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« | Home | »

Friday fight notes: More steroid comments from Dana White

By Zach Arnold | August 23, 2007

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Weekly Pro is reporting that Erik Paulson has been booked for the upcoming IGF (Inoki Genome Federation) event in Nagoya. Josh Barnett, Don Frye, Kiyoshi Tamura, Mark Coleman, and other MMA names are also scheduled to appear.

Dana White continues his defense of Sean Sherk:

“I don’t think he’s a liar,” said UFC president Dana White of Sherk. “You can look at him and the guy looks like a bodybuilder and whatever. This is a kid who won’t walk through the casino ‘cause he doesn’t want to inhale smoke. He tells me he didn’t take steroids, I believe him, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the California State Athletic Commission. We’ll see what happens. If they find him guilty of taking steroids, yeah, he’ll be suspended and he’ll lose his title.”

Let’s see… Dana believes Sherk and manages to somehow make the judgment of the CSAC an issue by essentially saying, “Hey, I believe him, but those guys don’t.” I guess ‘the government’ is making a decision based on judgment and not science?

Alex Marvez was live at the press conference when Dana went off on the issue of steroids, and he says that UFC must clean its own house first.

A steroids-related sidebar to this story – the IOC (International Olympic Committee) wants the punishment for first-time drug test offenders to be increased to 4 years for a first-time offense. The current punishment is 2 years. Right now, the talk of increasing penalties for failing a drug test is currently conjecture and not substantive.

Here are some photos of Randy Couture training at his gym Thursday night in preparation for the fight on Saturday against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74.

Sherdog is reporting that Kid Yamamoto will fight Bibiano Fernandes on 9/17 at Yokohama Arena.

Kendall Grove was interviewed on Thursday on Fight Network Radio (audio here). Plus, Jordan Breen interviewed Kyle Maynard on his show. Also, Luke Thomas interviewed Randy Couture for his show.

Ryan Shamrock makes his debut on Saturday night.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. UFC Junkie: Sean Salmon to fight Travis Wiuff at next Steele Cage event in Las Vegas on 9/1
  2. UFC Mania: UFC 74 betting odds and analysis from Desert Dog
  3. China Combat: Article about Chinese MMA in Fightsport
  4. Royal Burnell: Brock Lesnar, the incredibly stupid wrestler who opened his piehole and turned into a muscle-headed penile tattooed no-nothing twit
  5. Komikazee: BET series “The Iron Ring” holds tryouts
  6. MMA HQ: UFC 74 preview
  7. Yahoo Sports (Kevin Iole): UFC 74 predictions
  8. F4W Online: Mike Sawyer looks at UFC 74
  9. CBS Sportsline: UFC 74 event preview
  10. The Republican (MA): ‘Captain America’ not about fame
  11. The Republican (MA): Local fight card at Hippodrome in Springfield features intriguing line-up
  12. MSNBC: Randy Couture, 44, still going strong
  13. SLAM! Sports: UFC 74 predictions – will GSP rebound from defeat?
  14. KLTV 7 (Tyler, TX): Jason Hart taps out of title bid
  15. The Vicksburg Post (MS): International MMA event coming to city
  16. Yahoo Sports (Kevin Iole): Randy Couture faces stern test in Gabriel Gonzaga
  17. Yahoo Sports (Kevin Iole): Couture-Gonzaga fight breakdown
  18. The Canadian Press: Randy Couture prepares for latest challenge as MMA career keeps on rolling
  19. Press release: Ron “H20” Waterman comes to Dallas
  20. Bodog Beat: BodogFight Vancouver weigh-in results
  21. CBS Sportsline: Interview with Michael Bisping
  22. Yahoo Sports (Dan Wetzel): Randy Couture’s journey a long, strange trip
  23. Fox Sports (Alex Marvez): A bigger challenge could await Randy Couture
  24. The Boston Herald: Gabriel Gonzaga eyes first title
  25. RJ Broadhead: Sweating it out at Mandalay Bay fitness center
  26. UFC HP: Clay Guida — bringing the lightning bolts on Saturday
  27. MMA Weekly: Frank Mir is his own worst enemy

Topics: BoDog, Canada, HERO's, Japan, K-1, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, Zach Arnold | 45 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

45 Responses to “Friday fight notes: More steroid comments from Dana White”

  1. Longest Name For The Win.

    And Iole can’t score a fight.

  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    What’s that old saying about the ditch and the shovel?

  3. Kev says:

    I don’t see what Dana White is doing wrong in this situation, and not only that, this would be 100% how I’d act in his situation. Sherk has never denied the test, he only denied he deliberately taken steroids. “Science” has yet to conclusively prove intent. I see the possibility that Sherk and Jacobs can come up with credible evidence to suggest he did not intentionally take steroids, and so does White. It might be small, but until it is examined, its unfair to automatically judge him.

    Quote Dick Pound all you want (and dude has said some stuff that got him reprimanded by the IOC), but there’s a reason why Justice holds scales. White is waiting for due process, and he’ll defer his judgement for the verdict of the “government,” and that’s absolutely the right thing to do.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    Kev, would you also go around making false statements such as saying that every UFC fighter is drug tested after every fight? Would you also try to imply that your sport has a better drug policy than the NFL even though your sport has zero out-of-competition testing? Would you also try to imply that “the government” being involved makes your sport’s drug policy tougher even though in reality it’s more of an IQ test than a drug test if the athlete knows when the test is coming ahead of time (which is always the case in MMA)?

    Another link to add to the list: At a time when there’s still no out-of-competition drug testing in MMA and the longest suspensions are 12 months (or nine months in Nevada, or an unknown amount that they won’t tell you in New Jersey), the International Olympic Committee, working with the World Anti-Doping Agency, is strengthening its doping punishments and is in the process of expanding the length of a first-time steroids suspension from two years to four years.

    Story is at:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20418763/

    This was reported on UFC Junkie:

    “A source close to Sherk recently told UFCjunkie.com that the fighter’s legal team is testing a variety of supplements the fighter consumed during his training for UFC 73. According to the source, Sherk’s team hopes it can point to one of the over-the-counter supplements as the reason he unknowingly ingested a banned substance.”

    Of course, that is not a valid defense. Every supplement he brings to the hearing could be contaminated with steroids and it would prove nothing.

    As the head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Keith Kizer, said on MMAWeekly Radio (and keep in mind that Sean Sherk has the same lawyer that Pawel Nastula had):

    “In those cases, what happened was you don’t test the sample you have at home because then the athlete can open protein powder, mix it with a bunch of steroids, take it and later say oh look here’s my product. Test it, you’ll see it’s mixed with steroids. I don’t know how it got in there. What you do is you get the lot number, you contact the manufacturer, the manufacturer finds some of the product he has that’s opened. He sends it unopened to a testing lab, they test it, and then they see whether or not it got mixed unintentionally with some banned product. If that’s the case the athlete wins. That’s happened in track and field, and that may be the situation with Sean Sherk. I can tell you in Nastula’s case, his attorney said that but had no evidence. I’m still waiting for him, he said that he’s going to find what Nastula’s supplements were, contact a lab and have them test it to see if they’re contaminated or not. I’ve not heard back from here and here we are almost a year later, so again I don’t give a lot of credence to that. If every athlete could just walk in and say, shoot, my supplements must have been tainted. I have no evidence of that, but they must have been tainted. If the commission in turn says oh okay then we’ll drop the charges against you, obviously every athlete’s going to say that, or there’s something wrong with them, when they get caught. That’s an affirmative offense that the athlete has to prove to us. If he can show that I was taking protein powder which is not banned, or I was taking Creatine which is not banned, and the lab made a mistake and mixed it together with some steroids and I didn’t know about it, that’s definitely a defense and we definitely want to hear that. We’ve just never had that.”

    Then again, all of this is assuming that actual science will play a major role in the decision of the CSAC’s five commissioners, and that can’t be considered a foregone conclusion as it should be, as the same commissioners said that they were giving James Toney (a repeat steroids offender) “the benefit of the doubt” even though he tested positive for an illegal horse steroid.

  5. Zach Arnold says:

    That source sounds like Ken Pavia or someone close to him? 🙂

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Shame on Dana White for standing behind his fighter before the appeal process is over. In fact, he should be ripping apart Sean Sherk in the media. Telling everybody he is a roider and trashing his title belt. Only then will the boys of Fight Opinion be happy….

  7. chis says:

    Zach is Pro-Wrestling starting to have a revival or something because i noticed that New Japan ran 5 shows in a space of 8 days and got in total just under 37000 fans through the gates.Is it filling the void left by MMA and Pride.

  8. Mateo says:

    I am a Brock Lesnar fan and I did not care for the hit piece from Kakutogi-Gumi that I just read about him. It seems like the writer actually hates Brock Lesnar. What did he ever do to warrant being hated that strongly by somebody?

    I hope the UFC signs Brock to a contract. I was depressed when I heard Kurt Angle was trying to get Brock to go TNA. It’s nice to know he is at least trying to get signed to a UFC contract before going back to prowrestling.

    I think this new, boastful Brock should get signed to a contract ASAP. If he is willing to bypass being built up and testing himself against equally skilled opponents and instead go straight for the champ, what is the UFC waiting for? If he wins against Gonzaga or Couture , they have a new Heavyweight star. If he loses, they will make Gonzaga or Couture look even better.

  9. Zach Arnold says:

    You’re channeling Sam Caplan here, Mateo, which is that Lesnar knows how to grab headlines and market himself. K-1 obviously thought he was a big enough star to book him in a main event for his debut fight. Lesnar could be a draw, but the question is (like wrestling and football) whether or not he is serious about sticking to it long-term or if it’s a short-term play.

  10. Fluyid says:

    The only reason to “prove” that he unintentionally ingested steroids is to save face with the fans.

    It matters not how the steroids got in his system. If the result of the steroid tests are not successfully challenged, Sherk is guilty as charged.

  11. Tomer Chen says:

    Shame on Dana White for standing behind his fighter before the appeal process is over. In fact, he should be ripping apart Sean Sherk in the media. Telling everybody he is a roider and trashing his title belt. Only then will the boys of Fight Opinion be happy….

    Dana White can support whoever he wants, I don’t think Zach would disagree with that. The issue is that he’s (intentionally or not) smearing the CSAC for forcing Sherk to go through an appeals process by basically saying “Sherk is a clean guy, but if the CSAC says he isn’t, I guess he isn’t”, giving mixed signals on the issue. He should be saying “I’m friends with Sherk, so I’ll abstain from discussing his case given my predisposition towards the guy” (or something similar) instead of hinting (subtlely or otherwise) that his friend is getting screwed by the CSAC and he’ll be forced to punish him if the decision is upheld on appeal.

  12. Zach Arnold says:

    Dana, unwittingly or wittingly in my opinion, is making statements in which he is supporting Sherk but also heeling the CSAC. When you say things like Sherk isn’t a liar or “I believe him,” essentially he’s playing the dreaded morality card. Focus on the person’s character and not the science.

    A drug test is science, not a judgment call. Now, you can say the punishment for failing a drug test is a judgment situation, but the test itself is science. You either pass it or fail it.

    Dana White can’t play ‘the government’ card both ways. He can’t proclaim that ‘the government’ tests all the fighters, then turn around when one fighter (who happened to be a UFC champion) fails a drug test and start defending him to try to soften the PR blow. If you support ‘the government’ and their drug testing, then you have to also support any findings of failed drug tests and the punishments that ‘the government’ hands out for failing such a test. White says that he’ll go by whatever decision the CSAC makes, but he’s also saying out of the other side of his mouth all these qualifiers about Sherk (he’s such a great guy, he is not a liar, I believe him, etc.)

    If you want an example of a similar sports case to Sherk’s situation, the NFL recently suspended Chicago Bears FB Obafemi Ayabadejo for four games. Ayanbadejo claimed that he took a supplement that was contaminated, named the maker of that supplement, and announced plans to sue the company that makes the product. Despite this, he has no grounds for appeal with the NFL for failing the drug test. He can be the best guy in the world and the greatest citizen and he may have ingested bad supplements, but ultimately that doesn’t change the fact that he failed the drug test and is suspended.

  13. Sam Scaff says:

    The steroid penalty is for having steroids in your system. The point is the penalize the athlete who (at least in theory) held an unfair advantage by having banned substances in his body. It is virtually irrelevant to me if he did it on purpose or not. If Sean Sherk had an illegal substance in his body that may have given him an unfair advantage in his fight (coincidentally, his opponent roided too), he should be punished. While it may not be his fault that he tested positive (contaminated supplement), the fact is he had an illegal substance in his system. period.

  14. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I think you’re drawing way too bold a line here on White’s statements and you’re inferring things that he did not say.

    His statement indicated that he would take the appropriate actions in response to the appeal’s result. Unless Sherk declined to appeal his case, there’s not only no reason for White to suspend him and his title immediately, but it would be inappropriate for him to do so until the appeal is a fait accompli.

    By saying that he believes Sherk when he says that he didn’t take steroids, he’s not challenging whether the results of the tests indicated that he had the criteria that are used as the basis for the CSAC suspending a fighter are correct or not, he’s not questioning the authority of the CSAC to make a decision, and he’s not undermining their judgment.

    It doesn’t matter whether Sherk took steroids or if he took something else or if he unknowingly took steroids, or if he didn’t at all and there was some sort of sample mixup. That isn’t at issue. What is at issue in the appeal is whether Sherk’s attorney can convince the appeals board that either the test was incorrectly administered or that there is enough information that there might be a positive result on the test caused by other non-banned substances that the board decides to overturn the suspension.

    What White and Sherk and Sherk’s attorney believe is true is beside the point. It’s what White does after October 31st when the board finally hears Sherk’s continued appeal that matters.

    Actions speak louder than words or attitude in this case.

  15. K. Fabe says:

    Marvez is the head of the NFL writer’s association, and that column read more to me like he wanted to quash the notion that football players should be tested after every game than he was trying to make any valid criticism of White.

  16. Zach Arnold says:

    Actions speak louder than words or attitude in this case.

    When a player in the NFL or MLB fails a drug test, I don’t hear the commissioner of that league saying of such a player, “He’s my friend, he’s not a liar, I believe him” and then play off of the drug testing administration publicly to soften the image blow for the athlete who failed the test.

  17. Sam Scaff says:

    I agree with Zach. The point is not that Dana White has made technically inappopropriate decisions or actions, but his statements (and really the act of making any opinionated statements about the matter) were extremely amatuerish and unprofessional.

    Unfortunately, this is the norm for Dana White. He has never been professional but over the years, for the most part, his ignorant statements been harmless. However, the statements he has made regarding this matter (repeatedly I might add) have served to undermine and question the very legitimacy and efficacy of the steroid policies of the athletic commission. And it is clear from the number of times he has expressed his biased, entirely inexpert opinion, that this exactly his intention.

    Dana White praises ‘government’ sanctioning and oversight when it serves his purpose, and (indirectly) bashes it when it does not. That is unprofessional and, frankly, embarassing for our sport.

  18. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    How many players is Bud Selig friends with (does he have any friends)? The MLB doesn’t publicize drug test results at all typically. I think that the baseball media contains enough apologists for steroids and cheaters that it hardly matters anyway.

    Heck, there’s no shortage of apologists for Michael Vick either.

    I disagree with your characterization of the comments and your speculation regarding the impact of your inferences from the comments. I guess that’s the bottom line.

  19. Tomer Chen says:

    Jeremy:

    By saying that he believes Sherk when he says that he didn’t take steroids, he’s not challenging whether the results of the tests indicated that he had the criteria that are used as the basis for the CSAC suspending a fighter are correct or not, he’s not questioning the authority of the CSAC to make a decision, and he’s not undermining their judgment.

    Oh, really? How about this gem:

    He tells me he didn’t take steroids, I believe him, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the California State Athletic Commission. We’ll see what happens.

    The CSAC decided Sean Sherk violated the drug policy by failing their drug test. Sherk is appealing the verdict. White is stating that he believes Sherk isn’t guilty of the violation (although it was reached through a drug test that as of today has not been proven to have been a false positive and not a courtroom conviction). And then he tries to paint the CSAC as being the bad guy for declaring Sherk to having violated the policy which White believes he did not violate. How is that not (subtlely or not subtlely) undermining the image of the CSAC by saying “I think the CSAC’s test is BS because I personally believe Sherk didn’t use steroids”? Seriously, I’m interested in hearing this defense.

  20. Mateo,

    I don’t hate Lesnar as a person. I hate that he actually thinks he’s somebody because he fought A match. A bad one at that.

    Looking over Gonzaga, calling Sylvia “Swamp Thing” and Fedor a “media monster” shows that he knows nothing about the game and has to be rude just to get a contract. There are other ways to promote yourself besides being a prick y’know.

    As I said before, this is a squeeze play, we seen it before with Angle and look at that chickenshit now. He’s got TNA by the balls.

  21. Liger05 says:

    New Japan is doing some good things right now. Solid booking, no debacles with the IWGP title and no more stupid gajin talent coming in for 1 shot deals.

    Shame about Nakamura getting injured in the G-1 as he is the future ace but Tanahashi is very solid and him v Nagata for the title should be awesome. If it rivals the title match they had before then it will be a treat.

    Is New Japan ready to fill the void Pride has left? I really hope so!!!

  22. Tomer Chen says:

    As an addendum to my last post, if White is saying “I trust Sherk’s word and feel that it is possible that he didn’t actively engage in the usage of steroids.”, then I do think the way he phrased it was rather poor. So either he’s attacking the CSAC base or he needs a speech writer/PR man to help him phrase statements better.

  23. The Gaijin says:

    Just read Mike Sloan’s article over at Sherdog and it provoked a few thoughts of mine:

    1.) What the HELL is with everyone dog-piling GSP over ONE loss?? He’s one fight removed from being hailed as the best p4p fighter in the world and future of the sport – basically the specimen to model MMA fighters for the 21st century and UFC’s poster boy.

    Now he’s suddenly a choker and in danger of being faaar removed from the title picture? WOW – fickle, fickle. I mean, the guy did take a shot to the back of the head that started the whole downfall of the fight. I think people need to cut him a bit of slack, he should be chided for his lack of mental prep for the fight that is for sure, but c’mon….

    2.) I NEVER understood the “hard-on” everyone’s had for Frank Mir. Outside of the fact that he’s a guy the UFC and MMA fans would love to be the king of the mountain of the HW division – certainly marketability wise. But the guy has never impressed me…

  24. Grape Knee High says:

    45 Huddle, if you’re going to keep denying that you’re a UFC fanboy, at least *try* to maintain some semblance of objectivity.

    Sherk tested positive for steroids, yet somehow he is innocent and deserves benefit of the doubt.

    Yet Pride guys who haven’t tested positive for steroids in the US are cheaters because they have “body fat”?

    Sad, sad, sad.

  25. Grape Knee High says:

    I think Dana White publicly supporting Sherk is a symptom of a larger issue. As MMA (and the UFC) grows and wants for further mainstream acceptance, White needs to learn that he is the public figurehead for MMA and needs to act professionally in accordance with that position.

    Zach’s example of major sports league presidents not undermining the very system that provides for checks and balances acts as very much as a counterpoint to White’s swinging dick, shoot from the hip, fanboyish style of communicating and management. It works great on TUF. Not so well in professional settings like press conferences and interviews.

    Same goes for his comments regarding Tito Ortiz. You don’t hear that kind of talk from Roger Goodell on Vick or Pac-man. You certainly don’t hear that kind of talk directly from GMs or owners when faced with buffoons like Terrell Owens.

  26. The Gaijin says:

    On the flipside of my previous post – is anyone else a little puzzled that after one fight, granted a very noteworthy fight, Gonzaga is all but being heralded as the best HW on the planet?

    I saw parts of the “hype” show on Sportsnet last night and King of Hyperbole Joe Rogan was in 110% fine form. “Gabriel Gonzaga could be the best HW fighter on the planet right now…he just might be the best HW fighter in the history of mma” – I’m all for giving a guy his due and Gonzaga does look pretty good…but for a guy that was totally unheralded and basically just more fodder for the Mirko train, this is getting a bit out of hand.

    In the immortal words of Winston Wolf, “…let’s no start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet, gentlemen.”

  27. Fluyid says:

    That seems to be the way it goes in MMA, Gaijin.

  28. The Gaijin says:

    Royal B:

    While I don’t share your ill wishes for Brock Lesnar (you might say I’, a well wisher – in that I don’t wish him any particular harm), that was a great article. Absolutely hilarious and very, very true.

  29. Dana White praises ‘government’ sanctioning and oversight when it serves his purpose, and (indirectly) bashes it when it does not. That is unprofessional and, frankly, embarassing for our sport.

    You forgot to add the part about how he’s burning too many bridges and how the UFC will never succeed with Dana White’s antics. It never gets old does it?

    The UFC is popular among casual folks because it is a counter-culture. Unlike other sports that are too corporate, too sanitized and too rich, the UFC is raw and still feels real. Fans can still relate to the fighters because they haven’t become pampered cry babies who never worked a day in their lives and complain that they wear a suit when they go to work like the rest of us drones.

    At the heart of that is Dana White. He’s emotional and he’s going to speak his mind unlike so many politcally correct corporate tools. He’s not the most articulate person, so he might be inconsistent and he might even trip on his words that results in lies or him throwing someone “under a bus” (however you want to spin it), but he’s human like the rest of us and I wouldn’t want him to be any other way.

    It’s ironic to think about how much effort and analysis we put into analyzing Dana’s every word and gesture when he probably doesn’t even give its second’s thought.

  30. Zach Arnold says:

    The UFC is popular among casual folks because it is a counter-culture. Unlike other sports that are too corporate, too sanitized and too rich, the UFC is raw and still feels real.

    At the heart of the credibility of the sport, drug testing is a pretty big component of it. That’s why it’s an important issue to discuss and also to analyze the comments of those inside and outside the industry.

    Credibility matters on this front.

    It’s ironic to think about how much effort and analysis we put into analyzing Dana’s every word and gesture when he probably doesn’t even give its second’s thought.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. He used to state that he followed the various message boards in the past, but ‘quit’ when UFC got bigger and better. Of course, he naturally used a Zuffa office employee to relay a message on The Underground Forum to Josh Gross when Gross wrote his ‘open letter’ about steroids.

    Dana does care about what the pundits say — which is why he got defensive with Steve Sievert of the Houston Chronicle and claimed that those of us in the ‘MMA media’ are ‘having fun’ talking about steroids.

  31. Tomer Chen says:

    It’s ironic to think about how much effort and analysis we put into analyzing Dana’s every word and gesture when he probably doesn’t even give its second’s thought.

    Because he’s the public figurehead of the largest MMA promotion in the world? Just like people in the marketplace listen to every word Bill Gates says about Microsoft or Warren Buffett about Berkshire Hathaway, we listen to what the promoter of the biggest MMA promotion says because of his clout and stature. If White says something stupid, it’ll be magnified more than if, say, Kurt Otto says it because he gets more of the media attention due to the establishment of the UFC as, essentially, MMA.

    While in some level it’s nice to see that White doesn’t care what he says to the media, he has to realize it’ll be scrutinized more closely than any other MMA promoter around because he’s big dog around. That’s how it works in any market.

  32. Ivan Trembow says:

    Zach Arnold wrote:

    “Dana, unwittingly or wittingly in my opinion, is making statements in which he is supporting Sherk but also heeling the CSAC. When you say things like Sherk isn’t a liar or “I believe him,” essentially he’s playing the dreaded morality card. Focus on the person’s character and not the science.

    A drug test is science, not a judgment call. Now, you can say the punishment for failing a drug test is a judgment situation, but the test itself is science. You either pass it or fail it.

    Dana White can’t play ‘the government’ card both ways. He can’t proclaim that ‘the government’ tests all the fighters, then turn around when one fighter (who happened to be a UFC champion) fails a drug test and start defending him to try to soften the PR blow. If you support ‘the government’ and their drug testing, then you have to also support any findings of failed drug tests and the punishments that ‘the government’ hands out for failing such a test. White says that he’ll go by whatever decision the CSAC makes, but he’s also saying out of the other side of his mouth all these qualifiers about Sherk (he’s such a great guy, he is not a liar, I believe him, etc.)”

    Bingo.

  33. At the heart of the credibility of the sport, drug testing is a pretty big component of it. That’s why it’s an important issue to discuss and also to analyze the comments of those inside and outside the industry.

    Credibility matters on this front.

    I’m not disagreeing with what you are saying, but you’ve missed my point. If you’ve read the ESPN page two female columnist and Amanda Beard’s rant about why she’s a big fan of the UFC, I think they encapsulate the mindset of the average new UFC fan pretty well. I’m not sure the average fan values MMA/UFC as a superior sport and a more legitimate form competition than other sports. Its not like the UFC tagline is “As credible as it gets.” They like the UFC because they like the look and feel and it represents something entirely different from what they are use to. Call it the iPhone effect.

    Dana does care about what the pundits say — which is why he got defensive with Steve Sievert of the Houston Chronicle and claimed that those of us in the ‘MMA media’ are ‘having fun’ talking about steroids.

    I’m not saying that Dana doesn’t care what people say. He’s clearly takes things personally and is known to retaliate. What I’m saying is that I don’t think he’s particularly calculating about it in a Dr Evil kind of way. Its like that line in the Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Ricky Bobby doesn’t think. Ricky Bobby drives. I’m not sure how much value there is dissecting the words of a man who reacts emotionally and doesn’t put too much thought into his words to begin with. I’m not saying he’s above criticism and we shouldn’t discuss issues that arise, but let’s focus on bigger issues and not needle at his use of the word “fun,” which to me is just useless trolling.

    I think its funny how everyone holds Dana White to this Jesus-like standard of conduct and then demonizes him because he curses, has emotions and holds grudges like the rest of us.

  34. Zack says:

    Dana still posts on the UG on occasion.

  35. The Gaijin says:

    People seem to lose sight that Dana White is the President of the company and it’s public face. While making a jerk out of himself doesn’t seem to be a big deal to some people here, I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s not currying himself, the company and the sport any favour with these statements nor is he helping their collective credibility either.

    He’s being very hypocritical as Zach has pointed out. The old “can’t have your cake and eat it too” adage.

  36. While in some level it’s nice to see that White doesn’t care what he says to the media, he has to realize it’ll be scrutinized more closely than any other MMA promoter around because he’s big dog around. That’s how it works in any market.

    Sure its all fair game, but for literally YEARS now, the Dana haters have been saying how’s he’s an “embarassment” as if the other shoe is about to drop without understanding that Dana White’s anti-corporate behavior is large part of the UFC’s counter-culture appeal.

  37. Sam Scaff says:

    No one holds Dana White to a Jesus-like standard. We hold him to the standard that the president and #1 head honcho of a an entire professional sport should be held to. And all that means is that he should act professionally, not like a moron. He should be unbiased, not comment on ongoing disciplinary matters (especially doping), and most of all, not act like a complete douchebag. I guess thats too much to ask.

  38. The Gaijin says:

    http://kharitonov.mmaru.de/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=12

    Looks like Sergei/Sergey K has signed with K-1 Heros.

  39. Also, for anyone that thinks that Dana White’s unprofessional behavior is unique, read this blog about what its like to work at Rockstar games, the guys that created GTA3.

  40. Sam Scaff says:

    No one is claiming that Dana White’s behavior is unique, or that it may bring in more mainstream fans. No one disputes that. And what does the atmosphere at a video game company have to do with anything??

    The people who post on this site tend not to be mainstream fans, if you havent noticed. I, for one, could not care less if the sport was mainstream in america or not. I certainly would not sacrifice the image and professionalism of the sport and its promoters for the sake of more viewes. Which sounds like what youre advocating.

    Dana White could get in a street fight with Tito Ortiz and that would being mainstream media attention and millions of more fans. Does that mean it would be the right thing to do?? Absolutely not. So youre point is moot.

  41. Tomer Chen says:

    I can’t access that blog currently, but if it’s about how people treat others internally in a company like crap, that’s a totally different beast than public PR. When you’re on radio, TV, etc., you are expected to represent your business and industry in the best light possible, not act as though you’re shooting the breeze. Hell, my own company gave me a detailed media interview guide on how to dress, prepare for an interview, answer questions, etc. and I’m not even in a position where I’d be close to a ‘public face’ for the company.

    When you’re the President or CEO of a company, you have higher standards de facto with regards to the way you present yourself and your business. With a potentially high volume venue such as the media, you should be choosing your words more carefully so there is little potential for backlash. Luckily for Dana White, Zuffa is not a publicly traded company, so he doesn’t have to worry about misleading public investors and the SEC.

  42. Body_Shots says:

    Enough with this President of the company bullsh*t, Dana White is a promoter. He’s not Roger Goodell, he’s closer to Bob Arum. If you understand how promoters operate and think, you’d pretty much know why he says everything he does.

    Over analyzing every word he says is pointless and it is not news.

  43. Tomer Chen says:

    If you understand how promoters operate and think, you’d pretty much know why he says everything he does.

    There’s a grand reason to be covering for Sherk besides “I’m his friend” that’s in line to the MO of Arum, King, McMahon et al? At least there was a reason Arum went to bat for De La Hoya when he was screaming “Robbery! The Judges were bribed!” after the second Mosley fight. What drawing potential does Sherk have to advance White’s promotional power/drawing capabilities?

  44. Ivan Trembow says:

    The lie of the UFC’s previous owners “running from regulation” continues to be propagated: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13901908

    In the same article, Dana White says that he “would not say there’s a drug problem in mixed martial arts.” At this point, I’m not sure if Dana White should feel insulted when people point out that he and Vince McMahon have made similar statements on these issues, or if Vince McMahon should feel insulted when people point out that he and Dana White have made similar statements on these issues.

  45. Body_Shots says:

    One of the first things a promoter will always do is back their talent, no ‘grand’ scheme invovled in that. He’s taking Sherk’s at his word for now, when the results of the appeal come out he’ll act accordingly. Combing through every Dana White comment like it’s the damn State of the Union Address is stupid ass hell.

    Tomer you don’t think there’s any reason for a promoter to back a championship fighter?

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