Last week, White answered a number of questions from fans. While topics included the GOAT debate and his list of the all-time top 5 UFC fighters, comments on the much-discussed fighter pay debate found a place in many headlines.
“Boxing has absolutely been destroyed because of money and all the things that go on,” White said. “It’s never gonna happen while I’m here. Believe me, these guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid. They eat what they kill. They get a percentage of the pay-per-view buys. And the money is spread out amongst all the fighters.”
The quote was picked up by a number of outlets, including ESPN, who hold the broadcasting rights for the UFC in the United States. The headline of an article written by well-known MMA journalist Marc Raimondi read, “UFC president Dana White not planning fighter raises.”
It’s safe to say that Raimondi and a host of other reporters aren’t on White’s Christmas card list anymore…
White Unloads On ‘Fake’ Journalists With X-Rated Rant
During a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, White’s attention was drawn towards the response to the quote, and in particular the ESPN MMA story.
When Iole questioned whether the headline perhaps misinterpreted the UFC president’s words, White slammed ESPN and other publications who sourced the “fun” Q&A video for articles.
“Wait a minute, what you’re telling me is some scumbag media guys out there watched an interview that wasn’t even their’s, took it out of context, and wrote stories out of it saying that fighter pay’s never gonna go up? I’m f*cking shocked!” White said sarcastically. “Come on, get the f*ck outta here. You shouldn’t even be writing the f*cking story about anything unless you do the f*cking interview.
“You’re gonna watch a fun, haha, GQ f*cking Q&A and write a story? You’re a piece of sh*t. You’re a piece of sh*t f*cking journalist… If that’s the question you wanna ask, if you had a question about that, f*cking call me and ask me. Because that’s not what I meant. You’re a typical scumbag piece of sh*t f*cking journalist if you f*cking write a story off some F*cking goofy, fun GQ interview, and you write a f*cking serious fighter pay story about it,” White added. “F*ck you and you should never be able to write for anyone ever again.”
White went on to clarify his words from the Q&A, noting that rather than saying that pay raises are “never gonna happen,” he meant that the UFC following the same path as boxing won’t occur while he’s in charge.
He then turned his attention back to those who came to a different conclusion about his remarks, suggesting that “real” journalists wouldn’t have picked a serious topic like fighter pay from an edited and light-hearted video.
“So what I said was boxing has absolutely been destroyed because of guys being in corruption and all this other sh*t,” White explained. “I’m never gonna let the things that happened in boxing happen here while I’m here. That’s what it meant. And if you were any kind of real f*cking journalist, you’d call and ask.
“I’m doing a fun GQ piece. I wasn’t sitting down for 60 minutes talking about fighter pay. It’s a funny, edited, video piece. Edited! That wasn’t the full f*cking interview… And ESPN, the leader in sports, is gonna write a f*cking story about fighter pay based on that f*cking video? Give me a f*cking break,” White concluded.
The question will perhaps arise as to why the fighter pay topic was included. Some will note that if the UFC president was taking part in what he perceived to be a “funny” Q&A, the decision to entertain a topic as serious as fighter pay, which surrounds people’s livelihoods, could appear questionable — not to mention the fact that the fighter pay topic features in the video thumbnail.
That’s especially the case when some in the lowest brackets of the promotion’s pay structure have been forced to find outside work and even start GoFundMe pages in order to finance a career in mixed martial arts.
While the ESPN headline can certainly be seen as having misinterpreted the quote, White’s subsequent “they get paid what they’re supposed to” comment seems to fit the same narrative, and many will no doubt suggest that the coverage of fighter pay comments is important, be it in a 60-minute special or short Q&A.
What do you make of Dana White’s rant against ESPN and the MMA media?