking bitch.”

  15. Zach Arnold says:

    The irony in comment #12, given the public political stance of the Fertitta empire, is just so thick that even a Ginsu knife couldn’t cut through it.

  16. The Citizen says:

    I’m with Ivan on this — Lester — if getting a reality show made is “building a brand from the ashes” then you are right, but that only makes sense if you view the current UFC product as something of stellar caliber.

    It does not matter if Miss Hunt is right or wrong — she has a right to report. I can’t say I’ve agreed with her reports or found her tone appealing, but getting a tongue lashing like that is very interesting to watch.

    Also, I think all people watch the UFC — those that fall above and below the characteristics of human.

    If DW didn’t keep Sherdog on such a long leash, I’d say that rant might earn Sherdog a restraining order.

    F’in A Mother F’rs!

  17. Bam Bam Gigalo says:

    I thought Dana tearing Lorreta Hunt a new A-hole was funny as hell. If someone wrote a BS article on me and passed it off as facts I’d be pissed off too. I wish we had a Dana White blog every day just to hear him cut a promo on the latest douche..

  18. spacedog says:

    Hey 45, way to cherry pick quote. I was agreeing with you-with a caveat.

    “If Dana and Co. want to ban them from being backstage, fine, but they have to agree not to use that as an opportunity to pressure fighters or conduct business’

    One more point, I’ve never, ever, heard of a mainstream athlete being denied access to his agent for any reason. Boras may not be in the locker room with A-Rod but you can bet your ass if he WANTED to, or if a player wanted his agent present for any reason no one would get in his way.

  19. David says:

    I am MORE THAN HAPPY that she is the first reporter on (a big enough) record to shit on D-Dubya. He’s doing a great job at pushing MMA into the mainstream but at a very dangerous price… think Colonialism!

  20. David says:

    Addendum… think Colonialism in relation to the 3rd world.

  21. mattio says:

    The whining agenda that has gone down on MMA blogs since Dana posted his rant on YouTube seems more like the work of mental masturbaters than the truly offended.

    The truly offended would make sure to add that they aren’t going to support UFC until Dana quits or is fired. None of you ranters have done that. The closest is somebody hoping Budweiser will do the fighting for him, while he continues to support UFC.

  22. BM2 says:

    I really don’t understand the Dana cult. Dana White is just Eric Bischoff with less hair.

  23. Jason Bennett says:

    I’ve said this before but it applies in this case again: Do not entertain 45’s obscene infatuation with all things UFC/Dana White related. He is either related to Dana, is Dana himself or is Kevin Iole in disguise.

    Anyone that defends the comments that Dana continually espouse has zero credibility. Loretta is dead-on and because it got under Dana’s skin he had to fire back, it’s his nature. Regardless of the evidence (locker room deals/bonuses have been have long been proven and proudly proclaimed by Zuffa in the past – do a google search and educate yourself 45), you can gauge a story’s validity based on Dana’s response to it; the harder he strikes back, the more truth there is to it.

    My take is more simple. Way to go Loretta! Keep up the good work.

  24. Zack says:

    “Lester” wrote: “Do you think most UFC fans hang out at Gay Bars? Attend Gay rallies? Do they watch the Ellen Degenerate show? Do most MMA fans paste rainbow stickers on their car?”

    I remember reading a while back that MMA was one of the most popular sports amongst gays actually.

  25. N G says:

    I am no fan of political correctness but you cannot go around calling people faggots, end of story. It’s unforgivable. If he called them a bunch of n*****s or money grabbing Jews then he would lose his job in an instant. It was wrong plain and simple, there is no defence for this. If you found it funny, then we can talk when you graduate from school.

    If Hunt’s article was factually incorrect then why did the UFC not respond to her request for comment? Maybe he wanted an excuse for yet another rant and a bit of publicity. I hope a major network picks this up and Danna gets asked some tough questions. You should not be able to refuse comment and then go around mouthing off about uneven reporting. It is ridiculous attention grabbing bullshit, hopefully it gets the wrong kind of attention and White learns his lesson.

  26. Robert Poole says:

    Any professional organization the promotes intolerance and hate speech against anyone deserves to be forced out of business.

    Dana White usually comes off as a self-important jerk but this time he went so far over the line that he needs to offer a quick retraction and public apology.

    There is a legitimate debate to be had about the value of having agents backstage but getting angry enough to lower the discourse to this level does a disservice to the credibility of this topic of discussion as well as a disservice towards the value of reporting on the sport in general.

    And for those of you condoning, even rooting on the anti-gay speech you should be ashamed of yourself. How pathetic must a human being be to find enjoyment in tearing down other people just because they are different than them….

    Rp

  27. robthom says:

    I think Dana’s rant was definitely childish. Which is what I found more unbecoming than his choice of curse words.

    But in between his “blue collar” cursing, didn’t he say that the fighters can give their managers a backstage pass if they want them there?

    IE: They’re not banned, some of them just aren’t getting free credentials?

  28. […] one. Dana has managed to get away with some wild shit in the past, but I get the feeling this one may blow up in his face. You figure Sherdog has enough friends that this wouldn’t go over well. Plus (as you’ll […]

  29. Matthew Watt says:

    “And most important of all, Dana White can spew out homophobic rants because he KNOWS HIS CUSTOMER BASE. Do you think most UFC fans hang out at Gay Bars? Attend Gay rallies? Do they watch the Ellen Degenerate show? Do most MMA fans paste rainbow stickers on their car? Ummm….I think not.”

    Actually, I live in the gayest center in Canada (Davie Street, Vancouver) and a lot of gays here love the UFC. Sports bars on the night of a fight are packed, with people of all different backgrounds, from “stupid bitches” to “faggots”, all enjoying the fights.

    Say what you want 45 Huddle, that you love a boss who “shoots straight from the hip” and knows his audience, then I like a reporter who does what her job entitles her to do, report stories she sees fit. Obviously from the insight you have shown above, your amass of intelligence shows that you read news from a variety of sources so why not show a little love then for someone doing their job?

    Also, is it just me or is Dana White becoming a bit of a tired old man? He seems to further and further become more outrageous in his appearances to the public. Which is too bad, because the man knows the product very well yet it is overshadow by eff that and suck this. Really classy.

  30. robthom says:

    “Also, is it just me or is Dana White becoming a bit of a tired old man? ”

    Get off my lawn you goddamn managers!

  31. EJ says:

    “Using a misogynistic or gay slur has nothing to do with media bias. Dana White is not a super hero because he is using this type of speech against a media writer. Furthermore, I find it amazing that UFC supporters are treating White the same way ECW supporters used to treat Paul Heyman when he would go on his rants. This “he’s speaking truth to power!” vibe from White’s defenders here is laughable considering that we have UFC on one side and the ‘power’ here is supposedly Sherdog.”

    The idea that you don’t understand why UFC fans like Dana and don’t have a problem with this again misses the point. Dana is alot like Heyman in many ways except he is actually capable of doing good business unlike Paul. UFC fans like the brash and in your face style that he uses because speaking for myself i’m tired of the white bread pc bs that has taken over sports for the last decade or so. Dana told the truth about Sherdog who has been full of crap for years and most fans see right through Hunt and her laughable article.

  32. Chuck says:

    So Dana is a straight shooter. Big deal! Just because he throws around the words “Faggot” and “Bitch” that does NOT make him edgy. What if he starts throwing around the words “Nigger”, “Spic”, “Towel Head”, “Kike”, “Chink”, etc.? Then what? Is he still “edgy”? No, he’s an uncreative moron who uses ad hominem attacks to justify his hate. How the hell can people support this moron? Oh, and I am anything but PC, but this shit is ridiculous. Not even everyone’s favorite redneck hero, Stone Cold Steve Austin, has talked like this. But Larry The Cable Guy has without the slurring. So is Dana White trying to be like an “edgier” Larry The Cable Guy?

  33. Dave says:

    Dana, MMA fans and the MMA media all make me sick. That is it. There is nothing more to discuss. Everybody is dumb.

  34. samscaff says:

    45 Huddle will defend anything and everything that Dana White does.

    He could kill a homosexual for being gay and 45 would say “It doesnt offend me….he started the Ultimate Fighter.”

    45 has personally criticized me for using curse words when responding to his posts. Yet when Dana White calls an experienced MMA journalist a “stupid bitch” and her source a “faggot,” its all good. What a complete hypocrite.

    If this was all so okay, why did Zuffa take the video down?

    45, youre the stupid fucking bitch here.

  35. The Gaijin says:

    ^ Agree 100%. This dude is a real douche and I guarantee some pimple faced 16 year old geek in mommy’s basement.

  36. ilostmydog says:

    @samscaff: I’m pretty sure 45 has personally criticized you for launching unwarranted personal attacks against him, not just for using curse words. I can’t recall the last time 45 called you a ‘stupid fucking bitch’ or launched any personal attack against you. On the other hand, basically every time you respond to him you have to add that he knows nothing, he’s stupid, etc. You really seem very immature when it comes to these kinds of posts.

  37. prophit says:

    It’s amazing that someone that can bring the UFC from near death to big biz can be so stupid. To post your own video using the word faggot and pussy. What a “fucking moron” to steal a quote. GLAAD is pissed wants an apology. That’s not good biz they are a well organized group with lots of friends in lots of industies like the media. What if GLAAD wants to have a boycot of Las Vagas Casinos that host UFC Events? What if the want to boycott BUD Light?, who has spent millions of dollars marketing to Gay community. what if the interfer with potential sponsership deals? What if femunist groups do the same? And here is the best what if. What if Loretta sues for slander(fucking lier)and the courts give her access to all kinds of secert Zuffa Inc. info? This was one of the stupidest things a Pres of company of this size has ever done and this is going to follow Dana for a long time to come.

  38. jmechanic says:

    If 45 didnt say stupid shit I wouldnt have to call him out on being a moron.

    Just like if you hadnt written that post defending him, I wouldnt have assume that you were as stupid as he is. But I do.

  39. Matt Hicks says:

    Clearly this is nowhere near the close to the comparison to Roger Goodell and the NFL sports writes.

    This is more like if Vince McMahon made the comments and only a small percent know and less actually care.

    Personally I don’t care and disappionted Dana didn’t cut a better promo. I also gaurentee there are a number of Zuffa “sponsors” that would feel the same way.

  40. Lester Grimes says:

    Robert Poole Says: “Any professional organization the promotes intolerance and hate speech against anyone deserves to be forced out of business.”

    Say that to Vince McMahon and the WWE – A multi-billion dollar organization.

  41. Lester Grimes says:

    prophit Says: “What if GLAAD wants to have a boycot of Las Vagas Casinos that host UFC Events? What if the want to boycott BUD Light”

    IN THE FIGHT GAME, you can’t be a nice guy, a promoter and successfully get a point across. Look at the many successful promoters and fighters in Boxing. They’re a lot more vicious than Dana White. In fact, the infamous Don King is a proven murder and ex-con. His former cash cow was Mike Tyson; a convicted rapist who also went to prison, a world champion who bit Holyfield’s ear off in front of BILLIONS. AND people still paid to see him fight long after his famous fiasco’s. There’s plenty more names to add to this list.

    Did any of the FEMI-NAZI groups come out to stop Tyson after his prison sentence? It’s Highly unlikely that GLADD or some FEMI-NAZI group will ever picket a boxing or MMA card, especially with a crowd full of testosterone laden males.

  42. Julie says:

    I can tell you Dana whites rant does offend fans! I’m a lesbian and I love MMA. I also have contributed to GLAAD. Even if I’m not the target demographic, I spend a great deal of money on supporting the UFC…attending events and PPVs and memorabilia. Prophit, I really could care less about all the raging testosterone laden males, I love the sport for what it is. I’m grateful for Dana White’s apology because calling people faggots in a negative connotation encourages people to think of gay people negatively. This can lead to more abuse to gay people or even violence toward them.

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