Thursday, February 25, 2021

Valentina Shevchenko Disagrees With Cyborg: Dana White Takes Care Of Fighters

Valentina Shevchenko is taking the opposite path Cris Cyborg has when it comes to her relationship with the UFC.

UFC women’s flyweight champion Shevchenko will take on Liz Carmouche in the main event of this weekend’s UFC Uruguay. Heading into her Octagon return, much of the news in mixed martial arts (MMA) is centered on Cyborg’s messy departure from the UFC. Late last week, UFC President Dana White declared the UFC was done with Cyborg and wouldn’t match any offers she received elsewhere.

The announcement came on the heels of a controversial video posted by Cyborg’s production team. The filmy badly twisted White’s words backstage at UFC 240. Cyborg later fessed up and apologized, and White still went off on what her team did. Yet it seems there’s still hope for her to return to the UFC. That could be unlikely, as an overarching sense of bitterness and resentment looms over their rocky relationship.

Shevchenko Opposite Of Cyborg

The disagreement between Cyborg and the UFC is largely dominating MMA headlines. She’s another dominant female champion in the UFC, but Shevchenko isn’t getting caught up in it. Shevchenko recently told MMA Fighting that White is the exact opposite of what Cyborg claims. In fact, she said he treats fighters with the best treatment she has ever experienced:

“With the situation she had with Dana White recently, I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to what happened between them. But I can say that from what I know of Dana White, he’s a very good person; he’s a very polite and kind person. Since very early on, he’s always been worried about the fighters.

“If he says, ‘I will take care of you’, you can be sure he will take care of you because he’s trying to make life for the fighters in the UFC good. [He wants UFC fighters] to have everything because UFC is the biggest organization of mixed-martial arts in the world. That’s not just him, that’s everyone that’s involved in the UFC; their treatment of fighters is unique—I haven’t received this [treatment] in any other organization.”

In The Minority On Fighter Treatment

It is a bit odd to hear a fighter come to defend the UFC so strongly in a discussion about fighter treatment. That’s due to the fact that the UFC’s highly criticized practices in this matter are often raked over the coals again and again. Many argue that the low wages UFC fighters make coupled with their inability to earn sponsorship money makes being a UFC athlete almost unsustainable for lower-tier names. Until they organize and unionize effectively, none of that is ever going to change.

None of the previous efforts to do so have even remotely gained any traction. In that sense, fighters are more than somewhat responsible for their own plight. True, Cyborg would have seemed to have much more leverage being she’s an all-time great and a former champion. The last week has proved no one is immune to the wrath of the UFC, however.

As for Shevchenko, she hasn’t seen that side of the UFC. She’s extremely pleased with how she’s been treated and has none of the ill will Cyborg justifiably harbors towards the world MMA leader. In that sense, she seems to be in the minority.

Why was Valentina Shevchenko apparently treated differently than Cris Cyborg in the UFC?