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Dana White “The White Don King”? No Way.

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.

The headline comes from this sentence, which appears about a third of the way into the the column:

It’s also not that long a jump to dictatorship, which is what happened with the growth of UFC under the leadership of its president, who a friend of mine fittingly described Wednesday as “the white Don King who happens to be bald.”

So, just to make sure I understand this, Dana White is ‘the white Don King’ because an unnamed “friend” of Graney’s described him that way? Is that kind of like when I went to the doctor to ask him about a “friend” of mine who I thought might have contracted Chlamydia?

Not only is that a poor way to make that comparison, it just doesn’t hold up. You can say a lot of things about Dana White and many of them will be both negative and true, but you can’t compare him to Don King. Not in any serious way, you can’t.

Don King didn’t bring boxing back from the brink of total annihilation and help build it into a successful sport, as Dana White and the Fertitta’s did with the UFC and the sport of MMA. Dana White has never served time for beating to death an employee who owed him $600, as Don King has. Neither has White faced tax evasion charges or been involved with alleged jury tampering or…you get the picture

In short, there aren’t many similarities between them at all, aside from the fact that they are both fight promoters. It’s one thing to, I don’t know, jokingly refer to an organization’s Live Events President as a white Don King in a track suit, but it’s another thing to put it in a headline about Dana White in the UFC’s hometown newspaper. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but if you do it you’ve got to at least attempt to back it up. Just like if you call him a dictator, you should support that claim as well as explain why you think a private business should be run in some other, perhaps more democratic fashion.

Graney’s column relies mainly on Tito Ortiz to make the case against White. Since White spent all last week bashing Ortiz in the press, I’m sure Tito was quick to comply. But just because you can find someone willing to make negative statements, that doesn’t necessarily make them true.

As much as we all love to criticize Dana White, we should still try to keep things in perspective. He’s not a parasite who has latched on to MMA, the way King latched on to boxing. He’s one of the main architects responsible for the success of MMA. We may not always agree with some of his practices or how he conducts himself in the media spotlight, but he’s no Don King. Not even on his worst day.

(-Ben Fowlkes)


Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- January 25, 2009 at 5:46 pm
What does Dana White's cock taste like?
Ben's lover Ariel- September 27, 2008 at 11:44 pm
> Dana White exploits fighters. Don King exploits fighters. Not that big a leap really.

Actually, many of King's fighters fought for multimillion dollar purses.

And the problem with King is the same with White, being a manager and a promoter at the same time.

Once MMA becomes big, someone will get the Ali Act to apply to MMA. And that whole it doesnt say MMA but boxing holds no water. There are similar cases where language like that can be accepted. MMA follows the same regulations the boxing world does, athltetic commisions, weight classes, drug tests, they both involve fighting... Someone will take it to court but no MMA fighter has the money or balls to right now...
J- September 27, 2008 at 11:25 pm
Dana White exploits fighters. Don King exploits fighters. Not that big a leap really.
Tito's back shaver- May 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm
Great piece! Finally someone puts this all in perspective, instead of relying on knee-jerk Dana White hatred.

Nice job!!!
huntington beach fag boy- May 28, 2008 at 2:46 am
Hi, this is Tito Ortiz for real. Sorry I have been using the "Boneman" alt. I know I have been found to be a fraud and a complete pussy whipped poser with an enormous inflated head and ego. I listen to everything my cum dumpster tells me to do, like a good little boy. As pathetic as Dana is, I am definitely an even bigger douche. For some illogical reason, I claim I deserve more than the quarter mil I just got to fail in a pathetic fashion. I am at the TOP of the pile of 205 lb. mediocrity, bitches!! Mickey's is the malt beverage of choice for me to have my girlfriend, Sensuous Titty Diva, or STD for short, shove up my angry puckered starfish. Sorry for any confusion my posing as "Boneman" might have caused.
Boneman- May 27, 2008 at 10:20 pm
@ Toner....

Shouldn't it be Boner Breath...?

Toner Breath- May 27, 2008 at 8:10 pm
@ Boneman

I mean this with the greatest of respect: you're a dipshit

@ ben

Great article
Boneman- May 27, 2008 at 7:31 pm
Ohhhh Dana....your my HERO......!!!

NOT......You witless button pushers will be sorry for trusting Dana the "Dick Gobbler" White....

I am in no way defending Tito, although between some of his brainless jibberish he makes allot of sense....And I have always said Dana is a great business man when it comes to himself....But when the Monopoly of MMA (AKA the UFC) starts to get competition, just wait and see what happens with the knucklehead and what he does to the fighters that start to look for greener pastures....
norremo loves dana's cock- May 27, 2008 at 7:18 pm
NFL of MMA? Are you serious? The MMA market is soooo saturated right now. The biggest? Perhaps. NFL of MMA? I think not.
Dota- May 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm
Iwannabangcarano- May 27, 2008 at 7:10 pm

moldy fuckpouch = awesome
homegrowncone- May 27, 2008 at 6:39 pm
I didn't realize Affliction has already paid the fighters. That is pretty amazing , paying fighters before they even fight, its like .... free money! Props to you Affliction for your ludicrous business sense!
boneman loves dana's cock 'n balls- May 27, 2008 at 6:21 pm
boneman is obviously tito ortiz. from his constant defense of tito to his silly 5 year old style remarks, he is an enormous ass just like tito. go shove your huge noggin into jenna's moldy fuckpouch and cease to breathe, preferably for ever.
terry lechecul- May 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Jardine got paid 10K?
THat's it??
Are you sure, cuz taht sounds low..
Turd Ferguson- May 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm
I'll start having respect for a foul mouthed ass clown like dana white when he starts playing his fighters over 3k and a figher who was on the damn poster for pete's sake 10k.... thats messed up. Keith J. was on the freaking poster for the event and his ass only got 10k.

for crying out loud.

I give props to affliction for paying their fighters how they should get paid, even though they will go under in under a year.
Procannonfodder- May 27, 2008 at 5:36 pm
Dana=Success for MMA
Don King=Death of Boxing
The End
love white- May 27, 2008 at 5:33 pm
Good article with valid points. People must remember this is a business and he did bring it back from a money losing pos. He is a smart man. Tito is a dumb man, who for some fucking reason has to mention 2 billion times that he is a business man, I mean who does that?? Oh and has he contracted hep C yet?
norremo- May 27, 2008 at 5:29 pm
All MMA fans owe Dana White a BIG THANK YOU. If it wasn't for him we would still be watching roided fighters, biased reffing and mismatched bouts etc being held in Japan.

He has done one hell of a job to create the NFL of MMA.
whocares- May 27, 2008 at 5:20 pm
Dude, you better get over to and defend yourself - CagePotato is getting torn a new A-hole since you stole that guys pics for one of your posts.
Willy- May 27, 2008 at 5:14 pm
Sounds like Boneman didn't have the ability to actually read the article. Maybe the picture confused him too much. does Dana White compare to Don King?
Willy- May 27, 2008 at 5:12 pm
It's about time someone stuck up for Dana White. The guy hasn't done anything wrong. He made the UFC what it is today.

If fighters don't like their paycheques, go to the local county fair and wrestle pigs. Most of these UFC fighters wouldnt amount to much if they were not fighting in the UFC. (eg.. Nate 'brain dead' Diaz.)

And yes, the UFC makes money. Its a business people..the aim is to make money.
Boneman- May 27, 2008 at 4:44 pm
Boo-Hoo-Hoo....Poor Dana

Dana...Now your just a pussy who can dish it out....but can't take it....

Don't go away mad...JUST GO AWAY!