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Dana White Talks Sonnengate, PEDs in MMA and the Firings of Todd Duffee and Efrain Escudero

(Video courtesy YouTube/MMAFighting)’s Ariel Helwani spoke to Dana White ahead of UFC 119 this weekend in Indianapolis and besides the match-ups on the card the UFC president spoke about all of the hot topics on the minds of fans and pundits alike including his take on Sonnengate, if he feels there is a PED problem in MMA and why he cut Todd Duffee and Efrain Escudero.

Here’s what the baldfather had to say:

About Sonnen’s current mental state and whether or not he will support his appeal:
"I’ve spoken to him a couple of times. I saw him at the opening of the UFC gym in Los Angeles and then I talked to him yesterday I think. He’s in a really good place. Listen, there’s more to this story than meets the eye and it will all come out in the athletic commission hearing. People look at me and they say, ‘You’re the commissioner of this thing.’ No, no, no. The way that this works is, the athletic commission oversees us. Every time these guys step in and compete, the athletic commission drug tests them and everything else. Everyone thinks that ‘Dana White has the commission in his hand,’ but the commission doesn’t give a shit what I think, what I have to say — nothing. You’re dealing with the government. That’s like thinking that Dana White can tell the IRS what to do. That’s never going to happen. So, Chael is gonna have to go in front of the commission and we’re going to have to wait and see how this thing plays out."

On whether or not he feels Chael is innocent:
"Do I think he is innocent? Like I said, here’s the deal, there’s more to this story than people understand and I’m not getting involved in this thing. It’s Chael, his people and the athletic commission that are gonna have to work this thing out. There’s more to this story."

On his take on Sonnen telling the commission beforehand that he might test positive:
"That’s what I’m talking about. There’s more to this story. I’m not involved in this thing. He’s gonna have to deal with the commission. We’ll see what happens."

On the opinion that the UFC needs to do more to curb the use of PEDs by its athletes and needs to be tougher on offenders:
"Every year we bring these guys in for the summit. We sit these guys down, the DEA comes in and educates them about what can happen. What you guys have to understand is this isn’t like the NFL where you got busted and now we’ve decided to suspend you for four games. The government comes in and takes away your ability to make a living for a whole year. Then, on top of that, the money you made in that fight, they’re gonna fine you. Many guys already have that money spent. This test came out a month later [than Sonnen's fight with Silva]. Chael Sonnen, I’m sure has been out making some moves, plus he has to pay taxes on that money. And now he has to pay a fine and everything, you know — the public stigma — what more could you do to a guy? What more could you do to a guy?"

On whether or not a zero-tolerance policy would help the issue:
"All of us are gonna make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you deal with those mistakes. You take a guy like Josh Barnett. This guy’s tested positive three times and denies every time that he’s taken steroids, okay? He comes out with an interview last week, basically saying, ‘I don’t care about anybody else; the only person I care about is myself. I got some fans out there and thanks for following me or whatever, but I’m not fighting for you. I’m fighting for me and I’m doing everything for me.’ This is a guy who single-handedly put a company out of business — single handedly put a company out of business for doing what he was doing and has zero remorse for it. Couldn’t care less. [He's like,]‘I don’t care that you bought tickets to that fight and were planning on going. I don’t care that Fedor flew all the way in from Russia to fight me and trained and spent his own money to do this. I don’t care that this company, Affliction, believed in me and was allowing me to make a living and I put them out of business. All I care about is me. Those are the guys that I have zero tolerance for. And that’s why he’s not in the UFC and never will be."

On whether or not he feels that there is a PED problem in MMA:
"How many guys are testing positive? When you look at how many fights [there are] and how many fighters [are competing]…You’re always gonna have problems. There’s gonna be problems with alcohol and cigarettes and all these other things. You can’t control everything in everybody. You can’t do it. It’s impossible. There’s a problem in sports in general with performance enhancing drugs."

On why the UFC cut heavyweight prospect Todd Duffee:
"We have the ability to cut a guy when he loses a fight. He lost that fight [against Mike Russow], but the biggest problem I have with Todd Duffee is his attitude. You guys don’t see it. You don’t know. I deal with tons of guys. We have hundreds of guys under contract and I’ve had thousands of guys under contract over the last ten years and Todd Duffee, to me, doesn’t seem like he wants to be in the UFC. He doesn’t like being in the UFC. Let him go fight in the smaller organizations and work his way back up, if he even wants to work his way back up and get back into the UFC. He just came off a knockout. He got knocked out in his fight and he’s got a horrible attitude. He’s got a horrible attitude. He can still go back and train and fight in these smaller leagues and work on his skills and his attitude."

On why he cut TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero:
"I think that Efrain got comfortable. He came off the show and he was doing all these huge media tours throughout Mexico and had Bud Light stamped all over him and wasn’t performing. When you come out and perform the way he did AND you don’t make weight, it just shows that you’re really not that serious about it. You’re not taking this as serious as you should be."

Cagepotato Comments

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London man and van- February 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm
I really enjoyed reading this post, I always appreciate topics like this being discussed to us. Thanks for sharing.
fatbellyfrank- September 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm
^ See, Dana knows what he's doing
KarmaAteMyCat- September 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm
Dear Cagepotato

I met duffe once he is a complete bag of douche good day!

Karma out
Stak40- September 24, 2010 at 6:55 am
Man I know there is somethings that DW cant say but this, "There is more to the story than we know" shit sucks. I mean at least give us a fucking hint. Hell he has already dropped Sonnen and gave Belfort a shot at the title, so to me that means Sonnen is fucked. If not then why wouldn't he wait for the appeal before making that decision?
fatbellyfrank- September 24, 2010 at 5:29 am
@ Jimbo, Pretty sure that was a Vinny Barbarino catch phrase
Ascerendant- September 24, 2010 at 12:08 am
Man, look how agitated Dana gets when answering a string of not-s-pleasant questions. If it wasn't for Helwanis friendly aura, he'd probably have Paul Daley'ed him!!
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm
I'll pay you guys two dollars to get rid of the less than symbol above the video.

I want my two dollars!!
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 9:17 pm
Up your nose with a rubber hose frank. C'mon man I thought that shit originated down under.

Or was that Welcome Back Kotter...
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Maybe this was a bit of a sidestep, but he did say that PED's are a problem in all sports. That's progressive in my book compared to the likes of david stern or bud melman selig. He might not be throwing sonnen under the bus just yet, but he is not a happy man about the situation, for a multitude of reasons.
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm
I don't really see that much of a reversal on sonnen here. everyone gets hated on equally.

Think of it this way. Thank GOD that sunofabitch didn't win. Then what? I was bouncing off the walls for 23 minutes during that fight. Can you imagine the fallout if the guy that FINALLY cracked the spider popped a lamps armstrong.

Shitstorm my friends... shitstorm.
fatbellyfrank- September 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm
@ Jimbo, up his ass with a pound of grass ( sorry, its the best I could do at short notice)
cecils_pupils- September 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm
Thank you mattleung, I appreciate that. :)

I also agree with jimbo though, Dana calling it like he sees it is what makes him who he is and good at what he does; whether we like it or not.

edit: Still, I'd really like to see Dana take a firm stance on PED's but he acts like it's out of his hands. **sigh** C'mon, Dana, do the right thing and get involved.
ccman- September 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm
Konda.. you are wrong. One of the main reasons the fertatis invested was danas business plan required govt. Oversight. I know to be popular round here one must hate dw, but fuck that. He has done more than anyone moving this sport foward... give the guy a break. And why the reversal on sonnen cp?

A month ago you hung on his every word.
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm

in his ear with a can of beer!
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm
+1 to the +1 for cecil.

still, this is why I love dw.

ron paul/dana white 2012
fatbellyfrank- September 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm
All makes a lot of sense
Duffee- Shitty attitude gets cut fuck him
Escudero- Doesnt even make weight shitty attitude gets cut fuck him
Barnett _ Selfish prick who doesnt care who he fucks over, Fuck him
Sonnen- Appealing so more to come when he fronts the commision, lets wait and see before we say fuck him
Very comfortable with all that, however if it comes back that Sonnen was just stupid, got caught out and has now fucked up one of the biggest potential earns for UFC (SonnenV Silva 2 and 3) then I say fuck him too, in the ass, with a cinder block
mattleung- September 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm
cecils pupils, u always have something good to say +1
jimbonics- September 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm
I've said it one and I'll say it again. I want to be Ariel Helwani. Minus the jew nose.
Turd Furgeson- September 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm
DFW. What a guy.
Denoginizer- September 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm
This is the best interview with Dana I've seen. I don't think he swore a single time in 12 min! Gotta be some kind of record.
MKO- September 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm
Deny responsibility or knowledge of what?
I'll say it again, the UFC goes well beyond all other American sports organizations as far as drug testing goes.
Olympic-style drug testing? Bullshit. It would mean less testing. At the Beijing Olympics, less than half the competitors were tested, and of those, only about twenty percent were subject to blood tests.
RwilsonR- September 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm
I didn't have a problem with a single thing Dana had to say. Not a thing. I know I'm supposed to hate him, or at least qualify any support for anything Dana says with, "Well, he may do some good things for this sport, but......", and then list all of his bad qualities. But I didn't have a problem with anything he said.

How many people have popped positive for PED's recenty? Not many.

Is it his responsibility to make everything perfect with PED's? No.

Should he let fighters go with bad attitudes who aren't winning fights? Yes.

Is he pretty forgiving once those same fighters grow the fuck up? Sure.

Is Chael Sonnen probably concocting much more to his story, and should we wait and see what wondeful tall tales Chael comes up with? Most defintiely!

I think the only surprising thing about this interview was the lack of the use of the word "fuck."
Bill Jackson- September 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm
I don't buy that the commission doesn't listen to anything the UFC has to say. The Nevada commission is made up of former casino employees and who is the UFC owned by? Casino owners.Nevada's governor is one of the most corrupt politicians around and he decided on every member of the commission himself. If the Fertitas didn't have better stuff going on, they would probably be a member.

I know this is in California, but there is a reason that Josh Barnett tests positive and he is out of the fight and a promotion crumbles while Chael tests positive and we don't hear about it for a month.
Kimbos Bread- September 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm
Well Dana, if attitude is a big issue then...

Bring back Duffee and kick out Sonnen.

All he ever wanted was to eat...
k-onda- September 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm
First, I think Dana has to say like 75% of this shit as obligated by his army of lawyers, namely, deny knowledge, deny responsibility, and otherwise just be really vague. What is clear is his hatred for government oversight - like, duh. He uses many of the same lines over and over. But like he said, let's wait and see what happens in the hearings, there's still more to be told.