I’ve always assumed that the worlds of professional fighting and organized crime came into contact more often than we know. I’ve also assumed that if you’re involved in either industry, it’s probably better not to talk about that contact. But Dana White, being the UFC president and the producer of an upcoming Spike TV Irish mob drama, is just putting it in the streets anyway.
Fighters Only quotes White as blaming the Yakuza for Zuffa’s inability to do anything with Pride. This is no big shock, since the Japanese mafia’s involvement with Pride was rumored to be a big part of their downfall. It is a little surprising that White is so willing to talk about it, however, and apparently it’s not just Japan where the mob is an issue:
The UFC has also long had its eye on staging events in Mexico because, as White puts it, “when we first bought this company, we said there are three no-brainers: the US, Mexico and the UK. They are big fight countries.”
However, what he terms “The Mexican initiative” is taking “a lot longer than we though it would, basically because five families control all of Mexico”.
“A lot of these places are tough, you just have to work your way around it. The corruption in Japan, the way things are in Mexico, you know? In every country you go to there are different ways of doing business.”
Ain’t that the truth. Friend of mine went to the Netherlands over the summer, my hand to God, they sell marijuana over there. Like legally, in coffee shops and stuff. This crazy world, am I right?
Dana White must be in a talkative mood these days, because he also let it slip to Fighters Only that no matter what happens tomorrow night, Michael Bisping will be coaching on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, as we suspected.
“Win, lose or draw, he will coach the British team,” White revealed.
“We’re looking for the right fight,” he said, explaining that the chosen coach would have to be a “step up” from Bisping’s previous opponents.
This sounds fine, except for the whole “win, lose or draw” thing. First of all, good to know that White doesn’t rule out an EPIC DRAW (!!!). Second, you’re telling me that if Bisping goes out there, catches a Leben left hand on the chin and takes a nap in the first round, that qualifies him as a coach on TUF 9? Not that there are any specific qualifications, but still, for all they know Bisping could have an absolutely horrible showing. He could lose via refusal to stand up from butt scoot position.
I know they want to do USA vs. UK and Bisping is the only guy who makes sense there, but don’t they know better than to tempt fate with these kinds of comments before a fight? Or perhaps they’re just that confident that Bisping will win. Even so, the MMA gods do not smile on the best laid plans, especially when you look too far into the future and take certain outcomes for granted.