Criticism of Dana White is at an all-time high…
Dana White has been criticized his whole career. The degree to which he is being criticized by fighters as of late however, far exceeds what it has been in the past.
In particular, fighters are complaining about preferential treatment to stars such as Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. In other cases, fighters are upset the company isn’t promoting them like they feel they should be.
Nobody has been more vocal in their criticism of Dana White recently than Tyron Woodley. The current welterweight champion believes the UFC has failed to promote him as a star. He also lobbied hard for a “money fight” with either Georges St. Pierre or Nick Diaz in lieu of facing Stephen Thompson.
In general, Woodley feels Dana White has failed to treat him like a champion.
The issue really comes down to “Money Fights”. Dana White is in control of who is and who isn’t awarded a huge financial pay day that comes with facing a Conor McGregor or Georges St. Pierre. Fighters who don’t receive those opportunities from Dana tend to be quite critical of him for it.
Recently, Dana White revealed the complete list of fighters who are allowed to even talk about “money fights”.
Unless You’re Conor McGregor, Shut Up
During a UFC 209 media scrum recently, White relayed his typical response to a fighter who asks him for a “money fight”.
“I’m like, you’re not a money fight, okay? You’re not a money fight. You’re going to make whatever you’re going to make, and if you’re a good champion and your fight sells, you’re going to do pay-per-views and you’re a partner in the pay-per-view. If you’re not that big pay-per-view star, shut up and fight.”
White clarified that Conor McGregor is the guy who draws, and the only one allowed to talk about money fights.
“Listen, there’s no bones about it, Conor is the guy. Conor brings in big gates, big pay-per-view numbers and everything else. Shut up if you don’t. If you’re not him, shut up.“
In many ways it’s unfair, but the best fighter in MMA will not always be the most profitable. No matter how good Demetrius Johnson is he will never make Conor McGregor money. That the financial incentives aren’t always tied to athletic performance is always going to be a source of controversy in MMA.
Watch the full media scrum below: