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Tag: Dana White

Dana White and Tom Atencio: MMA’s Newest Soap Opera


(Ladies go crazy for a sharp-dressed man, courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

One thing I’m going to miss with Gary Shaw backing into the shadows at Pro Elite is the name-calling and childish back-and-forth between he and Dana White. It was just so entertaining, what a shame to see it go. But the Dana White-Tom Atencio rivalry could be the next best thing. Sure, Atencio doesn’t wear a track suit, but he does have a wardrobe that appears to consist entirely of Affliction t-shirts, which is almost as good. Plus now he’s taking pages out of the Dana White playbook:

For the money-conscious cable-ready consumer, the difference between watching a free UFC show and paying $39.95 to watch Affliction might be a no-contest.

Affliction appeared to land one last counterpunch, however, making a deal to broadcast its card on closed-circuit television at Gold Coast casino, which is directly across from the Palms on Flamingo Road.

“It’s just another opportunity to watch our fight,” Atencio said.

Granted, it’s more of a symbolic gesture and not quite on par with scheduling an event on the same night as your competitor, but you have to love how Atencio — like White — plays dumb about it. The L.A. Times article actually has quite a few fun nuggets, most notably quotes from White where he plays the role of grizzled veteran MMA promoter:

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UFC Could Be Close to Acquiring the IFL

Dana White
(It ain’t personal, baby. It’s strictly business.)

Despite Dana White’s love of criticizing every aspect of the IFL and citing them as a cautionary tale for MMA startups, it seems fighter contracts and an extensive video library are just too attractive for him to pass up. According to a report on MMA Payout, Zuffa is very close to buying the IFL.

The deal isn’t finalized, says Sam Caplan, but this is the most credible report thus far regarding the potential purchase of the IFL. The company was said to be on the market for around $1 million, but the UFC is believed to be getting it for less than that. Sources within the IFL could only confirm for us that the talks have been under way for some time now and the UFC is the leading suitor.

In case you’re wondering why the UFC would buy the company they spent so much time badmouthing, a clue could lie within Saturday’s “Silva vs. Irvin” fight card. The event features three former IFL fighters — Reese Andy, Rory Markham, and Brad Blackburn — whose entry into the Octagon was hastened by the UFC’s decision to put together an event to rival Affliction’s.

The UFC may be hoping to pick up some of the IFL’s better known stars, along with the video library to help promote them, in order to shore up their fighter roster before the likes of Jay Hieron, Chris Horodecki, Ryan Schultz, Jim Miller, and Roy Nelson (to name just a few) get snapped up by competitors like Affliction and Elite XC.

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Rampage Arrested Again? Pieces of Tire For Sale?

Just when you thought things had settled down, TMZ.com is reporting that former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been picked up by police. Again. It’s just getting ridiculous now:

Sources say last night an Irvine police car was waved down by people near the place Rampage was staying who said he was acting weird. This, of course, following the insane chase the day before in which the UFC fighter hit several cars in his monster truck and was arrested at gunpoint.

We’re told Irvine cops saw Rampage, deemed him a danger to himself and others, and took him to a hospital for observation.

Cops won’t officially confirm if it’s a psychiatric hold.

This is getting weird. Dana White told radio host Steve Cofield that he was in Southern California dealing with the situation, but apparently even he was unable to keep Rampage under wraps. He did make this cryptic statement about the situation though:

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Exclusive: Jesse Taylor Talks Regrets, Missed Opportunities, and New Beginnings

Jesse Taylor is responsible for several firsts in Ultimate Fighter history. He’s the first fighter to voluntarily pee his pants for entertainment on the show, as well as the first to fight his way into the finals only to be kicked off for a drunken rampage after the show finished filming.

Now Taylor’s poised to get his shot in the UFC against CB Dollaway on July 19th. In this exclusive interview he talks to CagePotato about finally getting his shot at the big time and trying to learn from his mistakes to make the most of his second chance.

CagePotato.com: When did you find out that you were going to get a shot in the UFC on this July 19 card? Where you already in shape and ready for a fight, or did it come as a surprise to you?

Jesse Taylor: I was just staying active, and you have to remember the show ended back in March, so after training so long and fighting so much it was a big layoff. Ever since it ended I was trying to get back in, but I found out just recently, just about three and a half weeks ago that I was back in. I was just so pumped up, so happy that I felt like sure, let’s go, I’ll fight anybody.

Do you think it was the UFC’s need to put this card together on short notice that made them call you so soon?

I think it was a combination of things. I think that show definitely helped. But I had this spotlight on me anyway because I was the guy who won every one of his fights and then I got this horrible punishment. I definitely wanted the fight, and I think people were interested in, you know, what could have happened with Jesse Taylor, so next thing I know I’m back in the UFC.

Do you think they would have called you so soon if it wasn’t for this event?

I think they would have definitely called me again, I just think it would have been a little bit longer.

Looking back on it now, what do you make of the punishment Dana White handed down to you? Was it too harsh, in your opinion?

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Tuesday Morning Link Dump

Roger Huerta Tim Sylvia UFC MMA
(Wait, so if he isn’t banging Patrcyja, who is he banging? Uh oh.)

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in…

— UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste gets a crash course in BJJ. Yes, it’s hot. (MMA Rated)

— Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer is the official headlining bout of the next UFC Fight Night (September 17th, Omaha); Mac Danzig, Clay Guida, Houston Alexander, Joe Lauzon, and Ed Herman are also on the card. Not sure what Neer has done to deserve a main event spot, but hey, Joe Silva works in mysterious ways. (ufc.com)

— In one of the preview videos on the official “Seek and Destroy” website, Dana White says Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian “have hearts the size of Tito’s fuckin’ head.” (87.ufc.com)

— Contrary to previous horrified speculation, Tim Sylvia is not banging Patrcyja Mikula. (MMAyou)

— Come on, you knew that Affliction wasn’t just going to use a regular ring for their totally Xtreme debut event. (BloodyElbow)

Frank Trigg’s next fight will be against Makoto Takimoto (4-4) at Sengoku IV, which goes down August 24th in Saitama, Japan. (Nightmare of Battle)

— Edith Labelle adores The Notebook, has a Yorkie named Chico, and burps very loudly when she’s alone. And knowing is half the battle. (Men’s Fitness)

— The Association of Boxing Commissions was just kidding about their changes to the Unified Rules of MMA. (Fightlinker)

— Security-tape beating of the day: pizza shop employee vs. robber = large FAIL with double anchovies. (Holy Taco)

Budweiser is now owned by foreigners. (Wall Street Fighter)

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The Votes Are In: New Weight Classes A Dumb Idea

As you may have heard, the Association of Boxing Commissions got together in Montreal recently to discuss unified rules for mixed martial arts. Initially, this sounded like a good idea. They finally nailed down exactly what it means to strike to the back of the head, for example, which is long overdue. But inexplicably, they also came up with a bunch of new weight classes. And by new, we don’t just mean that they added some lighter weights, though they did that too. They also added new divisions between the divisions, such as 175 and 225 pounds, to name just two. This was immediately blasted as a bad idea by almost everyone who matters.

“No, we’re not following that,” Dana White told Yahoo! Sports.

“The weight classes in New Jersey are going to stay according to the original unified rules,” said Nick Lembo, counsel for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.

“Where did it need to be fixed?” said Bernie Profato, of the Ohio State Athletic Commission. “I’ve had over 300 MMA fight (cards) in the state of Ohio. … Not one time have we ever heard, ‘Hey, we’ve got to change these weight classes.”

In other words, most everyone agrees that it’s a bad idea. Not only is it unnecessary, but the people who the ABC would depend on to adopt and legitimize it — state athletic commissions, the UFC — are totally against it. This begs the question, who’s for it? The answer: Big John McCarthy.

The former UFC referee told MMA Junkie that because more people were getting into the sport, more weight classes would eventually become necessary:

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Dana White on Affliction: “This Guy Sells F*cking T-Shirts For a Living”

You can always count on a local morning radio DJ to give you hard-hitting interviews. Richmond, Virginia’s “Morning Sludge” on Y101 (new rock!) has done it here with an exclusive Dana White interview the day before UFC 86. It doesn’t take long before they begin talking Affliction, and White rips right into them for selling “fucking t-shirts for a living.”

The radio host, however, seems more bothered by the people “in the club” who wear Affliction gear and inevitably end up “c-blocking” him. Our condolences, sir.

Other highlights of the interview include Dana White saying that the internet is “where the pussies live” and claiming that the UFC has been in business for twenty years. So, it began in 1988? I had no idea.

In other radio news, Ariel Helwani and I interviewed Jake O’Brien on MMA Rated Radio to talk about his upcoming bout against Cain Velasquez, and let’s just say that the outcome was…uncomfortable. I don’t know if he just didn’t want to do the interview or if O’Brien is some kind of narcoleptic, but it was certainly unique. Give it a listen and bask in the awkwardness.

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More Counter-Programming Coming Elite XC’s Way


(Get ready for war, kind of.)

With Elite XC’s next CBS show planned for July 26, the UFC is once again putting on its counter-programming hat (which one assumes looks a lot like a viking helmet) to try and screw with their ratings. So what is it this time? Anderson Silva fighting a pack of wolves live on Spike TV? The debut of the long-awaited Chuck Liddell-Girl Scout Troop 104 sex tape?

Not quite. Try a rebroadcast of UFC 84: Ill Will, featuring B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk. Spike TV will be running it all night, beginning at 9 pm EST, to be preceded at 4 pm by a rebroadcast of the Silva vs. Irvin Fight Night from a week before, just in time to match main events with the Showtime portion of the Elite XC card, which begins at 8 pm.

Oh, the indignity.

Realistically, the UFC couldn’t be expected to do much more than this just one week after their frantically thrown together anti-Affliction show, but it’s still got to sting a bit to know the UFC thinks reruns are all it takes to draw attention away from your live event on network TV.

Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dana White has his own network deal close to finalized. While we’ve all heard this siren’s song before, this time there’s a time frame involved:

“We’re real close to a network,” said Dana White, “I’m going to say in three months.”

As for which network, the smart money’s on Fox, though we’ll believe it when we see it. We’ve been burned too many times before and we just don’t know if we can go through that hurt again.

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UFC Puts “The Best Fighter On The Planet” Up Against Affliction


UFC Fight Night 14 – Watch more free videos

Here’s the UFC’s ad for their anti-Affliction show on July 19, which is now being billed as “UFC: Silva vs. Irvin”. If you think it’s purely a coincidence that they’ve opted to use language like “best fighter on the planet” with reference to a free event featuring Anderson Silva, while meanwhile Fedor Emelianenko fights elsewhere on the same night, then you haven’t been paying attention.

In politics, this would be a great example of using code words to send a message to certain demographics without alienating others. In this scenario, that demographic is hardcore fans, and the message is clear: Anderson Silva is a better pound-for-pound fighter than Fedor, plus our show is free.

For the more casual fans, they also manage to justify showing Chuck Liddell, “Rampage” Jackson, and light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin (still feels weird to type that) simply by mentioning the “stacked” 205-pound division. Well-played, UFC.

Unless the Affliction pay-per-view numbers exceed all expectations, the UFC can also take credit for torpedoing their event once it’s all over. Something tells me Dana White has his ‘I told you so’ speech ready to go.

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Patrick Cote Is Officially Getting A Title Shot, Though Not Everyone Is Pleased


(Be careful what you wish for…)

His split decision victory over Ricardo Almeida at UFC 86 may not have been electrifying to watch, but it was enough to get Patrick Cote a shot at the middleweight title. At least, that’s what the UFC is saying.

“He’s getting a title shot,” Dana White said following Cote’s victory.

The question now is, when? The Canadian Press says that after his fight with James Irvin, Silva will most likely defend his middleweight strap against Yushin Okami at UFC 88 in Atlanta, which would mean less than two months between bouts for Silva. Two months after that, they say, is when Cote is likely to get his chance.

Apparently not everyone was happy with Cote’s performance, though:

There was some drama outside the cage after the fight. Manager Stephane Patry said a UFC official — not White — had berated his fighter for the lacklustre bout. Patry said he promptly complained to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who assured him Cote would be treated right.

“Obviously it wasn’t the most exciting fight but Lorenzo’s a good guy, he understands,” Patry said.

Now we get to play everyone’s favorite game, “Guess That Mystery UFC Official”. My money’s on Wilder Valderrama. He’s an official, right?

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