By Zach Arnold | June 1, 2010
So, the UFC President says that the rankings lists online that you see from various web sites are influenced by payoffs. And he made this accusation while appearing on Bill Simmons’ ESPN podcast:
“Most of these goofy MMA sites, what you have to understand is, these guys are in it for the money,” said White. “They get paid from all the smaller promotions. They get paid a lot of money from the smaller promotions. So they feel like they have to put some of their guys. That’s the way it works. It’s sick and drives me crazy.”
Josh Gross counters back:
Hey @DanaWhite, which MMA media are taking payoffs for rankings? I’d really love to know. Sincerely. They should be shunned. Proof, please.
No response, yet.
Here’s the deal — I get it. It’s a media tweak, Rush Limbaugh-style, from the most powerful man in MMA. He gets his jollies by doing this all the time. However, the accusation made is a very loaded one and is as annoying as listening to a media personality interviewing a subject with the dreaded “well some people say [insert loaded allegation here]…” without actually naming anyone specificly.
So, Mr. White, name some names. Don’t waste my time if you don’t have the goods. And if the rankings online are as meaningless as you think they are, why are you wasting any time caring about them? Stop being a mark for rankings if you think they’re corrupt.
Here’s a constructive idea for you — if you think all these ‘mark MMA web sites’ are corrupt and are producing corrupt rankings lists, why doesn’t UFC produce their own rankings lists on their web site?
(One answer to that question is because it would give fighters an idea of how the promotion views their slotting in the company, thus providing some leverage at the bargaining table. Remember, I recently transcribed an interview with Eddie Alvarez where he said that rankings lists only primarily matter in the sense that it gives his manager an idea of what to ask for money-wise. Seriously.)
For the record (and to my knowledge), no one associated with the Independent World MMA Rankings has taken a payoff. I have never taken a payoff from a promoter or a fighter in my entire career, which has spanned a very long time.
The new Independent World MMA Rankings list comes out on Friday.
Hit full-page mode for the best commentary yet on this topic.
From Jordan Breen’s show yesterday, a caller asked him why the media accepts Dana White’s statements at face value and how dangerous Mr. White is because he’s able to package a kernel of truth into a hyperbolic balloon of rhetoric and not get challenged on it.
CALLER: “I don’t know, I just think you know like I said before like I think it’s a real dangerous precedent that you know the general media’s setting here with having Dana White, you know, come and talk on their shows about anything MMA-related.”
JORDAN BREEN: “I think you just hit on the big one that I kind of thought that you were going to mention or I thought that was going to come up in conversation and this goes deeper than just him trying to make witty sayings. In general, it’s always a deficiency when someone is kind of smart enough to tease out a really important fact but then so hyperbolic that they undermine themselves and make themselves look foolish and that’s what Dana White often does. Because to listen, for instance, never mind you know him trying to sort of position the idea that Sherdog gets paid for the rankings. I would love, by the way, if someone drove a Brinks truck up to my garbage crib and give me some money because we wanted to rank Jake Shields or something. Never mind the fact that, I love that he’s like ‘Oh, you know, these sites, they’re getting paid to rank these guys’ and he’s talking about our pound-for-pound list… 8 of them are like Zuffa guys and one of them who isn’t he’s trying to sign. So, what, like you don’t think Jake Shields is any good? Why do you want him then? Like, what’s your beef? The two guys that aren’t Zuffa employees on our pound-for-pound list are Fedor Emelianenko and Jake Shields and he’s made no bones about the fact that he wants both of them. So, what, like, he wants them but they’re not really that good and we need to be paid to recognize their greatness?
“What I was going to say is… The idea of Fedor Emelianenko,, for instance, not having fought the greatest competition consistently in say the last five years, this is true and this is an important fact and this is something that is worth saying. Yet, the way in which he says it, ‘Fedor hasn’t fought anyone since 1999!’, like it makes him sound absolutely insane. And I think that’s the biggest thing that Dana White does wrong. He does himself a disservice by really, really catering, like I always say one of the worst things about the new media is that people become caricatures of themselves. Like they display their natural personality and the way that people react to it makes people go, ‘Oh, they like this about me or this is how I’m supposed to be’ and they magnify already the most amplified parts of their personality so they become these grotesque, distorted versions of themselves and Dana White’s no different than anyone else in that respect. So he gets more and more hyperbolic as time goes on and it’s unfortunate because a lot of the stuff he’s saying is true. It is true the kind of the things he says about Fedor Emelianenko but the way in which he packages them, the over-the-top way in which he portrays them makes him sound absolutely insane.”