Dana White Says UFC Will go Mainstream, I’m Skeptical

Dana White is the president of the UFC. He’s the man responsible for promoting the company, so his comments aren’t always objective. He’s frequently honest, but he’s biased. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he was asked if the UFC could go mainstream and compete with the likes of football, baseball, and basketball. His response should not surprise you:

“It will become mainstream. Absolutely. Right now we’re the largest pay-per-view provider in the world. Our fights have gone head-to-head with the NBA playoffs and out-rated them in the demo (men 18-34). One of my big philosophies is that fighting is the sport that crosses all borders. I don’t care what color you are, what country you come from or what language you speak, fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it. One thing I can’t prove, but I firmly believe is that two men were put on this earth – one threw a punch and a third guy came over and watched. And that happened before anybody ever threw or kicked a ball.”

Like I said, what would you expect his answer to be? The UFC has an enormous following and is immensely popular. They do well on pay-per-view (but fall behind boxing’s biggest fights), and they get pretty good ratings on Spike. That said, I have a differing view from Dana White for several reasons.

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Dana White Furious About Dennis Hallman’s Speedo Shorts (Video)

What happened at UFC 133 Saturday night will change the sport forever. We’re not talking about an epic battle between two fighters that will effect the way everyone views mixed martial arts.  No, this particular change comes more in the form of a dress code adjustment.

Dennis Hallman, who was knocked out in the first round by Brian Ebersole, infuriated Dana White with his wardrobe selection.  Hallman decided it would be a good idea to show up for his fight wearing a grape-smuggler. After the fight, White expressed extreme disappointment in his “people” for allowing it to happen and said he was disgusted with Hallman for wearing the shorts.  Check out White’s comments, courtesy of MMAFighting.com:

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Dana White: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Is One of the Big Problems in Boxing

Dana White is an outspoken character and his brash attitude has helped build the UFC into the powerful sports organization it is. Though he has several faults and his business lacks in several areas, the UFC is miles ahead of boxing in at least one area: matchmaking. If fans want to see a fight, he makes it happen. Boxing is different; it’s run by individual fighters and promoters. Because of that, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has avoided fighting Manny Pacquiao (and fighting in general). That’s why White says Mayweather is “what’s wrong with boxing.”

Here’s what White had to say during an interview on WFAN in New York this week:

“I’m a huge, huge Manny Pacquiao fan. He is boxing right now. Floyd Mayweather, and Floyd and I go way back and I told Floyd to his face too, Floyd is one of the big problems with boxing. Holding out, not taking this fight with Manny Pacquiao, and doing what he’s doing. I think Manny Pacquiao is boxing. Everything about him is positive and I love the guy.”

Even though White is in the MMA business and has a history with Floyd as Rick Chandler notes, I think White is just being honest. White runs the UFC from a fan’s perspective; he puts on the fights he and they want to see. He doesn’t make those comments because he dislikes boxing (he still watches the top matches), he says it as a fight fan who wants to see the best matchups.

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Dana White: Lyoto Machida Wanted Anderson Silva Money to Fight at UFC 133

UFC 133 is just over three weeks away, and the promotion was put in a bad spot when Phil Davis had to pull out of his fight with Rashad Evans. Davis was headlining the event along with Evans, so Dana White needed to scramble to find a replacement. Tito Ortiz is the guy now, but it was supposed to be Lyoto Machida.

According to White, Machida has been bugging him for a big fight and got his opportunity. He initially said “yes” to serve as a replacement in the fight, but after discussing it with his team he thought better of taking a difficult fight on such short notice, so he demanded a monetary premium. As MMA Junkie reported late Wednesday, Machida’s camp told White they wanted Anderson Silva money for the fight. White said until you’ve accomplished what Silva has, you’re not getting the kind of money he does.

White turned to Tito Ortiz who decided to accept the fight after contemplating the decision since Tuesday night. Ortiz is also fighting on short notice, but he should be in good shape after beating Ryan Bader at UFC 132 on July 2nd.

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Boxing Has Lost the Magic it Once Had, It’s Been Passed by MMA

Do you happen to remember a sage truism given to you by a parent, trusted loved one, or fortune cookie that came along with a restaurant check? A penny saved is a penny earned. Either I was sick on one of the many days my mom was dispensing clichés or was too weak from overfeeding on Kung Pao to muster the strength to crack open that V-shaped bearer of wisdom/empty calories to take in that luminous advice. Between holey pockets, incline benches at the gym (yes, I workout), and the random, shifty valet attendant, I have lost more pennies than I can count. The most recent example of money lost was what I spent to bear witness to the spectacle that was the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight.

In fact, for the pleasure of watching that fight in public, I failed to save 2000 pennies. I should have taken Andrew Jackson’s accusing stare from the $20 bill I handed over to get in as a sign that maybe the money would have been best served being invested in soybeans, or at least a contentious game of bingo. Instead, for the first time in years, I gave boxing another shot. Lured by the prospect of seeing one of the quickest, most athletic politicians the Philippines’ Congress has ever known — I’ve heard of a punch card ballot, but this is ridiculous — against 39-year-old Shane Mosley, who was trying for another shot at glory against the WBO welterweight champion. To Pacquiao’s credit, they say politics is not a spectator sport … and they’re right.

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Dana White: UFC Not Negotiating with Royce Gracie for UFC Rio

Dana White has indicated that Royce Gracie’s return to the Octagon won’t be happening at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro. MMA Fighting reported that “that the [UFC] has no interest in offering a fight” to Gracie despite reports indicated talks were ongoing.

We had written a month ago that the possibility of Gracie returning for a farewell fight was a legitimate possibility, but now it looks like that won’t be happening. Gracie’s manager was the one who had said they were nailing down a deal to fight on the card.

Gracie is the original UFC winner, having been victorious at UFC 1, UFC 2, and UFC 4. He has not fought in the UFC since losing to Matt Hughes in 2006, and his last fight was a win over Kazushi Sakuraba in a 2007 EliteXC fight. Gracie tested positive for steroids after beating Sakuraba and hasn’t fought since then.

Dana White Supports Overtime Round to Eliminate Draws

UFC President Dana White is displaying the creativity and wits that has helped grow the UFC into the most popular MMA organization in the world. Speaking on The Ultimate Fighter Aftermath, White said he wants to explore the possibility of adding an overtime round to eliminate draws.

“I hate draws,” White said, as noted by MMA Fighting. “I think it’s just such a waste of everybody’s time and energy. It’s something that I would definitely explore.”

Even though particulars would have to be worked out, I think it’s a great idea. Say they go to the cards and find out the judges have it as draw, why not go to an extra round to see if a winner can be established?

This year alone we’ve seen Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fight to a draw at UFC 125, and B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch do the same in the main event at UFC 127. Wouldn’t it have been much more satisfying for fans if there were an extra round to break the tie? Overtimes and tie-breakers are used in pretty much every other major sport, so why not MMA?

Like White said, draws are a big waste of everybody’s time. When two fighters meet in the Octagon, we want to see a winner. Anything that helps achieve that outcome while maintaining a safe environment for fighters sounds like a good idea to me.