By Zach Arnold | August 5, 2011
Thursday turned out to a remarkable day for the media in terms of psychoanalyzing UFC management, especially Dana White. Dana White managed to give the Golden Glory story more oxygen that you would think it would deserve and he managed to channel his inner Vince McMahon and trash Fedor (again) the same way McMahon rants about Hulk Hogan.
Oh, and if you wondered whether or not Dana was interested in women’s MMA…
“There’s not enough good women out there to create a competitive division.”
In other words, he isn’t going to spend time building up women’s MMA. Henceforth, he’ll say there’s not enough talent, and end it there.
During a gaggle session (with the media), Dana White sounded off.
DANA WHITE: “Listen, I don’t want to talk bad about [Fedor] because I like him. But you know what it’s like? It’s like having your promotion carried by Kimbo Slice. If you got a guy as hyped and… he’s going to carry your promotion? No, what do you do is you put the best fighters in the world against the best fighters in the world and whoever wins, wins. Now, that guy hasn’t been fighting the best fighters in the world throughout his entire career. Now, if you want to go head-to-head, I don’t have the stats on this… I mean, no, no, seriously though, people talk
“Let’s talk about Brock Lesnar, okay? The guy comes in with one fight… then he fights Frank Mir, former world champion Frank Mir. He fights Heath Herring, he fights Randy Couture, he fights Cain Velasquez. I mean, look at the guys that he’s fought in his short career. And people want to, you know, talk
shit about Brock and laugh. At least Brock has fought real guys and came in and fought the best in the world.”
JOE SILVA: “We’re not saying that there’s not good fighters in other places. What we’re saying is the only place where the best fighters fight the best all the time is UFC. That’s what we’re saying. There’s talented fighters, a lot of people come into the UFC from somewhere else but they’re going to fight their toughest competition here. With Akiyama, how great his record was, hasn’t done as well. He’s having great fights, he’s a great fighter, but it’s a tougher road in the UFC. There’s no gimme fights.”
DANA WHITE: “It’s true, though. The thing is that I see all this stuff about Fedor and it’s so crazy,
fucking go online and read it. I mean, read the facts. It’s ridiculous! It’s insane.”
What was remarkable about the comments made by both men is the insecurity & paranoia reeking from both men. Fundamentally-speaking, I don’t totally disagree with their points on merit. However, the way they talk and act when it comes to any fighter that wasn’t raised, created, and promoted from cradle-to-grave in the UFC ’system’ is so scarily similar to how Vince McMahon views his talent. Vince McMahon, as Dave Meltzer once noted, views his wrestlers like ‘children’ and the ones that grew up nationally in WWE from day one are viewed as his creations, therefore they are ‘real wrestlers’ as opposed to guys who became names for themselves outside of WWE before joining Vince’s operation.
Look at this way — Hideki Matsui has 500 HRs combined from his Japanese and MLB stints. When people in MLB talk about Matsui reaching the 500 HR mark, you don’t hear them trash Japanese baseball and get so personally worked up about it. Yes, they don’t put Japanese baseball on the same level as MLB, but you don’t hear the venomous vitriol coming out of anyone’s mouth like you do when Dana White talks about the Fedors and Overeems of the world. I don’t understand this complex he has.
Fighters win and lose all the time. Let the fans judge who they want to see. Why does he feel the personal need to throw gasoline onto a fire (proverbially-speaking with Fedor) that’s all but smoldered?
As for Joe Silva automatically bringing up Yoshihiro Akiyama, I love the constant digs that Silva gets in as far as Japanese MMA goes. This goes back a long, long time and it’s something that I talked about with Jordan Breen extensively on Press Row. This company has such an obsession with tearing down Japan (in 2011, no less!) and what they felt the image of Japanese MMA was that they can’t help themselves in regards to taking bizarre, random shots against the Japanese. Everyone and their mother knows that Japanese MMA on a large scale is as dead as a doornail. So, what’s the point of making Japan your personal piñata now? No one cares. This is exactly the kind of behavior that leads everyone to think that when UFC does try to run a show in Japan again that it will have everything to do with stroking egos and answering management’s personal ‘demons’ rather than actually doing big business, because there isn’t substantial business to be made in Japan right now anyways.
Of course, the fun didn’t stop at the press gaggle.
DANA WHITE: “That’s not the way it works. Here in America, we fall under the rules & regulations of the athletic commission. And what happens is before the fight, the money goes into an account for the purses and the commission writes the checks … to the fighters, and then the fighters pay the managers or their trainers or whoever else they gotta pay. It’s the fighter’s money, it’s not the manager’s money and they absolutely refuse to operate that way.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “UFC 131, Jon Olav Einemo won fight of the night, highly-decorated grappler. He’s a Golden Glory fighter. Why did you sign him if he was a Golden Glory fighter and why did things change between now and then?”
DANA WHITE: “Because what happened was, they agreed to do the deal that way but when they got here, it wasn’t, you know, they were very unhappy with the situation that the fighter had to be paid instead of them, which they knew that was the deal. They always know that’s the deal but they refuse to do it.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Does that mean no more Golden Glory fighters in Zuffa unless they change their policy?”
DANA WHITE: “Yeah. Yeah. Listen, you can get away with that stuff in Japan and all these other places they fight, not here. We’re not going to be in a situation where we write a check and give it to anybody other than the guy who earned it. Never going to happen. You know, and all the haters out there that, ‘Golden Glory and the Fedor’ and all this other
bullshit, you know what I mean? Listen, it’s about the fighters, the fighters get paid, managers do not. Fighters pay managers, I don’t.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “And just to be clear as well, Sergei Kharitonov is a Golden Glory fighter but he wasn’t released. Why not?”
DANA WHITE: “Yeah, well, he’s fighting in the tournament and as of right here, right now, that’s the way it’s being done. He’ll receive his check.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Oh really?”
DANA WHITE: “Yes, he will receive his check.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “How did he get around that?”
DANA WHITE: “He didn’t, I mean, it’s the same thing with Einemo. Einemo, we got that deal done, and then they come over and it was a big headache when they came, you know? It was a big ordeal.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “And Alistair didn’t want to that? Because he was still in the tournament, too.”
DANA WHITE: “Doesn’t matter what Alistair wants to do, it’s what Golden Glory wants to do. You know? That’s their deal. So, you might want to interview them and ask them about that. … Talk to them, see what they have to say about it.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “You mentioned your old friend Fedor, he lost on Saturday night to Dan Henderson, and you said in the…”
DANA WHITE: “It’s not like I hate Fedor or I have this hatred toward Fedor or anything else. it’s just… you know, you and lots of other media people who bought into the myth despite the facts and, you know, calling this guy the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, the number one Heavyweight in the world, when the guys who actually deserved it, the guys like I always said that fight in this organization and fight the best in the world three times a year, deserve those accolades.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “I wasn’t saying he was the best, ever, I was saying he was the best at the time. Obviously, things have changed.”
DANA WHITE: “Which was insane.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Matter of opinion, right?”
DANA WHITE: “No, it was insane. It was insane.”
At this point, Dana White does something that absolutely made me shake my head. He often trashes people on Sherdog and The Underground forums and yet, in a classic case of projection, the UFC boss whips out a piece of paper with the list of all of the opponents Fedor has fought since 2003. He then starts reading this list and trashing Fedor some more.
DANA WHITE: “You got these delusional freaks on the Internet and on, you know, coming on my Twitter, ‘you disrespect the greatest fighter of all time.’ Listen, you guys have been living the myth too long. And if you can’t wake up and at least read the facts and what the facts are. These are the same people that believe that a guy is pulling the Sun and the Chariot over the
fucking Earth. It’s over, man. It’s not that I don’t like Fedor but there are guys out here who deserve the credit that you guys were trying to build up and give this guy. He was so fun for you guys because he wasn’t in the UFC, which I think was his big downfall, too. You know when all this hype was going on, come in and fight the best in the world and we’ll find out. BUT THEY REFUSED TO DO THAT. No matter what offer was made to these guys and how much money he was offered, he refused to come into the UFC and fight the best.
“I don’t know, do you guys want to see him fight again? Should I get him a Welterweight to fight next? Would that excite you guys? Maybe I’ll get a good Welterweight in Strikeforce to fight him now.”