Much has been made about the UFC’s decision to run shows amid the coronavirus pandemic. The promotion made its return on May 9 with UFC 249. It was the UFC’s first event since March 14. More cards are planned for May 13, 16, and 23.
Dana White Fires Back At Stephen Espinoza
Espinoza took to Twitter to claim that all UFC 249 fighters, cornermen, and managers had to sign a document that would see the loss of a fighter’s purse and bonuses if anything negative was said about the UFC’s protocols.
“It’s because they were required to sign a document which says they can lose their whole purse and bonuses if they say anything negative about the COVID protocols.”
During the UFC 249 post-fight press conference, White confirmed that something was in place for disparagement but not for sharing an opinion. The UFC boss also blasted Espinoza in the process (via MMAFighting.com).
“That’s not true,” White said, refuting Espinoza’s claims. “First of all, there’s something in the contract for disparagement. There’s a disparagement clause in there that’s in all of our contracts. Isn’t that creepy little f*cker a lawyer? Isn’t that creepy little f*cking goofball a lawyer?
“Does he not know what disparagement means? If you disparage the company. I’m not even a f*cking lawyer, and I know the answer to that question. It’s disparagement. It would be like if you came out and said, ‘They never tested me, the UFC never tested me for the coronavirus.’ But if you came out and had something critical to say about the testing that was true, that wouldn’t be disparagement.”
White and Espinoza never saw eye-to-eye. The UFC had to work with Showtime in order to make Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor a reality back in Aug. 2017. White expressed his dismay working with Showtime but praised Team Mayweather. The two have also gotten into a dispute over the actual PPV buyrate of Mayweather vs. McGregor.