Posts Tagged ‘dana white’

Tony Ferguson got a lot off his chest ahead of his first UFC fight in almost a year.

The lightweight contender, who returns to action against Michael Chandler at UFC 274 on Saturday in Phoenix, said he believes fighters in the promotion are underpaid.

Ferguson also blasted UFC president Dana White for not allowing him to compete in boxing – or other professional sports – while under contract with the UFC.

“Dana said something the other day … talking about how boxers are overpaid,” Ferguson told reporters Wednesday, per MMA Fighting. “I asked Dana to box. He said, ‘Fuck no.’ I’m like, ‘Why?’

“I wanted to go play baseball. I wanted to go do other sports. I’m an athlete. … But then I have this guy right here acting like a fucking drug dealer telling me I can’t go and do this shit. I want to go make more money for my family.”

Regarding his frustration with the UFC, “El Cucuy” said he’s not alone.

“A lot of fighters have been keeping their mouths shut for a long time,” Ferguson said. “You should ask some of the other fighters that have been fucking treated like shit for a long time, too. Because I’m not the only one thinking it or fucking saying it or seeing it.”

Ferguson, a former interim champion, will look to snap his three-fight losing streak against Chandler.

Saturday’s event features a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

Brock Lesnar was among the highest-paid fighters during his time with the UFC, but he believes Dana White’s promotion could’ve compensated him better.

Lesnar opened up about his UFC run and relationship with White during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Monday.

“Dana’s alright,” the former UFC heavyweight champion said. “I got a lot of money from him. … I probably should’ve got paid more, maybe.”

When asked to compare White to his current boss, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, Lesnar admitted he has a very different relationship with both men.

“I really can’t compare the two guys,” Lesnar said. “Honestly, my relationship with Vince is so different than it is with Dana over the years. Vince and I have had a love-hate relationship for the last 20 years, but it’s been good. We’ve got a lot of water under the bridge. I have a lot of respect for both men.

“Dealing with Dana, it’s just a totally different business approach. I met Vince when I was younger. I look at Vince more as a father figure, actually, because I’ve learned a lot of things from him and I was able to carry those things over and handle business with Dana.”

Lesnar competed in UFC from 2008-11 and returned for a one-off appearance in 2016 at UFC 200.

The 44-year-old is set to appear at WWE Elimination Chamber on Saturday, followed by a main-event match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38 in April.

UFC president Dana White announced he and his family tested positive for COVID-19 during an appearance Wednesday on “The Jim Rome Podcast.”

White explained that his positive test came after a Thanksgiving gathering. He consulted with UFC commentator Joe Rogan after contracting the virus.

The 52-year-old said he’s vaccinated and feels fine. He took a monoclonal antibody treatment as well as an NAD drip, vitamin drip, and ivermectin.

“Feel like a million bucks,” White said. “I’m doing two-a-day workouts … for the next 10 days while I have COVID, and I’m in quarantine. I got my smell and taste back in less than 24 hours.”

White said he’s hopeful he can clear protocol in time to be at Saturday’s UFC event, which will see Rob Font and Jose Aldo compete in the main event.

Dana White expressed his disappointment after Jon Jones was arrested Friday in Las Vegas, but the UFC president isn’t all that surprised.

Hours after Jones was feted at a UFC Hall of Fame ceremony, the former light heavyweight champion was charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle.

“It’s hard to bring this guy to Las Vegas, for any reason. This city is not good for Jon Jones, and here we are again,” White said, according to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi.

“It’s not even shocking anymore. When we bring him here, it’s almost expected. We can’t even get him to Las Vegas for less than 12 hours and induct him into the Hall of Fame. It’s a problem. This guy’s got a lot of demons, man, a lot of demons.”

Jones is no stranger to trouble, having been arrested and suspended multiple times throughout his UFC career.

The 34-year-old hasn’t fought since 2020 as he’s been training for a move up to heavyweight.

UFC president Dana White wasn’t bothered – or surprised – by Jake Paul’s recent comments about knocking him out.

When asked after Saturday’s UFC Vegas 35 event about Paul’s claims that their feud would end with him “knocking (White) the fuck out,” White joked that his age made him a target for the YouTube star-turned-boxer.

“It actually makes sense,” White said during the post-fight news conference. “I’m 52 years old. I’m in the age bracket of guys he fights, so yeah, I could see him wanting to fight me. It’s all he fights are 50-year-olds.”

White later added that there’s a long line of people who want to fight him.

“Get in line. It’s a long fucking line, buddy. You’re gonna be waiting for a while,” White said. “No, it doesn’t bother me. This is the business we’re in. I say it all the time about the fighters too – we are not in the nice guy business. This is a very mean business. I say many mean things about people too, and it’s just part of this game. It’s all good.”

Paul is 3-0 as a professional boxer, having defeated YouTuber Ali Eson Gib, former NBA player Nate Robinson, and former UFC fighter Ben Askren. His next match will take place Sunday night against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Conor McGregor will be out for a while after breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, but UFC president Dana White is already thinking about a potential fourth fight between the two lightweight stars.

“The fight didn’t get finished. You can’t have a fight finish that way,” White said at the postfight press conference, per MMA Fighting. “We’ll see how this whole thing plays out. Who knows how long Conor’s out. Poirier will do his thing until Conor’s ready.”

White confirmed that Poirier is next in line for a title shot against lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, though no timeline was given for when that matchup will take place. The UFC president previously said that Saturday’s trilogy bout between Poirier and McGregor would determine the next challenger.

“Dustin Poirier will fight for the title, and when Conor is healed and ready to go, you do the rematch, I guess,” White said. “I don’t know.”

McGregor fell backward on his leg after missing a punch late in the first round against Poirier. The fight was called off by the doctor after the round ended. The former two-division champion is set to undergo surgery Sunday morning.

Poirier-McGregor 3 headlined UFC 264 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It’s unlikely anybody competing in mixed martial arts expected YouTube star turned celebrity boxer Jake Paul to become the champion for better fighter pay but that’s exactly what’s happened in recent months.

Now how much the 24-year-old Ohio native truly cares about MMA fighters versus his own desire to ruffle the feathers of UFC president Dana White is unknown, but he’s certainly been banging that drum a lot lately while he’s been called out or calling out a slew of veterans from his promotion.

Just recently after signing to face former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in a boxing match, Paul blasted White and the pay that his fighters receive versus the money earned when crossing over to another combat sport.

”I think there’s a movement moving forward that is going to show that fighters should be getting paid more,” Paul told reporters in early June. “It’s unfair. The UFC fighters don’t have fair pay. Out of all the sports, the percentages that the owners get versus the athletes, they’re the lowest.

“These fighters are risking their lives – you can quite literally die in the ring – and they need to be compensated more. I’m a big proponent of that movement and being in control. Fuck that shit. Fuck Dana White.”

Those comments created quite a buzz amongst fighters and while UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, who has been a longtime proponent for better pay for MMA athletes, wonders why it’s a social influencer making the loudest noise about this subject, he just hopes the spark might actually catch fire.

“Why is Jake Paul the one to step up and poke Dana and shine a light on what’s going on and the difference between our sports?” Couture said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “What the Ali Act does for boxers that doesn’t happen for the rest of us in combative sports. I think that’s what needs to change.

“If it takes Jake Paul to run his mouth and get that done, then great. As long as it gets done. It just seems kind of crazy to me that it’s coming from there and we as athletes in mixed martial arts can’t come together and can’t hold these promoters to a higher standard and create the transparency that we need in the sport.”

The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, better known as the Ali Act, was enacted in 2000 to protect the rights and welfare of boxers, aid state boxing commissions with the oversight of boxing and “increase sportsmanship and integrity within the boxing industry.”

Of course there have been plenty of criticisms about the Ali Act when it comes to actual enforcement of the rules as well as promoters being held to certain standards in the sport but the law itself exists, which has fighters like Couture trying to get those same protections extended to MMA.

Couture believes one particular UFC superstar had a chance to show the differences in the rules governing boxing and MMA just a few years ago but failed to do so.

“The guy that really had a chance to shine a light on it was Conor McGregor,” Couture explained. “He got a boxing license. As soon as he got a boxing license, he rendered his UFC contract null and void. He had the protections of the Muhammad Ali Act when he became an official boxer with that boxing number and he chose to bring Dana White and company back into that fight when he could have done all that on his own, kept all that money to himself and shined a light on the problem in mixed martial arts.

“He chose not to do that. He made $100 million off that fight with Floyd Mayweather. That’s more than he’ll probably ever in mixed martial arts to be truthful.”

According to Couture, the situation with McGregor was really just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to real institutional change in regards of fighter pay in the sport of MMA.

“I think there’s three things going on,” Couture said. “The first thing is obviously the class action lawsuit. That is the long play. It’s going to take a while to settle all of that. The affidavits are in, it’s been certified as a class. If they’re successful in proving their case, it’s going to force the biggest promotion in this sport anyways, the UFC, to do business differently. That’s the first scenario.

“The second scenario is the MMAFA, the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association, and I’m part of that group, have been lobbying to see the Ali Act amended. Just change the definition from boxer to mixed martial arts or combative sports athlete. Then we enjoy the same transparency and restrictions on promotions and promoters that boxers have been enjoying since 1996. Now the UFC is lobbying very, very hard and spending a lot of money to keep that from being voted on. It’s gotten us tossed out of the Energy and Commerce Commission, where it was originally voted and voted in. They’re doing their thing to keep it from being a vote and being voted on.”

The third tenet to what Couture believes could make real changes in the sport comes down to competition for the UFC, which includes promotions like his current employers at the PFL as well as organizations such as Bellator MMA and ONE Championship.

“The third thing is organizations like the PFL that have taken the sport and put it in a regular sports format, that are paying the athletes very well,” Couture stated. “A million dollar purse at the end of each season with a new champion. I think that’s another avenue as well. They’re creating an athlete’s advisory board and doing some things some of the other promotions aren’t doing. I think that’s a third potential to see some change in the sport.

“We’re obviously attracting a lot of big names and top names from the sport that want a shot at that money and want a chance to know when their fight is going to be and not have to worry about it. So I think those are all three things that are a positive change in our sport.”

As far as the class action lawsuit filed against the UFC, which is still winding its way through the court system, Bloomberg recently featured a story about the ongoing fight, which prompted a response from a lawyer representing the UFC.

“UFC has spent many years building a world-class organization, enhancing the brand of our athletes and championing the sport of MMA,” William Isaacson, a lawyer for the UFC told Bloomberg. “UFC pays its fighters more than any other MMA promoter, with average fighter compensation rising by over 600 percent since 2005.

“Our efforts have raised the global popularity of the sport and the overall revenue potential of all MMA organizations and athletes.”

UFC president Dana White isn’t keen on re-signing Demian Maia to a new contract.

After Maia lost to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263 on Saturday in the last fight on his current contract, White said it was likely the 43-year-old’s final trip to the Octagon.

“I think that was his last fight,” White said at the postfight press conference, according to MMA Fighting. “It was the last fight on his deal. He’s (43) years old. He’s been so good at getting in there, securing the takedown, getting on top of people, and just strangling them or grabbing something and twisting it until you quit. He couldn’t get it done tonight.

“He’s a great guy. He’s had a great career,” White added. “And yes, I would say that’s probably it.”

Maia entered the bout against Muhammad as the UFC’s No. 9-ranked welterweight. He has now suffered back-to-back losses after Gilbert Burns knocked him out in March 2020.

The Brazilian veteran has competed for the promotion since 2007 and has challenged for championships at middleweight and welterweight. If the Muhammad fight marks the end of Maia’s UFC career, he’ll exit with a 22-11 record in the promotion.

Maia holds notable wins over the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit, and Jon Fitch. His last victory came when he submitted Ben Askren in October 2019.

Dana White wouldn’t characterize Sunday night’s exhibition between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul as a representation of the sweet science.

“That wasn’t a fucking boxing match,” the UFC president said to UFC Arabia.

White added, “There’s always going to be a market for that kind of stuff. … That’s so far away from what (we do).”

Mayweather, one of the best boxers to ever put on a pair of gloves, went eight rounds in a non-sanctioned bout with Paul, a YouTube celebrity.

White tried to envision what a similar matchup would be like in the UFC.

“Imagine if Kim Kardashian wanted to fight Amanda Nunes. How big do you think that fight would be? It’d be huge! It’d be the biggest. But give me a fucking break,” he said.

Though White scoffed at the exhibition, he’s happy both fighters are expected to cash in handsomely for the pay-per-view event.

“I’m not trying to shit on these other guys. Listen, if you’ve got people that are stupid enough to spend that kind of money, you deserve to take those dummies’ money. They deserve it,” White said.

“The guys who went out and fought and got you to pay $50, they deserve your money. You’re stupid.”

Another rematch appears to be up next for Kamaru Usman.

UFC president Dana White confirmed Saturday after the welterweight champion’s knockout win over Jorge Masvidal that the next title shot will go to Colby Covington.

“It’s the fight to make,” White said at the UFC 261 postfight press conference, according to MMA Fighting. “He’s the No. 1 guy in the world.

“Usman’s thing was he didn’t want him to be the backup. He’s like, ‘I want Masvidal, then I want a camp, and then I’ll take (Covington) again. I’m going to start lapping these guys.'”

Usman beat Covington via fifth-round TKO in his first title defense in December 2019. It was one of the best fights of the year and arguably the champion’s most competitive UFC bout to date.

White said beating Covington twice like Usman did against Masvidal would only help cement the 33-year-old’s legacy as one of the greatest welterweights ever.

“When you go in and you beat the guys who are looked at as the best in the world at that time, and you beat ’em twice, and you beat ’em convincingly, it’s all just part of cementing that legacy that this guy is going to end up having someday,” White said.

Usman has won three fights in a row since beating Covington, while “Chaos” is 1-0 with a TKO victory over former champ Tyron Woodley.