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Friday fight notes: Dana White’s media messages

By Zach Arnold | June 28, 2007

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Peter Aerts vs. Bob Sapp last weekend from Amsterdam

Dana White sends a message to Jeff Sherwood. Also, The Oregonian reports on the war featuring UFC vs. Sherdog and Internet MMA web sites. More thoughts here. Ken Shamrock also got a media message from Dana White and he’s not happy about it. We’ll be hearing more from him soon.

What is it with the MMA and dog-fighting comparisons? Two examples here and here.

Today is the day when Tim Sylvia puts his dancing shoes on. We could seriously have a Mark Madsen-type situation here.

The Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina came out with an editorial today calling MMA ‘crass amusement’ and compared it to cockfighting. It’s full of every falsehood you could possibly expect in a mainstream media anti-MMA screed: comparisons to toughman, boxing is more of a sport, the state is selling out to make more money on violence, ‘ultimate fighting’ has few or no rules, etc. The newspaper needs a wake-up call and you can give it to them. You can e-mail them at Letters@wsjournal.com. Their two phone numbers are (336) 727-7211 and/or (800) 642-0925. Comments and corrections can also be sent here.

NBC 5 in Illinois had an interview with UFC COO Kirk Hendrick, but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. CBS Sportsline: Interview with Gareb Shamus of the IFL
  2. UFC HP: Nogueira’s championship heart
  3. UFC Junkie: Jon Koppenhaver, Richie Hightower likely cast members on TUF 6
  4. UFC Mania: Shogun knee injury is not serious
  5. Sprawl ‘n Brawl: Chuck vs. Wanderlei = not happening
  6. Kevin Iole: Family feud (Tito Ortiz)
  7. The Houston Chronicle: Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz stoke rivalry for UFC 73; Marquardt the forgotten man
  8. China Combat: MMA Beijing training report
  9. The Tahlequah Daily Press (OK): Holligan’s trains in sport of MMA
  10. The Eagle Tribune (MA): Eric Bradley ready for MMA big time
  11. Newszap (DE): Making a name, a fighting chance; Smyrna native Ronnie Wuest aims for UFC
  12. Yourhub (CO): Announcer, trainer Steve Alley wants MMA in spotlight
  13. MMA Insider: Binky Jones signs two-fight deal with BodogFight, also appears on PPV
  14. The Twin Falls Times-News (ID): MMA is a local knockout
  15. Jordan Breen: Nobuyuki Sakakibara to talk about PRIDE in Japanese sit-down meeting on July 7th
  16. UFC Mania: Jens Pulver on WEC 30 card
  17. On the Mat: Diego Saraiva interview

Other news and notes

Now, onto today’s latest headlines from the Chris Benoit murder-suicide case.

There are many lessons to be learned in following the Chris Benoit murder-suicide case and some of those lessons should be paid attention to by those in the MMA industry. The most important aspect to pay attention to is to see how the mainstream media covers a major scandal in the fight industry. If or when (I hope it never happens) a fighter dies in MMA, you are going to see media outlets pounce on MMA like a rabid pack of dogs (a fitting analogy since there have been many media outlets trying to tie UFC into dogfighting). The second lesson to be learned is that everyone should be very thankful that there is drug testing and regulation in MMA or else MMA could very well easily have the same types of scandals as American professional wrestling. We know there is a drug culture in MMA, but it could be much much worse than it is now. It could be on the same level as pro-wrestling. So, my suggestion to MMA fans who don’t see the connection of the Benoit story to the fight industry is to try to pay close attention and take whatever lessons you learn from it and hope it doesn’t happen to someone in the MMA industry. That’s all we can hope and pray for.

Bruce Hart in The Ottawa Sun called Chris Benoit ‘a delusional juice freak’. Read the whole article.

On his Thursday audio update, Bryan Alvarez reported that a wrestling fan took a photo of Chris Benoit by the office of Dr. Phil Astin last Friday. Astin was Benoit’s personal doctor who prescribed testosterone to him. Alvarez reports that the fan snapped a photo of Benoit wearing a Bruiser Brody shirt that said ‘violence’ on it.

Speaking of Dr. Astin, TMZ is alleging that the doctor has a ‘history of shady practices.’

Headlines…

  1. The Guardian (UK): Brains vs. brawn – academics grapple with wrestling
  2. The New York Post (Phil Mushnick): Benoit tragedy wakes up media
  3. ESPN’s Page 2 (Jemele Hill): Life after death – pro-wrestling has more problems than steroids
  4. E! Online: Raids, ‘roids, denials in Benoit probe
  5. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Wrestler to be buried in Canada, wife in Florida
  6. The Toledo Free Press: A needed wake-up call
  7. The Torch: Chris Jericho speaks on Nancy Grace’s show
  8. The LA Times: Doctor’s office raided in Benoit case
  9. The Vancouver Sun: ‘Roids big part of Benoit’s early wrestling career
  10. The Associated Press (Jim Litke): Has pro-wrestling lost control?
  11. Sportsnet (Canada): Admitted former steroid user Glenn Kulka slams wrestling industry
  12. The New York Daily News: Weird web twist in wrestler slay spree
  13. The Torch: Wikinews features ‘confession’ from person who posted Nancy’s death item
  14. The Seattle Times: A wrestler’s violence crushes his image
  15. The Indianapolis Star: This pro-wrestling horror story is real life and death
  16. Prophet Fighting: Jim Rome on Chris Benoit
  17. Slate: Pissed off and buffed up

Topics: BoDog, IFL, Media, MMA, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, WEC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 22 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

22 Responses to “Friday fight notes: Dana White’s media messages”

  1. Body_Shots says:

    Stock plunge doesn’t worry IFL chiefs
    “Stock owned by IFL co-founder Kurt Otto, an architectural designer and real estate investor from Haworth, was worth nearly $158 million; co-founder and IFL chief executive Gareb Shamus, a publishing entrepreneur from Tenafly, held shares worth $126 million; and Richard Kurtz, president of the Englewood Cliffs-based real estate management company Kamson Corp., owned stock valued at $83 million.

    Today Otto’s stake stands at $9.3 million, Shamus’ at $7.4 million and Kurtz’s at $4.9 million. None of the three has sold any shares. The stock closed Tuesday down 3 cents at 97 cents.”

    Mixed martial arts notebook The latest from UFC president Dana White
    “I have had a lot of battles with those guys,” White said. “I have no respect for Sherdog. Half their stories are a complete (expletive) lie. It’s like a tabloid.

    “Plus, they went and found out who the finalists were for season four of The Ultimate Fighter and ran them. Of all the scumbaggish things. When you burn me like that, it’s forever. I will never trust them or like them.”

    Sherdog editor Josh Gross reacted with surprise, Just as he had reacted when the UFC pulled Sherdog’s media credentials two years ago.

    “I dare him to point to one story we reported that we had to retract or move away from. He can’t,” Gross said via email. “Regarding TUF, yeah well sometimes news happens to be something people don’t want out. TUF 4 was different than every other season, as it was intended to crown No. 1 contenders in two weight divisions. We’re not talking about some kids no one had heard of. These were veteran fighters. And so we had who was in the finals, and reported as discreetly as possible; we warned anyone that didn’t want to know that they should turn down their radios.

    “Also, that doesn’t explain why we were denied in Oct. of ’05 when the TUF news was reported in June of ’06.”

  2. Jordan Breen says:

    Glenn Kulka bought me a 7UP when I was like nine years old or some shit.

  3. Body_Shots says:

    [Frankly, Dana White should be fucking embarrassed he sent the message. When an ego is as out of control as his, it is bound to take a fall.]

    I don’t know how you can’t come to a biased conclusion only hearing one side of a dispute.

    I have no idea what caused the rift between White & Sherdog (don’t really care to be honest) but I’m not naive enough to think that it’s onesided.

    I don’t know the context the statement was made in or if he really made them for that matter. But there’s two sides to every story.

  4. Liger05 says:

    Dana must have his reasons for the treatment to sherdog. However sending a text message like that is childish. Was there really any need?

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    The article about the photo at the doctor’s office is at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/13589422/detail.html, and it includes the photo

  6. Body_Shots says:

    Does anybody think that this Benoit scandal could possibly take the WWE down?

  7. Ivan Trembow says:

    Dana White’s repeated, blatant disrespect of two fighters (Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock) who have made his company tens of millions of dollars has gotten to the point of just being juvenile.

  8. Zach Arnold says:

    Does anybody think that this Benoit scandal could possibly take the WWE down?

    Bryan Alvarez indicated that there was some headway being made in regards to Chris Nowinski and pathologists perhaps getting to analyze Benoit’s brain to see what kind of head trauma he suffered from.

    Combine this with upcoming toxicology reports and whatever fallout there is from the DEA raid of Dr. Phil Astin’s office and you have a lot of potential for a growing scandal.

  9. Liger05 says:

    It all depends on how the mainstream media run the story and if the tv networks start asking questions to the WWE?

  10. DarthMolen says:

    Dana is a CEO and President of a Corporation, he should be held to a higher standard. I don’t care if there were any provocations from Sherdog (which from what I understand, there weren’t) You don’t get personal like that period. Business is business.

    http://mma.komikazee.com/news/comments/ufc_and_fans_a_love_hate_relationship/

    It’s not just Sherdog folks. It’s pretty much the whole online Internet news community. Sherdog just happens to have the big partnership, the money to get to their events, and enough clout to get noticed.

  11. Royal B. says:

    Exactly Liger. And what they’re pretty much doing is jumping the gun on this thing.

  12. Jason Gatties says:

    I agree with Dana. Sherdog has been very critical of the UFC and has been more of a “tabloid” site than a news site. That is fine as long as you market yourself that way, which Sherdog doesn’t.

    I feel Zach is being overly critical of the UFC as well, the difference is, Zach runs an opinion blog, so he has every right to be critical if he feels the need no matter if I like it or not.

    The people at Sherdog should just come out, admit they are an OPINION site and continue to provide those opinions, just stop calling yourselves a “news site”

  13. Jack says:

    The issue with UFC/Zuffa/Dana White vs. the online media will never change and will likely get worse. As a huge mma fan, I have chosen not to financially support the UFC long ago due this type of behavior – disregarding of the fanbase and only supporters that kept that company afloat for several years. I will now only buy PPV’s and merchandise from other MMA promotions. There is a lot of great MMA to support that is not Zuffa branded.

    There are other ways to enjoy/view UFC shows with plunking down my hard earned money and I still have never missed a show yet.

    In the end will my actions mean anything… no. But at least I’ll be glad that I didn’t financially support a company that despises me as a fan – I would hope others would hate being treated this way. Zuffa needs to realize the way news is related to the public in the new millennium; print media is deader than boxing. Dana will someday realize this – maybe he already does, but he will never have the courage to admit it.

  14. Euthyphro says:

    Jason, pick up a newspaper. These documents I speak of typically contain both news stories and opinion pieces. Nevertheless, they are referred to as NEWSpapers. Sherdog contains both news stories (e.g. what Josh Gross and Jordan write) and opinion pieces (e.g. what Mike Sloan writes, and a good deal of what you hear on Sherdog radio). They are, rightfully, called an MMA news site. That doesn’t mean they can’t have members on staff give their opinions.

    Are they the most professionally run site on the internet — no, certainly not. But they have gradually become more and more professional as they grow as a company.

    Dana’s being ridiculous here, but he’ll most likely come around. It hurts his business not to. I don’t understand why he’s suddenly coming forward with the Sherdog hate, when just a few months ago he gave them an interview on camera, and the Sherdog guys have mentioned speaking to him in person numerous times since without any ill words being exchanged. It seems like the fued is between Dana and Jeff Sherwood, perhaps not the staff as a whole.

    Ah, internet MMA drama. Zach, you need to open up a perezhilton.com for mma. It’d work nicely for most of the stories we get here every day.

  15. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I don’t think the Benoit thing will take down WWE, and here’s why:

    The media isn’t covering this as a WWE scandal. It’s more of a man-bites-dog human interest story on the same level as a Michael Jackson pedophilia trial or the OJ Simpson thing.

    There’s no ramifications for WWE because WWE isn’t regarded as a sport in the general media. If this were an NBA player going into the stands, then there would be fiery editorial columns on the sports pages about what the NBA should do about players and fans, but no one gives a crap what WWE does since it isn’t a sport. Even if it were, I can’t see how you’re going to pin anything on them for the actions of one of their employees.

  16. Canson says:

    Haha. The least graceful man in MMA dancing. That should be incredible.

  17. CapnHulk says:

    Bob Sapp is a complete joke.

  18. Zack says:

    Dana is a girls name.

  19. chairibofjustice says:

    “Dana is a CEO and President of a Corporation, he should be held to a higher standard.”

    He is being held to a higher standard, it’s whether or not the UFC is making money. And that’s something most CEO’s in the US don’t even have to do in order to be paid millions upon millions of dollars.

  20. MMA Fan says:

    Dana Hates what he cant control. He cant control Ken, Tito, or Sherdog. The online sites built UFCs brand and MMA sells its self. It is shameful.

  21. MMA Vlog says:

    I’m surprised that Dana compared Sherdog.com to a tabloid.

  22. father dominick says:

    if dana white reads this tell bruce THE HELMET buffer to do the 360 for the bj penn fight tonight because we missed it last time

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