Dana White Lights up Media Criticizing UFC’s Plan to Continue With Events
Some observers have been critical of Dana White and his plan to push forward with events, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the UFC President has fired back.
Not everyone believes it’s wise or responsible for the UFC to keep holding events in the short term future, as the coronavirus continues to spread. But, recently Dana White laid into media members and even insulted some of their appearances while responding to his critics.
White blasts media members criticizing plan to move forward with cards
Since the coronavirus started impacting lives here in North America, White has continued to insist that the UFC will find a way to hold cards. Initially, the UFC President said their March 21st, 28th and April 11th events would proceed. But, eventually, due to restrictions on public gathering as well as travel bans, those events were postponed.
But, more recently, White has repeatedly said that the promotion is going to hold UFC 249, scheduled for April 18th, somehow. The event is supposed to see lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov take on Tony Ferguson, in what is a highly anticipated bout.
While a lot of people are happy about White’s plan, not everyone thinks UFC 249 will happen, or that trying to hold it is responsible. The argument being that fighters, their teammates, coaches, etc could contract the virus and possibly spread it to others while traveling to and from the event.
Well, during a recent chat session on Instagram, White blasted media members who have been criticizing his plan (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“Here’s the reality: We will be up and running before any other sport will,” White said. “Our sport’s different. We have our own arena next door (the UFC Apex). So we will fulfill every fight for every fighter this year, and we’ll get this thing done.”
“Think about this: Go online and look at some of these people – and this isn’t a knock, this is just a fact: The weakest, wimpiest people on earth cover the biggest, baddest sport on earth,” White said. “What do you expect them to say? What do you think they’re gonna say?
“I have over 350 employees who work for me. Multi-billion-dollar companies are laying off all their employees right now. We haven’t laid off one person at the UFC. And every fighter that fights for me will fight three times this year. Our schedule will go on. Everybody’s gonna get paid, and we will figure this out, and we will be the first sport back on. And, uh, f*ck that sh*t. Everything will go on.”
“Listen, the media can talk as much sh*t as they want,” White said. “They don’t feed families. They don’t take care of f*cking people. They don’t have people that count on them. They don’t have people to support. We’re doing the right thing as far medical testing goes and everything. That’s all we f*cking do. That’s nothing new. We were doing that sh*t way before the coronavirus. We were taking care of people and making sure that everybody’s healthy, and every fighter that’s with me on the road is getting much better medical attention than they are at home – if they’re with me. You know what I mean?
Does White have a point?
So, there’s a couple of things to look at here. First off, White’s response seems to be designed for his supporters, rather than a rebuttal to his critics in the media. White’s made disparaging remarks about the appearance of media members in the past, and it certainly hasn’t stifled criticism of the promotion.
While it’s certainly true that people should be worried about fighters getting compensated, the argument that critics don’t “care” about the fighters or their families, because they’re concerned about people contracting the virus, doesn’t necessarily follow (not to mention that plenty of media members have families).
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One could also argue here that the UFC should pay fighters who have been training for bouts that have been canceled, rather than just plan to rebook bouts later this year (it’s not really known yet if the promotion will pay fighters who recently had fights canceled).
But, even critics of White should concede that he’s well accustomed to dealing with adversity and that he’s helped the UFC work through many challenges in the past.