Fight fans and media members caught wind of a brief exchange between the UFC boss and a fan. The conversation went as follows:
Fan: “Will the UFC ever offer their fighters full-time health benefits so they can have them after their careers are over and possibly deal with life-altering issues from fighting (?)”
Dana White: “Soon.”
White was asked about that exchange during an interview with UFC Arabia. The UFC boss revealed that he was answering the wrong fan question (h/t LowKickMMA.com).
“Yeah, that actually wasn’t a Q&A, that was on Instagram. I responded to the wrong guy when I said ‘soon’ (laughs). That was wrong actually, I responded — I noticed that later, that I had said, ‘soon’, but it was on the wrong post. I wasn’t talking to that guy. It was somebody else.“
Current Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg let it be known on Twitter that she isn’t happy with how reporter Farah Hannoun responded to White’s dismissal of health benefits for UFC fighters.
“I don’t understand why Farah Hannoun would laugh with him instead of asking a follow-up question. Fighters like Tim Sylvia and more deserve to have their injuries from fighting in the UFC.”
Cyborg is talking about the 2004 injury former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia suffered against Frank Mir. Sylvia was trapped in an armbar and didn’t tap, but his arm popped. Referee Herb Dean noticed this and stopped the fight.
Back in 2020, Sylvia claimed that he was still dealing with lingering effects from that injury. He admitted that the UFC paid for his initial surgery back in 2004 but wouldn’t help him after the fact despite suffering infections stemming from the injury for years. Sylvia’s wife set up a GoFundMe page for the former UFC champion’s medical bills. The campaign reached $15,574 of the $20,000 goal.