UFC President Dana White is Beginning to Break Underneath the Strain of the UFC… His Open Media Spats Are a Sign of the Danger the Company is in…
It’s a huge moment in the history of the UFC. The company is 25 years old, is a $4 billion organization, has the biggest star in combat sports on its books, and has just cut a huge deal with ESPN. On paper, all of that is good news for the world’s biggest MMA promotion.
However, the cracks are beginning to show and the company president, Dana White is beginning to show serious strain under pressure. Quite simply, the company does not know what it wants to be anymore. It used to be the elite organization where top fighters would face off to try become the best in the world.
Now fighters are leaving in droves and seriously considering rival promotions as a viable alternative to the UFC. A lot of this is related to Dana White’s handling of the company and the way he chooses to promote himself while abusing his fighters. It’s just not sustainable.
The UFC president made headlines last week when he got into a well-publicized spat with former fighter Brendan Schaub. It was very messy for White, as he got put in his place by Joe Rogan’s bestie. While he’s been involved in public feuds before (Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Ken Shamrock… ) this was different.
There was absolutely no need for him to get involved. When he did, he got put in his place and made look like a fool. As Schaub described it later on his podcast, Below The Belt, White’s bully behavior just isn’t cutting it anymore.
“Because you motivate by fear,” Schaub said. “It’s not a way to run a business. It’s 2018. You just can’t do that. Why do you think this is getting so many likes? Why do you think this is the topic of all this stuff? Because you’re a s**t. And no one can say anything, because they’re scared to lose their job.”
In the absence of Conor McGregor, White is desperately clutching for stars. That’s why drug cheats like Brock Lesnar are being handed title shots. However, it has reached a stage where White is promoting himself with his fight shows: Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender and Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender.
Any resistance or disappointment is crushed. Demetrious Johnson wanted more promotion and White’s response was to threaten to close down his division. Look at Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis this week. Yes, their fight was horrendous, but as their promoter White totally failed.
“Imagine somebody else – the head of a corporation – they’d lose their job,” Schaub said. “Talk s**t to people like that. What the f**k are you doing? What are you doing? It makes no sense. It makes zero sense.”
Rise of Bellator
Now Bellator is starting to prove a serious threat to the UFC. No seriously. Scott Coker is doing an unbelievable job as President of Bellator. Can they compare numerically to the UFC? No. But fighters in their prime like Rory MacDonald – arguably the top welterweight in the world – are choosing the UFC’s rival because they treat their fighters better.
At the end of the day, the fans are here for the fights and not for Dana. Unless he’s going to pull on the 4oz gloves and step into the octagon himself, he should start looking at the bigger picture.