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Dana Claims UFC’s True Competition is NFL, MLB; Says ‘Dirty’ Reporters are Gone for Good

(“I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card, I gonna carve him up real nice.” Pic: Underhooks.com)

It took a while for Dana White and the always capable Sergio Non to really get down to business during the UFC boss’ Wednesday interview with USA Today. Both guys spent a lot of time making the obligatory small talk about UFC 129, Silva vs. Okami and which weight class Frankie Edgar should be fighting in before the actual questions came out of the quiver. Once they began in earnest, White characteristically did not shy away from giving us The Full Dana on any number of topics.

Among them, DW expresses his belief that the UFC didn’t really have any competition in the MMA marketplace, even before the acquisition of Strikeforce. Now, we’re not totally sure how that jives with his claims last month that the UFC is not a monopoly, but whatevs. Moving on … Non also becomes (as far as we know) the first “mainstream” reporter to personally ask White about his company’s denial of media credentials to several high-profile MMA reporters during last weekend’s Strikeforce event. White responds by saying those people he’s banned are “dirty, dirty, dirty” and they’ll never be credentialed until somebody pries the UFC from his cold, dead hands. Throughout it all White lists back and forth between sounding totally likable (which kind of kills us to admit, but it’s true) and sounding a little like Tony Montana from Scarface.

If we had to pick one quote to serve as a microcosm for the whole interview – which we present here admittedly totally out of context – it would be this one: “Listen, I own the fucking thing,” Dana says. “At some point, you’ve got to get over it, you know what I mean?”

Touché, sir. On the subject of “owning the fucking thing,” White tells Non that the UFC will continue to credential whoever it sees fit, regardless of the increased media scrutiny that’s grown up around the promotion’s decision not to let well known reporters like ESPN’s Josh Gross and Loretta Hunt cover the new Zuffa-owned Strikeforce. A Sports Illustrated columnist recently penned a piece calling the UFC “bush-league” due to its draconian media policies, but this is the first time (at least recently) we’ve heard White himself address the issue.

“I don’t have to credential anybody,” he says. “Credentials aren’t mandatory. Credentials are at our discretion on who we want to credential. It doesn’t stop them from covering the event at all. (Loretta Hunt) could have absolutely flown out, got a ticket to the fight and covered the event, and then gone back to the host hotel and interviewed every fighter on Earth … And same thing with Josh (Gross) or whoever else who’s part of that thing.”

On the topic of exactly why the two veteran reporters are no longer welcome, White was somewhat less forthcoming.

“Both of them have (acted unprofessionally) and have numerous times … It was back in the bush-league days and these guys did some stuff that was dirty — dirty, dirty, dirty — and very unprofessional. And they will not be credentialed in a company that I run. Period. End of story. People can sit around and cry about it or whatever …

“Believe me, if I really sit down — and maybe I’ll do it with somebody on camera sometime — and explain where these people came from, and how this beef really started, it’s actually pretty sickening. And a lot of people — if not everybody, including all the journalists — I think would absolutely 100 percent agree with me and take my side. I don’t give a shit. I don’t give a shit what anybody thinks. I don’t care. I can decide who gets a credential and who doesn’t. ESPN should be more careful about who they hire.”

First of all, let us say for the record that “Dirty, Dirty, Dirty” sounds like the greatest Motley Crue song never written. Secondly, we have to wonder, what exactly is White’s definition of being “unprofessional”? Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the sport’s official arbiter of good taste stomps around swearing like a sailor and essentially inviting the world to kiss his ass if they don’t like it. Really though, it’s the tail end of that quote — the “ESPN should be more careful about who they hire,” part – where things really start to get scary.

You don’t have to have a masters degree in journalism to know that when the people who create the news start implying they should also have some sway in who gets hired to cover the news, that’s bad. Especially when the same people are prone to breaking off borderline The-World-is-Mine-style quotes like this one:

“It’s hilarious to me that when all the media and the fans talk about stuff — when you guys talk about Strikeforce and Affliction and IFL and all these other guys that were out there,” he says. “Come on, if that’s seriously what you guys think is our fucking competition, you guys are fucking way out of the loop. Way, way, way, way out of the fucking loop. My competition is the NFL. My competition is Major League Baseball. My competition is these other networks.”

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Dagnut- April 16, 2011 at 4:32 am
The union is another conversation, even as far as boxing goes has UFC even taking over boxing yet? is GSP as big as star as manny pacquiao? I don't agree that boxing is dead yet.
dranokills- April 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm
I’m questioning Whites need to be in the limelight….what purpose does it serve?
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he is the president, and the FACE of UFC simple as that. you don't see the Fertittas out there doing blogs, they have no interest, they pay Dan to do what he does. It has never changed, and it never will. It is simply how UFC works. the outspoken president doesn't work for another sport cause they all have player unions, and mouthpieces for each star, it's dumb, it's boring and it gives to much power to morons who can't give a speech but because they have millions of dollars they get a chance to talk. For once I wish a reporter would tell some of these mudmouth NON talking babbling piss poor english speaking speech impediment retards to sit down and shut up!
You see what sports unions do? they cause freeze outs, and lock outs and game loses and season loses and it happens in MLB, and NFL, and NBA. players being the spokesmen of their sport is the baddest of bad ideas ever to be thought of. Monkey play ball, let the suits do the business. They don't play ball, you don't do business, keep it separate.
The day MMA stars have a say in what the UFC does as business is the day UFC dies, and goes the way of boxing.
UFC and Dana White uses their stars to promote the sport, they take them places, tell them to sit, answer questions for the media, take pictures with the media, and give autographs to the fans, all choreographed by Dana White. In case you can't tell by watching him, he can give speeches without cussing, he is a motivational speaker, and in a world of morons from my own President down, people cannot give a damn correct speech to save their ass..........so fuck me if I want these halfwit athlete's doing what Dana does.
As much as I like Joe Rogan hes a paid mouthpiece who thinks hes funny, he couldn't give a speech to save his weird piss drinking non funny ass.
Like or not, the purpose it serves is Dana White is the face of UFC, period.
The only 2 that can talk Dana White into NOT holding a grudge against CP or anyone else is the Fertitta brothers. ( you getting this BEN?)
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albertov12- April 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Guys sorry to say, but NFL is only USA, so this sport some day can and will be watch more than NFL and MLB
Dagnut- April 15, 2011 at 8:14 am
@ Dranokills..Congrats an interesting and well thought out response.
I don't understand the WWE, so I don't get the analogy, we aren't comparing the business model to WWE...White is comparing his business to the NFL, MBL and NBA, their business's based on star power..they do ok don't they? Kids want hero's to look up too.
I'm not trying to speak for the fighters, they'll do that themselves.
Zuffa can still control the sport and the fighters from behind the scenes, I'm not questioning their strategy...White has probably taken dumps with more business acumen than I'll ever demonstrate...I'm questioning Whites need to be in the limelight....what purpose does it serve?
dranokills- April 15, 2011 at 7:56 am
Dagnut Says:

Fri, 04/15/11 - 07:32

@ Dranokills ..Fcuk comes from avoiding profanity checks in firewalls/mail checkers…force of habit. Same sh!t out of you as usual, instead of any type of debate you revert to your usual MO of childish insults…It’s not even entertaining “you are retarded”…you’re exactly the type of pathetic clown White appeals to..calling people retards or fags…I’d called you a cunt because you are a cunt
White has brought the sport to certain level, he’s an extremely astute business man…but he’s also a boorish, hypocritical a$$hole and 75% of the sh1t he says serves no purpose…he has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way to what purpose?
You think that sh1t hasn’t been a hindrance? how does it help?
What’s wrong with letting the fighters be the face of the sport? It’s worked for all the other sports.
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wow you are so right it is so childish of me to call you retarded, but I can clearly now how amazingly brilliant and adult you sound calling another man a cunt several times. wow you sure showed me, how could I have ever thought to debate with your keen fucking intellect.......now wait.....EAT A BAG OF DICKS!
You ask alot of questions for a jackoff who claims to know everything.
In case you haven't noticed UFC has been buying out second rate shows left and right, they must be doing something right, and the people who are invested into it with White never say a thing about how he acts, what he says or that hes a bad influence or a detriment to their collective business. you ever notice the Fertittas, both Lorenzo and Frank love Dana White and support him? Just cause some nobody like you doesn't like him, doesn't matter in the big picture. All the fanboys who get butthurt or want to try and be the "fair voice" of all the fighters need to learn a life lesson......you don't matter, and the majority of the fighters do NOT want you to speak for them, nor will they let you. And the fighters don't dare run their mouth like you, cause unlike you they have a job, and they want to keep it. Your pipe dream of having fighters be the voice of the company is just that a dream, a fantasy, a wish. It will never happen, and if it ever did it would be during the decline of UFC after White and the Fertittas have jumped ship and sold it out to someone else, maybe even WWE. but that is my point WWE let's its so called athletes do their talking and you see what a great job that has turned out to be.
I am a Dana White apologist cause he is right, and he has the power, and the big money backing to do it how he sees fit. And all this whining and bleeding like pussys wont change a thing. I don't see a decline in UFC, I see it getting bigger and bigger and bigger. If you don't like his ways ignore em or move on to shows in the local rodeo district that are barely sanctioned.
You are being petty and small minded, and in all ways idiotic.
Dagnut- April 15, 2011 at 7:32 am
@ Dranokills ..Fcuk comes from avoiding profanity checks in firewalls/mail checkers...force of habit. Same sh!t out of you as usual, instead of any type of debate you revert to your usual MO of childish insults...It's not even entertaining "you are retarded"...you're exactly the type of pathetic clown White appeals to..calling people retards or fags...I'd called you a cunt because you are a cunt
White has brought the sport to certain level, he's an extremely astute business man...but he's also a boorish, hypocritical a$$hole and 75% of the sh1t he says serves no purpose...he has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way to what purpose?
You think that sh1t hasn't been a hindrance? how does it help?
What's wrong with letting the fighters be the face of the sport? It's worked for all the other sports.
dranokills- April 15, 2011 at 6:40 am
Dagnut Says:

Fri, 04/15/11 - 12:23

@ Dranokill WWE? Firstly I’m not an american so I’ve never watched that bullsh!t..secondly kid? I’ve have trained and watched martial arts in some form for over 20 years so don’t try and patronize me…
WWE is the only other “sport” where the president is as famous as the fighters..you’re the one who hangs out of Whites ball bag, I’m asking why he can’t just shut the fcuk up and let the fighters take center stage…
So who do you reckon stinks more of a former WWE fan eh? Who do you think is has been sucked in by the marketing plan more? Who was sucked in by the reality show? YOU where you cunt, you know it
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you are in denial.
all the answers to your questions lie in the mirror, just look in it and see yourself. You are so stupid. "let the fighters be the voice", give me...yourself, and everyone a break. you are retarded or you have no clue what you are talking about. thats a WWE ploy if I ever heard it. It has fail written all over it, and if you think otherwise it just shows how close to home I hit, and it must have hurt.
and tell me what the FUCK is fcuk?
stiffjab- April 15, 2011 at 12:33 am
Dana white can do whatever the fuck he wants to... To all you people having sympathy for the reporters (cp you dug your own grave but i still love you guys)a big fuck you. There are way to many people that find anything to critize mma especially the ufc, i think thats the reason they are getting banned. Instead of reporting about the fights and how the fighter performed they are talking about people that seem high on coke or fucked in the head. Everyone is their own person and makes their own decisions, to jump to the gun and start bashing them for what they do or how they act is wrong because 99.9% of the worlds population has no idea what its like to be in a fighters shoes.
I agree 100% with whites decision to not allow certain reporters cover his shows because regardless if espn has a 4 minute slot on mma or not people will still find out what happened or whats happening in the mma community /rant
Dagnut- April 15, 2011 at 12:23 am
@ Dranokill WWE? Firstly I'm not an american so I've never watched that bullsh!t..secondly kid? I've have trained and watched martial arts in some form for over 20 years so don't try and patronize me...
WWE is the only other "sport" where the president is as famous as the fighters..you're the one who hangs out of Whites ball bag, I'm asking why he can't just shut the fcuk up and let the fighters take center stage...
So who do you reckon stinks more of a former WWE fan eh? Who do you think is has been sucked in by the marketing plan more? Who was sucked in by the reality show? YOU where you cunt, you know it
The Highest Primate- April 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm
I think the UFC is already bigger than the NFL, but thats because I live outside the U.S and could not give a fucking rats arse about the NFL.. like every other non-yank out there.. Internationally the UFC shits all over the NFL. No way the superbowl beats a UFC event, only in America do people watch that stoppy starty heavily padded piece of shit "sport". Its a watered down version of rugby.
as you can probably see im not a fan. :D
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Meaot- April 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm
Jesus, the amount of Ayn Randers in these "Dana bashes media" threads is ridiculous.

If Dana wants to compete with the NFL and the NBA, this is not the way to do it. Why has the NFL continued growing? By attracting audiences that weren't watching 15, 20 years ago. A big part of that trend is women. Read anything about the growth of the NFL these days and I guarantee you the growing audience of women is mentioned. The whole Inez Sainz fiasco was a huge deal, so was Brett Favre's cockshots. No one would have cared one bit about those sorts of episodes 30 years ago when the NFL had the audience that the UFC does now, namely far and away young males.

Sure, Dana can do whatever the hell he wants and yes, at this point, it doesn't make a difference because hardcore fans like me might think Dana's an ass but we'll still order the PPVs. 5 years down the line when MMA starts getting real mainstream media attention, then Dana's stance on the media is going to make a difference, and I bet you he'll come around. One of the big reason's Dana's been so successful is because he connects with the average MMA fan right now. If he really wants to compete with the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, and even the NHL, he's going to have to reach those other audiences, which he won't do with his current attitude.
dranokills- April 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Dagnut Says:

Thu, 04/14/11 - 02:57

IMO he is more of a hindrance at this stage…why doesn’t he just shut the fcuk up with the big man act…let the fighters speak for the sport.
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dude seriously, go back to watching WWE, this isn't really for you kid. when you grow up come on back it will be here for you.
RwilsonR- April 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Don't really disagree with much of anything Dana said. He runs a private company, and there is no need for public disclosure of anything... including press passes. And I've long said from a competition stand-point that they are more in competition for dollars from other sports than these smaller leagues. Doesn't mean they don't want to continue market dominance within their sport, but for consumer dollars, they are in competition with other major sports, and even the WWE to some extent, more than they are with SF.
Dagnut- April 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm
IMO he is more of a hindrance at this stage...why doesn't he just shut the fcuk up with the big man act...let the fighters speak for the sport.
sp00ki kabuki- April 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm
well dana lets see what do thoes sports have that "the thing you own" doesnt? a players union. witch you wont allow. as long as the athletes are treated like merchandice and not the incrediable athletes they are your sport will never be on their level
peacexxl- April 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm
basically reporters are kind of playing the "do you know who the F I am" card that we like to give athletes and celebs so much shit for
peacexxl- April 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm
actually I am pretty sick of the media's sense of entitlement. they seem to believe that everyone should kiss their ass if they want favorable coverage of their events

reporters should have to prove that they are capable of writing about the sport intelligently before they are granted unrestricted VIP access to events and treated like kings. there is just no more hustle in many areas of reporting anymore. I can get the same thing from ESPN that I get from a lot of amature blogs and sometimes the blogs are better.
superflat- April 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm
I find it weirdly refreshing to see a business placing principles over profit, even if their principles are childish. Also, I imagine Dana White has far less control over the MMA business than he thinks. It's still small enough that a large competitor could muscle its way in (a single NFL team probably has enough money to buy out half the UFC contracts, if not all of them).
Snitches_get_stitches- April 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm
@Omunto Michael David Smith is an idiot too... He's on MMAFighting, absolute tool... They should ban his ass.. Other then that.. FREE CP!!!!
dranokills- April 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm
I happen to agree with Dana White 1 million percent. period.
the sooner everyone come to grips with the fact that LIFE is not fair, and that what Dana White does or says that is wrong is not important unless they ban HIM from the gay and lesbian coalition meeting or gathering or CBS bans Dana from coming to their building, or ESPN gets stupid and doesn't want to make money off UFC they can impose some kinda stupid ban, but the facts are this, if you want to be part UFC. If you want to make money on it, legally, you will do what Dana White tells you to do, and you will stop whining like a cunt about it.
I have said it before and I will say it again. I don't give 2 shakes of shit about the banned media fucktards, but Ben G you ARE responsible for the context of your website, and Dana has every right to be pissed at you. grow up and learn to accept your punishment.
And all this really fun "free cage poatato"...and get a free t-shirt thing is great and all but useless, you need to stop playing goofy games and go be a man.
omunto- April 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm
loretta hunt and Josh Gross generally write articles I disagree with. So this is no skin off my back. CP ban is the only one that hurts me.
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