In the interest of finishing what we’ve started in regards to this whole Dana White UFC 87 video blog business, here’s the closing entry. We get to see some of White’s fight night routine, which includes a fair amount of smokin’ and jokin’ (no actual smoking occurs) backstage with Rampage Jackson. We also hear once more about White’s enthusiasm for the city of Minneapolis, also known as “no bullshit, America’s best-kept secret.” And here I thought our best-kept secret was The Trail of Tears.
In case you’re sitting there all weepy-eyed over this little experiment in “vlogging” having come to an end, have no fear. Dana White vows that they’re going to start doing this before every event. Looks like someone has been won over by the power of the internets.
(Big announcement forthcoming? Are the words “love child” involved?)
In a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine, Dana White promises some big announcements coming soon. What kind of announcement? We don’t know. But it’s going to be huge, or so White says:
You have no idea some of the stuff that we have planned. I’m going to make an announcement next week that is going to blow people’s minds. That deal is done, but my employees don’t even know yet. I’m renting out a place next Thursday and I’m going to tell them. Then we’ll make the announcement later that day. It’s an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years.
So, he’s renting out a place just to tell his employees? They couldn’t just meet in the office, maybe have a conference call? I got it. It’s King Kong, isn’t it? That’s the big announcement.
Zuffa has captured King Kong and will display him in chains in front of the world. Then when he escapes they’ll be forced to mend fences with Randy Couture just to get him to save the world. At first Couture won’t want to do it, but he’ll eventually become our reluctant hero while constantly griping that he’s getting “too old for this shit.” Damn, now I’ve gone and ruined the surprise. Sorry, everybody.
White also divulged that Chuck Liddell’s next fight will be in Atlanta, Georgia, though his opponent is as of yet unnamed (Godzilla?). Then he lit right into ESPN for giving Kimbo Slice and Elite XC so much attention. This, despite the fact that he had not been asked about either.
How weak of a puff-piece B.J. was last night’s “Ultimate Fighting: From Blood Sport to Big Time” special on CNBC? I think this quote says it all:
“At six feet and a chiseled 210 pounds, Dana White looks every bit the ferocious ultimate fighting champion.”
Whaaaaaa? You mean the paunchy, doughy Dana White? That one? Look, we realize you’ve been paid off, but at least try to maintain the illusion of journalistic integriity. This is television — you can’t tell us things that are straight-up contradicted by the images on the screen. FightOpinion has a full recap of the half-assed UFC informercial, so give it look if you’d like to be disgusted even further.
Yet another example of how Dana White’s personal style is different than that of other sports team/league owners: Here are the most recent Twitter updates from Dana White (yes, he has a personal account separate from the UFC’s official feed) and WEC general manager Reed Harris. Reed’s could have been written by any middle-aged father, while Dana’s could have been written by any tit-groping frat boy. And while most UFC fans don’t have a problem with that, several sports journalists have called Dana’s immature, hostile persona into question recently.
Tonight’s episode of ESPN E:60 (7 p.m.) delves deeper into the issue — who is this wild-ass motherfucker, and would the UFC be better off with an actual grown-up in charge? If you missed the preview, click here. And check out another excerpt from the show after the jump, where Dana lays into Tito Ortiz for being his first business mistake, and Tito claims he’s fought "some of the best world in the men…and beat ‘em!" Seriously.
Yesterday we referred you to the first edition in Dana White’s UFC 87 video blog (a vlog, if you will). If you missed it, allow me to sum up: he sat around in his office for two minutes talking about how excited he was for UFC 87. Yeah, not exactly “Citizen Kane”. The second edition is above, and while it’s an improvement in the sense that he actually does stuff, it’s still incredibly boring. Sure, he flies around in an awesome private jet, but didn’t we already know or at least assume he did that? Where are the escorts and live animals that I always imagined were on that plane with him? Where’s the magic?
It would be fine if I really believed that Dana White’s life were this uninteresting, but I don’t. I’m sure there are plenty of great moments throughout each day that involve him yelling into a cell phone and threatening to crush people, then actually crushing those people, then auditioning new Octagon girls without the intention of hiring any, then having some lunch.
But we don’t get any of that. We get him standing in a hotel room and talking us through his daily schedule, which is always going to be boring unless you’re someone like Gary Busey and your schedule involves you being batshit crazy all day.
I really hope this thing picks up a little momentum as we get closer to the event, because this sounds like a great idea. But right now it just looks like someone convinced him to give up two minutes of every day in non-consecutive stretches, and the result is a tired, cranky Dana White and a bored audience. Maybe time for a special guest star in the next episode? My money’s on GSP.
(‘This guy…..appears to be wearing some kind of weird robe.’)
Dana White and Alistair Oveerem are living it up at UFC 93 in this picture from our friends at Free Fight Videos. Semmy Schilt also made it out to the event, but man does Dana ever look chummy with "The Demolition Man." Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but does the look on Overeem’s face say, ‘I’m putting my arm around this man because he is my new boss,’ to you?
Considering all the shit he’s taken over the past couple weeks from UFC fans and his boss since the cancelation of UFC 151, it’s actually good to see that light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is relaxed and in good-spirits during this interview yesterday with Ariel Helwani. Jones has put the ugly recent past behind him, and when he finally gets the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with Dana White — because he hasn’t yet, if you can believe it — he plans to look DW dead in his beet-red face and forgive him. Here’s the transcription via FightOpinion:
JON JONES: “I’m going to say, Dana… you know, I’m just going to tell him that I forgive him, pretty much. I have a general intention of what I want to happen and basically it’s going to based on forgiveness. I’m not expecting him to apologize but I’m moving forward, you know, I’m moving forward and Dana… spoke his mind and, you know, ultimately he can’t take back what happened, I can’t take back what happened. I don’t think he wants to and I don’t want to, so, we’re just going to be men and keep this great journey that we have going. You know, we’re both ambassadors for the UFC and as for not being on the same page, as I said (Tuesday) on Sportscenter it makes no sense for us MMA fans, MMA nation so, uh, you know, I want to do great things and I think having them on my side or working with them and not being known as like, you know, a troublemaker with him will be beneficial for both of us.
ARIEL HELWANI: “How do you forgive someone who hasn’t apologized?”
JON JONES: “You know, I don’t know. I don’t know how that works but I want to try it.”
"This is disheartening because this behavior is unacceptable," (AWSM President) Jenni Carlson wrote. "It establishes a hostile work environment not only for Loretta but all women who cover the UFC. We cannot accept that any female sports journalist would have to work in an environment of intimidation or a hostile workplace. … It is a mystery to me that a man who is always seeking more coverage and exposure for his sport would disenfranchise some of the very people who are covering, sponsoring and watching his sport — women.”
Dana White spoke with Si.com recently. As usual, the phrase “[deleted expletive]” appeared throughout the interview. He also found time to say this:
“When we came in, we shook up the entire industry. We rebuilt this industry, we rebuilt the fight business. And we think we have the right plan and the right strategy over the next five years, and I think mixed martial arts and the UFC is going to be the biggest sport in the world. Bigger than soccer, bigger than football, bigger than anything.
The announcement I [made June 18] is so [deleted expletive] huge in terms of what it means to the business side of this thing, what it means to the fighters and where we’re going to take this thing in five years. Everyone’s looking at “right now.” I’m working on things that are going to happen two, three, five years down the road. We’re in this thing for the long haul. Remember that I told you this: in the next five to eight years, this thing’s going to be the biggest sport in the world — bigger than the [freakin'] NFL, bigger than Major League Soccer, bigger than World Cup soccer or whatever the hell they call it. Bigger than anything. So remember I told you that.”
Bigger than anything? Wow, okay. In a few years, when the UFC is so big it has planets and stuff orbiting around it, I will at first be very surprised but then I will remember that Dana White made this vow, and I’ll be like, ‘Huh, guess he was right. And here I dismissed his claim the moment he said “World Cup soccer or whatever the hell they call it.”‘
It’s hard not to wonder if the heat in Abu Dhabi is getting to Dana White. In this chat with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, he casually mentions that he’s planning on going to an even more remote location for a UFC event this summer, and he doesn’t even care if the fights are recorded for posterity. That’s right, the UFC is headed to Afghanistan to put on an event for the troops stationed there, and the fact that they might not be able to film the action, let alone broadcast it to fans back home, seems less like a deal-breaker than a slight bummer to DW.
We have to ask, what are the fighters going to say when they’re told that they are all fighting in dark matches on the other side of the planet? And can the UFC, in conjunction with the U.S. military, truly assure that no one captures the action on a cell phone or a flip cam? Will we be dependent on an artist’s rendition to find out how things went? And what if the fight of the year happens on a card that no one has any footage of? Does it really make a sound?
Last week we showed you a BJ Penn video interview from Karyn Bryant in which the former champion vaguely spoke about his future, saying he had no plans to fight but refusing to say the word “retire.” However, according to UFC president Dana White, Penn told him that same week in Stockholm that he would in fact fight again.
“I heard some sh_t that he said he was going to retire and all this stuff,” White said. “[BJ] was like, ‘Nah, I’m going to fight again,’” MMA Fighting reports.
So there you have it. Despite saying that he was “done,” after losing to Nick Diaz last October, BJ will scrap again, according to his boss. I suppose we all figured as much, considering how much Penn loves fighting and how much money he makes doing it.
But the question is, who would BJ fight? Penn has only won one bout in his last five, albeit all against very top competition. At lightweight, the 33 year-old has seemed to have lost a bit of of quickness and reaction time — which is death in the lighter weight classes, and specifically for astalking counter-puncher like Penn. At welterweight, Penn is forced to pack on 15 pounds of unnecessary bulk, which has always been unfair but his crazy talent still allowed him to be successful there.
Dana White seems surprised that people are so interested in his “big [expletive] announcement”. I mean, all he did was talk it up to ESPN, then go on CNBC and deny a bunch of rumors, then change the day altogether and keep telling people how absolutely huge it was. Can’t imagine why that stoked people’s curiosity.
I’m doing it Tuesday. Let me tell you how out of [expletive deleted] control that thing is. I was talking to ESPN and [the reporter] was talking about competition and I said, ‘Let me tell you what. People have been trying to compete with the UFC for years, even before we bought it. The last big one everyone thought was a big threat … was the IFL. They went public, raised 800-[expletive deleted] million dollars, then they were talking about doing fighter benefits and stuff. They got the first network deal and those other guys weren’t the first on. They got time on 60 Minutes with us when 60 Minutes did their piece on us, and now the IFL is gone. They are [expletive deleted] down, their stock is worth half a cent (Editor’s note: IFLI closed today at $0.02). That’s what we were talking about that day and I said I’m going to make an announcement to my employees that shows everyone exactly where this business is going in the next couple years.
I said I wanted to make the announcement to my employees, so it’s not even like I was making a big announcement to the media. If I was doing that I would’ve had a big news conference and then gone off to London. I wanted to wait until I was back to do it.
It’s a big [expletive deleted] announcement, it’s a big [expletive deleted] deal but I got a lot of other stuff we’re working on right now. It was never anything I said I was going to announce to the media.
So, he told ESPN about an announcement that he didn’t intend to announce to the media? Because that seems…odd. Or stupid. I’m not sure. It’s such a thin line between those two.
Las Vegas Review Journal columnist Ed Graney took a swipe at Dana White last week in a column entitled “UFC head White: ‘The white Don King‘”. Dana White, as it turns out, did not care for that comparison. In an interview with Steve Cofield of ESPN Radio, White referred to Graney as a “moron”, and expressed his rage at the article thusly:
“Not only did he not compare me and Don King — because he couldn’t, okay, number one — but not only did he not compare us, he didn’t even interview me. He interviewed Tito, and then called me ‘the white Don King’. I live in Las Vegas. My kids go to school in this town. I grew up here. And you get one of these moron reporters who go out and write a half-assed story, this guy’s probably never even seen a fight in his life.”
White was subsequently informed that Graney has been to fights, and he is a columnist who writes opinion pieces. White then made it clear that his opinion was that Graney’s opinion “sucks.”
There are two things we should keep in mind here: 1) columnists don’t typically get to write their own headlines, so it’s slightly unfair to take him to task for a headline that makes a claim which isn’t really supported or even argued in the article, and 2) Graney invited that headline and that baseless comparison with one very dumb line that should have been cut entirely.
Adam Carolla, who we’ve idolized since his Loveline days, had Dana White as a guest on his radio show this morning to plug UFC 78 (you can listen to the audio here). We were particularly surprised by the following:
— Dana White and the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC for $2 million in 2001 and then proceeded to lose $44 million over the next three years.
— Though he didn’t say anything during the segment, Danny Bonaduce is apparently Adam’s sidekick on the show. Good for you, Danny!
Instead of releasing a timely, orderly stream of video blogs for UFC 98, Dana White and co. opted to do a couple before the event and then a multi-part epic afterwards. As with most multi-part epics, the majority is forgettable stuff that should have been edited out. But around the eight-minute mark in this video things get interesting when Dana White does an interview with Edge Magazine and claims that everyone from fighters to fans would be totally cool with an openly gay athlete in the UFC.
This is obviously not true, and Dana White knows it’s not true. What’s amazing is not that he says it anyway, but that he thinks pretending to be ignorant of homophobia in the world of men’s pro sports is the best way to smooth things over with the gay community. It isn’t. It’s blatant pandering, and the effect is actually worse than admitting that the world of MMA would have a tough time adjusting to an openly gay fighter.
UFC president Dana White was contacted this afternoon by TMZ to enquire about whether or not Tito Ortiz would likely be let go from the promotion due to the felony domestic violence charges that were laid against "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" stemming from an alleged assault on his girlfriend Jenna Jameson this morning.
Dana White received the Armed Forces Foundation’s Humanitarian Award, which he undoubtedly earned with all the fundraising work he’s done on behalf of American troops. I mean seriously, the UFC put on an event to help injured soldiers when our own government couldn’t seem to find the money to treat them. Most people would have just gone up there and accepted the award while saying a few words about how much the sacrifices made by American servicemen and women mean to him. But Dana White isn’t most people.
The Dana White pre-event video blog returns…kind of. As White breathlessly explains at the onset, he’s been busy. So instead of a real video blog covering his event week activities, he’s starting us off with some behind-the-scenes stuff from the Spike TV video game awards.
Highlights here include a meet and greet with Mike Tyson, who almost seems ready to say something to Nogueira about Frank Mir until he’s alerted that Mir is standing right behind him. Then it’s on to that awkward portion of the evening when an LL Cool J performance turns into a UFC 92 promo. In case you were wondering whether it was as weird and stilted live as it was on TV, this video clearly answers that question from one of the worst seats in the house — right behind the guy who really loves LL Cool J.
It’s like it doesn’t matter where you go, whether it’s the movies or an awards show, that guy is always there, standing just in front of you and shouting "Mama said knock you out!"
When he isn’t sitting courtside in L.A. at the end of the Celtics bench with his kids during an NBA game, The Baldfather is throwing around cash like it’s confetti on things like souping up his SUVs with Corvette engines.
Ah, to be a multi-millionaire…
I still pick up change when I find it on the street.
When I clicked on the latest episode of Dana White’s fight week video blogs, I was hoping to at least hear the UFC president mention the candid private conversation he had with Ben on Saturday afternoon about Arianny’s Playboy spread, but instead I was treated to the usual inside jokes and inane banter between The Baldfather and his homeboys.
For more on what Dana had to say to Ben (and trust me, you don’t want to miss it) tune into The Bum RushFriday morning.
Let’s just say Dana makes Gus Johnson seem like a polite telemarketer.
Talking with the media after the UFC 100 press conference on Thursday, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Cro Cop was back on board, and also took a shot at the “sneaky” Japanese promoters who tried to steal him away. In case you didn’t already know that White is no fan of the way the Japanese handle their MMA, he’d like to make it perfectly clear, to the point of kind of insulting the entire nation:
I have said this many times and I’ll say it again: there’s some crooked sh*t that goes on over in Japan. They’re all crooked. There’s some sneaky sh*t going on over there, and that’s always a big problem, you know. These guys who are in the fight business over there, for my Mexican friends, ‘No bueno. No bueno.’
Maybe Dana White locked himself in a bathroom at some point after hearing that Fedor vs. Rogers would be broadcast on CBS, and screamed until he cried. But at least he’s putting on a brave face for the media. Following a UFC 103 press conference held yesterday, White told Steve Cofield that Strikeforce on CBS is not a game-changer:
It doesn’t matter, no. How many shows have to come and go…IFL was on network TV, EliteXC was on network TV. It doesn’t matter…I think CBS wants to be in the business. And we haven’t been able to come to a deal. With the right deal, we’d do it. We haven’t had the right deal yet. Neither does Strikeforce. You think Strikeforce is getting the right deal with CBS? You think they’re making money?
No, probably not. EliteXC reportedly hemorrhaged money during their run on CBS, because the license fee they received from the network wasn’t nearly enough to cover their expenses. Maybe Strikeforce was able to carve out a more satisfying deal than EliteXC did, but you have to assume that Strikeforce’s actual end-game is to build up enough interest in their brand on CBS that they can start putting on pay-per-view shows, which would theoretically be much more profitable. Until that happens, Dana White has enough problems of his own to worry about.
Today on Dana White‘s UFC 90 Video Blog (though it was actually recorded yesterday) White talks with Steve Cofield about the video blog in a conversation that’s captured on the video blog. Is your mind freaked yet? No? How about if we post another picture with Criss Angel in the background? You guys seemed to love that.
The talk with Cofield is actually one of the highlights of this entry. They discuss EliteXC and Jared Shaw, who (surprise!) isn’t really happy about anything these days. This comes after White discusses the situation with the press, who push him a little for being so jubilant about EliteXC folding and leaving plenty of fighters and staff unemployed. As you might expect, White pushes back with swift retorts like “Too fucking bad. Go get another job.” Fortunately Kevin Iole is there to help him clarify this stance.
Those of you who were hoping that the dissolution of EliteXC and the sudden availability of Gina Carano would make White rethink adding a women’s division to the UFC, sorry. He says EliteXC’s fighters will get picked up, but when asked about interest in the women he replies, “not me.” Didn’t even need to think about it.
Dana White is back with another instalment of his acclaimed retrospective video series and we’re starting to notice a pattern here. The UFC president seems to be phoning it it these days, appearing sparingly in the videos and filling the remainder up with footage from previous events, which is false advertising considering this was supposed to be the UFC 135 Video Blog 1.
The Cliff’s Notes of what we learned this episode is after the jump.
If you watched Dana White on ESPN “E:60” last night, you may be asking yourself, what happened to that hatchet job he was so convinced they were doing on him? Turns out it was a pretty fair, though not all that groundbreaking a look at the UFC president, focusing on the evolution of the UFC and some of his more aggressive business strategies. Here’s him going back and forth, yet again, with Tito Ortiz, in which Ortiz’s verbal dyslexia rises to the surface and Dana screws up the phrase ‘I couldn’t care less.’ (Dammit Dana, when you say ‘I could care less,’ you’re implying that you care and are thus using it to mean the exact opposite of what you intend. Come on, you’re better than that.)
There’s more after the jump, including DW’s take on boxing, why he’s not a pro fighter himself, and the internet war with Loretta Hunt.
Dana White and his forcibly-retired sidekick Chuck Liddell took a trip to Talladega to bask in the glory of Nascar this past weekend. Luckily for us, he decided to videoblog the whole venture. Part one is above, where we see that traveling with your young children in your private jet is quite different from traveling with them in the family minivan. For starters, someone else watches them while you narrate the action for the cameraman who is documenting the daily events of your life. For another, you are very, very rich.
The good people at famed gentleman’s magazine Playboy have an interview with UFC prez Dana White in their September issue (which drops Friday, August 15) and one of the more interesting nuggets to come out of it are White’s remarks on what torpedoed the HBO deal:
“I pulled the plug at the 23rd hour. HBO was pi**ed off… I would have had to sell out, literally. They would have owned the UFC… I took meetings with HBO’s boxing guys. I’ll tell you, if I had to hear one more time about how many fu**ing Emmys they had won, I was going to dive out the window. I said ‘You won a bunch of Emmys, but I’m kicking your a** on pay-per-view.”
Awesome. Do I believe Dana White actually said that to HBO executives? Not really, but it’s still a good story. As much as people criticized him for not making the HBO deal happen, you have to respect his desire to maintain his autonomy, even if it means not blowing up big time with HBO’s Emmy factory.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dana White interview if he didn’t bash Tito Ortiz:
("No one is going to tell [Liddell] when he’s going to stop fighting," says John Hackleman. Photo courtesy of MMA Ring Report.)
In his prime, he was a Destroyer of Worlds. But the Chuck Liddell we saw lose to Mauricio Rua at UFC 97 earlier this month was so deteriorated that retirement talk was inevitable. Liddell’s footwork was achingly slow, and Rua proved that the holes in the Iceman’s defense could be punctured even after Liddell had spent months trying to patch them up. (Though maybe not.) These facts were clearer to Dana White than anyone else. Directly after the event, White announced that Chuck would absolutely be retiring from the sport, profits be damned. Later, he promised "a fucking war" if Liddell refused to hang up his gloves, ostensibly because he didn’t want to see his longtime friend permanently injured.
Well, Chuck hasn’t retired yet. And Dana might get that fucking war after all.