By Zach Arnold | July 23, 2009
Dave Meltzer in this week’s edition of The Observer:
After the piece they did a few months ago, Dana White banned ESPN’s E:60 from being credentialed at UFC 100. The show was looking at doing three more UFC-related stories, a feature on Evan Tanner, Quinton Jackson and to do an updated feature on Brock Lesnar. However there have been signs over the past week that White is softening his stance.
This incident reminds me of when Major League Baseball got pissed off at ESPN for revealing All-Star Game roster selections before TBS did because MLB had a contract with TBS for “exclusively” being able to tell viewers the AS rosters first. Never mind the fact that this “exclusive” means little or nothing to most baseball fans, MLB went on a hissy fit against ESPN and stripped the network of its on-site credentials for the ‘07 game in San Francisco.
However, the UFC hissy fit is significantly more laughable. The E:60 piece on Dana White and his tirade against Loretta Hunt was about as neutered as you could possibly get. There was no hardball on it at all and White did not come off horribly after the show aired. The fact that White held a grudge over a tame, harmless E:60 story is not simply a display of hardball tactics; it’s a display of Vince McMahon-style penny-wise, pound-foolish media paranoia.
Before UFC defenders start saying, “UFC didn’t need ESPN!”, it’s fair to ask: Did UFC need ESPN coverage to help sell UFC 100 PPV buys? Not really. Then again, that’s not the point of this exercise here. When a big sports network wants to give you legitimate coverage, take it. It’s amazing to see the constant behavior from UFC management with ESPN, CNBC, and other television networks.
ESPN, on their YouTube channel, is now posting UFC PPV commercials (the same ‘interviews’ that you can get when you go to UFC.com).
For the sake of reference, here is a transcript of what Dana White said in his infamous Youtube video blog about Loretta Hunt before that video blog got yanked from UFC’s Youtube channel:
“I just heard that there was another absolutely fucking retarded story written by Loretta Hunt. Loretta, you fucking moron, it is always been the policy at the UFC that the fighters get so many credentials and they can credential whoever the fuck they want, it can be their manager, whoever they want to have in the back with them, they can credential. And you are such a fucking genius, I actually, totally off track here, I heard your interview that you did too about where you said Rich Franklin was our poster boy and we were trying not to get him beat by Matt Lindland and all that fucking shit, too. Yeah, that’s why he fought Anderson Silva fucking twice because we were trying to fucking protect Rich Franklin to save him. Rich Franklin’s fought the best fighters in the world and the only reason I’m talking about this is just to show how fucking dumb you are, number one, OK? And it’s always been our policy, always, since fucking day one and you also put in the article apparently that you know I used to manage Tito and Chuck. Yeah? You want to know what happened when I managed Tito and Chuck? When I went to their UFC fights, I bought my own tickets. I paid for my tickets to go to the UFC and never was I allowed in the back, to go back there, what the fuck do I need to be in the back for if I’m his manager? What am I holding the mitts for them while they’re warming up? Am I back there talking strategy? No, I’ve done all the fucking business deals before they go there and my work is done, I go there and I watch the fucking fight. I don’t need to be in the fucking back and if I needed to be in the back that bad, then one of those guys would have credentialed me to get in the back, they would have used me as one of their credentials that they get, OK? 90% of the time, these fighters don’t want their fucking managers in the back. You don’t even know what the fuck you’re talking about and to write a story that says, “Oh, and here’s a quote from a guy who wanted to remain anonymous because of fear of repercussions from the,” SHUT THE FUCK UP. Any fucking guy that won’t put his name on it, first of all, whoever gave you that quote is a pussy and a fucking f—-t and a fucking liar and everything else whoever gave you that quote. Or maybe it’s you, Loretta, maybe you’re the liar writing bullshit fucking stories. Everything that comes out of your mouth is fucking stupid, OK? What else… Why would I give a shit who represents who? Yeah, there’s no doubt, there’s some guys out there that have managers that are absolute sleazy, dirty fucking scumbags, absolutely. There’s a lot of them, but there’s a lot of guys out that have a lot of good guys who manage them too, who I have no problem with. Who you fucking ask to manage you doesn’t bother me one bit. Ask fucking Rampage Jackson, OK? Ask Rampage Jackson if I ever said anything about any of his fucking managers or anybody who represented him. Hey Loretta, if you’re going to write a story, you fucking moron, at least make sure it’s fucking true and you have some facts and if you’re going to put some fucking quotes in there, get some quotes from people who at least have the fucking balls to put their fucking name on it. I mean, how do you write a story from a guy who fucking it’s like, hey it’s like in an interview where they fucking like put a black thing over the guy’s face and change his voice and shit, you fucking dumb bitch. Fuck you, Loretta Hunt!”