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Dana White can’t keep this story straight?

By Zach Arnold | July 10, 2007

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By Zach Arnold

That Dana White interview on ESPN.com sure has everyone buzzing. There’s one part of it that I want to focus on because it seemed like a misstep by the UFC President.

When the Marlon Sims vs. Noah Thomas fight for the TUF 5 finale was announced by Spike TV, it drew major heat online. Steve Sievert from The Houston Chronicle then talked to Dana White and White said that it was a mistake.

“Mistakes happen. I didn’t find out about it until yesterday. We make mistakes over here … it’s unfortunate.”

Now in this ESPN.com interview, he’s admitting that he booked the fight and that he had second thoughts about it.

DW: Spike really wanted that fight to happen, and we ended up booking the fight. Then I realized, ‘How the [expletive] did we book that fight?’ That fight will probably happen somewhere else, but it won’t happen in the UFC.

So, in other words, either he misspoke (entirely possible) or he’s right and came off awkward in saying what he meant to say. The best case scenario is that he’s entirely consistent and saw that someone else (Spike TV or someone in UFC) had booked the fight, resulting in him wanting it canceled. The worst case scenario is that Spike asked for the fight to be booked, he booked it, then saw the heat it drew on the Internet, and canceled it.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “Dana White can’t keep this story straight?”

  1. Torgo says:

    I don’t understand the perceived contradiction here at all

    He never said “I booked the fight”

    He said “WE [someone within zuffa] booked the fight.”

    He’s not even the damn matchmaker.

    Why do you say that “he’s admitting that he booked the fight and that he had second thoughts about it?” He is admitting no such thing.

    It looks like yellow journalism to me.

  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    Again, for what it’s worth, the Wrestling Observer reported at the time that it was indeed Spike TV that suggested the “street fight rematch,” but that the UFC was absolutely aware of it and agreed with it. In addition, a Spike TV spokesperson told MMAWeekly at the time that it was a joint decision made by Spike and Zuffa to book the fight. Then came the negative response from the media, including the Houston Chronicle, and then a week later was the, “Who? Where? and What are you talking about?” PR reversal.

  3. UFCDaily.com says:

    Torgo,

    The issue here is because he basically passed blame to Spike when the news of the match originally came out but it now appears that he knew about the fight and thought better of it.

    Kris

  4. Kev says:

    Ivan, the UFC never denied that fight was booked.

    I don’t see a contradiction here. Whether a bunch of internet bloggers really did get Dana White to change his mind is doubtable, there is no evidence that White ever gives a damn what is written bout him or the UFC online, and bloggers always overestimate their importance.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    I didn’t say that the UFC denied the fight had been booked. I said the UFC denied they had anything to do with it or any knowledge of it. Also, I would agree with you if your assertion is that Dana White doesn’t care what any MMA-focused (and independent) web site writes. I would disagree with you if your assertion is that White doesn’t care what mainstream media outlets like the Houston Chronicle write.

  6. Kev says:

    Which is not true Ivan. UFC put the press release on their own website. White swore off personal knowledge of the fight but in the same breath said “we” (meaning Zuffa) made mistakes. White != Zuffa. We should all know by now that despite Sievert’s assertion, Dana is not the UFC. Lorenzo Fertitta is the boss (Tito would not be fighting for Zuffa if it wasn’t for Lorenzo), and there are plenty of decision makers below Dana.

  7. Torgo says:

    “The issue here is because he basically passed blame to Spike when the news of the match originally came out but it now appears that he knew about the fight and thought better of it.”

    He said Spike WANTED the fight… He never said they booked it. Spike can’t book fights for the UFC, that’s ridiculous.

    There’s nothing to suggest he knew of the fight until afterwards.

    There’s nothing fishy here, and trying to make a story out of this is pathetic.

  8. Torgo says:

    Dana’s exact words

    “”They’re not fighting on the finale,” said UFC President Dana White. “Not only are they not fighting in the finale, they’ll never fight in the UFC. Spike wanted that fight. It ain’t gonna happen. No (expletive) way is that fight going to happen. Those guys will never fight in the UFC – ever.””

    Spike WANTED that fight. Not spike booked it we had nothing to do with it.

    “Mistakes happen. I didn’t find out about it until yesterday. We make mistakes over here … it’s unfortunate.”

    He thought better of it AFTERWARDS.

    Why do people like twisting Dana White’s words? Is this from years of watching pro wrestling and being trained to hate the company figurehead?

  9. Jason Gatties says:

    Torgo should write for this blog to counter Zach’s recent “anti-UFC” turn. If Elite XC bought out Zuffa, then Zack would spend his hours dissing Elite XC.

  10. Grape Knee High says:

    I don’t see any contradiction. In both cases, White admitted they booked the fight and then realized it was a mistake.

    The only statement that I think is untrue is that I find it hard to believe Dana did not know about the booking beforehand.

  11. D.Capitated says:

    Dana’s not making the fights. Joe Silva makes the fights. How many times does that need to be repeated?

  12. Fred says:

    Torgo has “booked” the correct. There’s no contradiction, and Dana is savvy (professional) enough not to divulge the name of the UFC employee who booked the fight. It’s obvious from Dana’s reaction immediately after the street-fight on TUF 5 that Dana himself wouldn’t have booked this fight.

  13. Captain says:

    Dude, who cares? These posts and comments seem to be reading more and more like Sherdog threads.

  14. HudsonMMA says:

    I do think Dana White was being disengenuous. Dana White books all the fights. Maybe Joe Silva handles some of the legwork, but Dana White books all the fight. If you look at the official results posted by the NSAC, Dana White is listed as the recognized matchmaker for UFC events.

    http://boxing.nv.gov/2007%20Results/06-23-07%20MMA.pdf

    Granted, White never said the UFC didn’t book the fight. But nothing in that company happens behind Dana White’s back. For him to not know about it being done is very, very unlikely.

  15. My understanding is Joe Silva acts kinda like a talent scout and looks at the techincal side of things. You’ll see his work in most of the undercards as they break in new talent etc. Dana White and him work together to put together cards based on fighter availability etc where Joe is the one with the technical knowledge and understanding of the fighter while Dana White looks at things from a marketability standpoint. I wish i remember where i heard this but Silva was on a podcast about 7-8 months ago and said this.

  16. HudsonMMA says:

    That makes sense, fightlinker. I only mean to say that I don’t believe Silva is able to act independently of White. If a match is made in the UFC, Dana White signs off on it.

  17. THE HUNTER says:

    Whtat the fuck?

    This has to be one of the most anal retentive set of posts I have ever read? This is like nitpicking and haggling at it’s worst. To those people trying to make a big deal of this….GET A F’ING GRIP. Who cares? The end result is the fight didn’t happen. There are a lot of decision makers within the company, maybe some signals got crossed, but who cares? When it was all said and done, they didn’t put them on the air.

    Go talk about Wandereli fighting Chuck or something.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    YAWN…. Trying to make something out of nothing. White is doing a pretty darn good job so far.

  19. Torgo says:

    “That makes sense, fightlinker. I only mean to say that I don’t believe Silva is able to act independently of White. If a match is made in the UFC, Dana White signs off on it.”

    Which would be why he didn’t let it go through in the end.

    Again, no controversy here.

    MMA can be interesting without 16 year old girl drama, I promise you all.

  20. The Gaijin says:

    “Dana’s not making the fights. Joe Silva makes the fights. How many times does that need to be repeated?”

    Come ooooon…you know damned well better than that. Yes, Joe Silva is the matchmaker but be friggin reasonable for one second, a hands-on guy like Dana most definately has Silva’s ear and the last say on everything. Dana’s constantly giving interviews saying “I want X vs. Y, and we’re getting it.” etc. etc.

    I highly, highly doubt the scenario goes:
    – “Dana – For UFC 78 we’re having Z vs. Y.”
    – “Ok – Yes, Mr. Silva! You’re the matchmaker!”

    I could give a rat’s ass about the two tools from TUF…but even your UFC-biased self does NOT believe that statement for a second.

  21. Zach Arnold says:

    http://boxing.nv.gov/2007%20Results/06-23-07%20MMA.pdf

    Whose name is listed on the NSAC results sheet for the last UFC event in Las Vegas? Hint: Not Joe Silva.

  22. Torgo says:

    “# Zach Arnold Says:
    July 11th, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    http://boxing.nv.gov/2007%20Results/06-23-07%20MMA.pdf

    Whose name is listed on the NSAC results sheet for the last UFC event in Las Vegas? Hint: Not Joe Silva.”

    The conclusion reached? Dana white does all the matchmaking ALL BY himself, never delegating any duties.

    Brilliant.

  23. D. Capitated says:

    Teah, Joe Silva’s position as “matchmaker” in Zuffa must be purely ceremonial. I’m sure its Dana White watching all the film.

  24. Tim Lee says:

    Dana White also said (can’t recall which website) “I never said that Rampage Vs. Henderson is a non title fight. somebody made up that I said that. Don’t believe everything on the internet that i said something, because i didn’t. Rampage Vs. Henderson is a unification bout.”

  25. […] slot (resulting in The Ultimate Fighter being moved to Wednesday nights). It was also Spike TV who was blamed by Dana White for booking Noah Thomas vs. Marlon Sims (the two TUF contestants who got into their own street […]

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