(Mo’ money, mo’ unfulfilled expectations.)
You can’t say Dana White didn’t warn Brandon Vera. His comments before UFC 89 suggested that it was time for “The Truth” to justify his high price tag. He didn’t, and so White is turning up the heat on him with remarks like these:
“I’m not seeing what I expected from Brandon Vera. It’s like he’s lost something. He doesn’t have that killer instinct since he took that year off. He doesn’t go after people. He used to be so cocky. He wanted to fight everybody.
“We tried to get him on one of the seasons of The Ultimate Fighter and he turned that down and said he wanted to fight Chuck Liddell and that he would knock him out. I hear that seven days a week so I told him to go on TUF and we’d find out how good he was.
“He was good. He used to walk through heavyweights earlier in his career. But he took a year off and we had all the issues with his contract and he hasn’t been the same since. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”
It’s not exactly shocking to hear Dana White go after a guy who held him over the coals in contract negotiations and has since failed to live up to expectations. In a way, it seems justified. The UFC agreed to his six-figure demands based on his past performances and what they saw as his future potential. Lately he’s looked like a bad investment.
But being badmouthed in public by your boss, both before and after the fight, that’s got to sting. Especially when he goes on to compare you unfavorably to other guys who lost on the same night:
“If you look at Sam Stout – although he lost, he looked great. He came out and fought hard and you always know what to expect from him.
“And Paul Taylor’s one of those guys who goes for it the whole fight. He was trying to take Chris out even in the last 20 seconds. He’s a great kid and a tough guy and we love having him in the UFC.”
Seems like the message to Brandon Vera is: if you’re going to lose, can’t you at least lose like these other guys? It’s kind of like when your parents ask why you can’t be more like your older brother who may be in prison, but at least he got his GED and is studying to be a tattoo artist. That bastard. Thinks he’s so great.