For a guy who doesn’t believe that MMA is a threat to his business, WWE owner Vince McMahon is certainly very conscious of its existence. In fact, I’m willing to bet that McMahon is secretly a pretty big MMA fan. In the past, he has basically taken credit for the MMA success of Brock Lesnar, financed a movie about a mentally-challenged MMA fighter (I’m being dead serious), paid tribute to Sonnen vs. Silva II during one of his company’s matches, and once tried to pay Mike Goldberg to no-show his UFC announcing duties. What hardcore MMA fan hasn’t thought about doing that last one?
So I guess it should come as no surprise then that according to Dana White, Vince McMahon once challenged him to a fight. As he told the media leading up to tonight’s UFC 158:
I’ve never said this before ever in an interview, anywhere. If Vince hears this, he’s going to go nuts. Vince is too old. He’s too old, which he won’t think he is, and he’ll go crazy. He wanted to do that one time. Vince wanted to fight me. Swear to God. Called me up and said, ‘Let’s do it. We can either do it in the UFC, or let’s do it at Wrestlemania [Author Note: It would have been at Wrestlemania 27].’ And I said, ‘You are crazy, man!’ Vince is- look, a lot of people talk about Vince- I’ve always said it, and I’ll say it again: I respect Vince very much. But Vince is too old to be fighting anybody.
Wait, you mean the world almost lost Snooki: Professional Wrestler just so Vince McMahon could promote a boring, “normal” fight against Dana White? THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN…well, okay, I could have lived with that. And not that it matters, but McMahon once featured Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn during Wrestlemania, so the blatant publicity stunt wouldn’t have been the first “real” fight featured on the WWE’s biggest annual pay-per-view.
Interestingly enough, Dana White also spoke about the upcoming WSoF bout between Anthony Johnson and Andrei Arlovski, and let’s just say he isn’t a fan of the match. Via MMAMania:
“The problem with that fight is, it’s not a legitimate fight to me. For Arlovksi to want to get back into the UFC, he’s a heavyweight fighting a 170-pounder, you know what I mean? “Rumble” has trouble making weight, but he’s not a heavyweight. I don’t know man. I just don’t know. I like Andrei Arlovksi and when he left the UFC, there were no issues whatsoever. We respect him, his management. The way that they handled everything back then — there are a lot of guys who leave and do it the wrong way and burn bridges and stuff like that. Like Tim Sylvia. Lot’s of people talk about Tim Sylvia. Tim Sylvia couldn’t have been a worse fucking guy when he was here and how he left and how he did it and everything else. Then you look at a guy like Arlovski who couldn’t have left the company in a better way. Just because you leave, doesn’t mean it’s on bad terms. I just don’t know if Arlovski is at that level and a fight against “Rumble” Johnson isn’t going to make us go, ‘holy shit, Arlovski is going to be back in the UFC.’”
I’m not sure I agree with the notion that a guy who is the same size as Andrei Arlovski isn’t a real heavyweight because he used to destroy his health by cutting to welterweight, but then again, I’m also not expecting Dana White to compliment his competition, either.
Make sure to come back tonight for coverage of what we can all agree are real fights, as we liveblog UFC 158.