By Zach Arnold | July 7, 2012
… then why…
a) do you book fighters who are using testosterone in high-profile fights?
If you think testosterone usage in MMA should be illegal, why reward the users by booking them in positions of making money?
b) allow fighters to use testosterone on overseas events that UFC self-regulates? (See: Rampage Jackson at UFC Japan 2012.)
c) have doctors overseeing/testing/regulating fighter usage of testosterone on the overseas bouts?
Dana thinks testosterone usage should be illegal… but it’s not going to stop him from drawing huge gates with headliners who are using testosterone. That’s his current position, take it or leave it.
On the issue of what comes out of Dana’s mouth
TODD GRISHAM: “Other sports that are run by the Bud Seligs of the world, Roger Goodells, they dress conservatively, they speak very measured. Whereas you’re, for a lack of a better term, kind off the hinge. You’ll say whatever you want to say. Do you think as UFC gets bigger and bigger that it could negatively hurt business?”
DANA WHITE: “I don’t know. I just think it is what it is. Some of the things that I say, you know, I get a little crazy sometimes. We all lose our mind and, actually, Bud’s been a little nutty lately but… you know… I think anybody who runs a major sports organization loses their mind every once in a while. But, you know, I tell the truth. I’m honest. I don’t think there’s anything… I wouldn’t consider myself, uh… off the hinge. I’d say that I’m honest and I don’t plan on changing any time soon.”
On the issue of not disclosing fighter pay and why it’s none of your business
TODD GRISHAM: “What is your reaction when people criticize fighter pay in the UFC?”
DANA WHITE: “Well… the one great thing about UFC fighter pay is not too many people know exactly what the fighter pay is.”
TODD GRISHAM: “Is that good for you to keep it quiet?”
DANA WHITE: “Well, I think it’s good for the fighters.”
TODD GRISHAM: “OK.”
DANA WHITE: “I think it’s good for the fighters. I’ve had this discussion, me and Mike Tyson talked about it the day before yesterday. And he agrees. The bottom line is when we first signed our deal with Fox, they came out and said, ‘Oh my God, these guys are getting paid this kind of money? Why don’t you scream that from the roof tops? Those are the kinds of things that get people interested and engaged. Like whenever Tyson fought, people would talk about how many of million of dollars he was making after that fight.’ And I said to those guys, ‘exactly, and look what happened to Mike Tyson.’ Now, you notice, I don’t put any gag order on any of my fighters. My fighters can, can, can talk about whatever they want. If Georges St. Pierre wants to run out and start telling everybody what he makes every year, you know… that’s his, but you don’t see him doing it, do you? No, they’re not running out telling everybody what they’re getting paid. It’s just… it’s a negative thing, it’s not a positive thing. It creates a lot of negativity and a lot of problems in these guys’ lives. There’s a fighter that we have named Rory MacDonald and he came up underneath. People are calling him the new GSP, including GSP. GSP’s saying that he’s (the next) GSP. So, he’s saying already, I would never fight Georges St. Pierre. I said, really? Let him take a look at Georges St. Pierre’s bank account and he’ll fight him tomorrow.”
TODD GRISHAM: “Well, Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather had about 1.5M PPV buys. Uh… Mayweather made about $40M, Cotto about $8M. What would Silva and Sonnen stand to make if you had similar numbers?”
DANA WHITE: “Well, let me put it to you this way… let’s take, um… let’s take Floyd and… Floyd, Manny, and a handful of other guys, handfuls of other guys that make millions of dollars. And now let’s look at the entire sport of boxing and see how much guys get paid. There’s no money out there. There’s guys out there that are great fighters. There’s this kid that I knew, right now he’s ranked, I think he’s ranked something like #14 or #15 in the world… the guy’s fighting for $2,200. You know what I mean? So… it’s real easy to look at a fight with a handful of guys that happens once a year in boxing and those guys get all the money… and the rest of the guys get nothing. So, it’s real easy to, to, to, when you’re a reporter or whatever to sit there and try to nitpick and pick it apart and say, ‘oh, these guys made $40M and these guys were making…’ Trust me, Anderson Silva & Chael Sonnen are going to do just fine on Saturday night.”
On the issue of UFC headliners & undercard fighters using testosterone
TODD GRISHAM: “If Dan Henderson wins his fight against Jon Jones, if Chael Sonnen wins on Saturday, two of your biggest faces, your champions, will be on Testosterone Replacement Therapy. How does that sit with you?”
DANA WHITE: “It’s… it’s… the bottom line is the way that this TRT works, it’s absolutely 100% legal with the… let me explain one more thing.”
TODD GRISHAM: “A lot of, the public thinks it’s cheating.”
DANA WHITE: “I know. We’re regulated by the Government. We’re really the only sport that’s regulated by the Government and the Government allows these guys to do this TRT and basically over the next 10 years sports science keeps getting better and better and better and the way that TRT works is as we get older your testosterone level drops and this is to replace it. The problem with it is is you got guys that are going, ‘well, if this much is good, this much must be great.’ That’s the problem and you will find guys that will cheat even with the stuff that’s legal. So, that’s what we’re trying to… but you make a good point and Anderson Silva said it at the press conference the other day. Anderson Silva, the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, has broke every record in the UFC and is the greatest fighter ever in Mixed Martial Arts. He’s 38 years old, people don’t realize that. He’s not 28, he’s 38, and he’s not doing Testosterone Replacement Therapy. This guy comes in 100% natural and he beats everybody. And something should be said for that. I don’t disagree, you know, the guys who are using Testosterone Replacement Therapy [versus] a guy who isn’t and this guy is still the greatest in the world. So, to me, the bottom line is you don’t need that junk. If you don’t abuse stuff younger in your career, you’ll never need to use that junk.”
TODD GRISHAM: “So, if it up to you, it would be illegal, if you were making the call?”
DANA WHITE: “Yeah.”
TODD GRISHAM: “OK.”