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Dana White-Is he the Al Davis of the UFC?

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  • Dana White-Is he the Al Davis of the UFC?

    Dana White has done a lot for the UFC, but so have the fighters with their blood and sweat.

    I am going to post some articles about him, would be interested in hearing what you think?

    Thanks

    Grandpa Troll
    Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

  • #2
    About the End of Chuck Liddell's career

    In a mixed martial arts event with plenty worth noting, UFC 97 will likely be remembered for Chuck Liddell's fourth loss in five fights and his apparent departure from the sport he helped build from the ground up.

    The 39-year-old Liddell said it was "probably safe to say" his career was over after he was knocked out by Mauricio Rua in the first round on Saturday night.

    "It's not working for me lately," he said simply before leaving the news conference.

    It was up to UFC president Dana White to handle the requiem.

    "You're never going to see Chuck Liddell on the canvas again," he said. "It's never going to happen. It's done.

    "Tonight was the end of an era. One of the greatest guys in the sport fought his last fight tonight."

    White revealed he had tried to get the former light-heavyweight champion to retire after his last loss -- a devastating knockout at the hands of Rashad Evans at UFC 88. But Liddell convinced his friend and former manager that he wanted to train for one last go-round.

    Liddell (21-7) showed more movement than he had in recent fights and changed up his game, taking Rua down at one point. But Rua, 12 years younger, matched Liddell's striking and, like Liddell's other recent foes, found the former champ's defense and chin wanting.

    He beat Liddell to the punch and floored him with a lunging left 4:28 into the first round.

    Liddell won 15 of his first 17 UFC fights, but only one since beating Tito Ortiz in December 2006. White said Liddell will have a job for life in the organization, just not in the cage.

    In the main event of the seven-fight card, Anderson Silva won a UFC record ninth straight fight with a drab decision over Thales Leites that drew boos from the sellout crowd of 21,451 at the Bell Centre.

    The uninspired performance erased the mark for consecutive victories shared by Royce Gracie and Jon Fitch. Silva also tied a record with his fifth title defense.

    "Not every fight is going to be a knockout," Silva said through an interpreter. "Not every fight is going to be some spectacular finish."
    Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

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    • #3
      Did Dana White go to far?

      At the risk of sounding like a whiner, or even an opportunist, few people care about the general welfare of journalists. We're an easy target, often grouped with politicians among those least favored in public opinion polls.

      Take an outcast gaggle of reporters covering a sport no one dares to care about, and you've got the makings of a pretty pathetic scene. Back in early winter, 2005, that was a fairly accurate description of a handful of us, including myself and a friend named Loretta Hunt -- whom you may or may not have heard of in recent days.

      Hunt, as she's often done throughout her career, made news Wednesday -- though for unintended reasons. Having put her byline on a story that attempted to once again shine light on the back-room business of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, one of the few female reporters in the sport came under attack during a misogynistic profanity-laced YouTube video blog featuring the organization's most famous and, perhaps, most infamous character: its president and 10-percent stakeholder Dana White.

      The piece, published on Sherdog.com, of which I was executive editor for four years before joining SI.com 11 months ago, was, on its face, fairly innocuous. As part of a larger theme, however, Hunt's article appeared to illuminate another example of the UFC's attempt at consolidating power in an industry that continues to take shape as if it were an iron rod being manipulated by a master blacksmith. It dealt with managers and agents of fighters vexed over what they said were recently revised UFC credentialing policies designed, apparently, to separate them from their fighters backstage. About six weeks ago I heard similar complaints, yet chose not to pursue the story. Hunt, to her credit, followed up.

      For some of us, the credentialing issue rang as ironic -- which is where my story begins if you'll first allow me a few paragraphs to set up the scene.

      Hunt's work followed previous reports of a revolt by managers and agents over a restrictive merchandising rights agreement, which SI.com broke, and was later quelled by the UFC. That happened largely due to White's 24-hour public roasting of Jon Fitch and the top-ranked welterweight's management team, a clear warning shot across the bow to any camp who dared to say no to the UFC. Later, among other tidbits that leaked as a result of reporters and bloggers who dared delve into the reality of UFC's business practices, news surfaced of changes in the handling of sponsorship deals and dollars.

      Let me digress, because no matter how obvious, this needs to be said: The idea that mixed martial arts coverage would be welcomed in this space was a pipedream in '05. Today's reality, the fact that I make most of my living covering MMA for an outlet like SI.com, is due in a very major way to White. That's undeniable, and I say so without the slightest hesitation. His passion to make the UFC the sport's dominant player, and his drive to morph what can sometimes be an ugly, easily misunderstood venture into something palatable and popular enough to catch the attention of sports editors ranks among sports greatest upsets.

      White and the UFC have done a tremendous amount of good. He's delivered fame and fortune to more than a few fighters. To the ones who haven't reached the pinnacle of MMA, there's never a concern in the UFC over bounced checks, suspect matchmaking, or myriad other troubles that seem to plague many of the sport's other promoters.

      Still, White's ram-the-door-down tactics rarely seemed necessary. Along the way, reporters willing to question the accrued power of White and his company earned his wrath. I speak from experience.

      This is a story I've shared many times, yet rarely in public, and never with the level of disgust I feel at the moment. For full disclosure, media outlets like Sherdog.com, which has served as ESPN.com's MMA content partner since 2007, have been denied access as members of the working media since October 2005, when many of us were cast aside without so much as an explanation. (There is a shared belief that as the UFC pulled itself out of the abyss and emerged following the successful debut of The Ultimate Fighter, those of us who had covered MMA and knew the landscape might have caused more trouble than we were worth, especially as new media, which had been courted hard, jumped on board.)

      That policy continues under the directive of White and with the clear consent of UFC's majority owners, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta.

      Despite covering MMA for SI.com, I still find myself shutout. For several reasons it's not something I've talked much about publicly. For one thing, I could only come off as whiny and bitter, neither of which I'd like to believe are accurate. Judging by the reaction in 2005 when we, as a collective, tried to drum up support, mainstream media didn't seem to care. And, as many of us would come to learn over the years, access isn't a prerequisite for proper coverage -- you'd be surprised how close you can get without a badge around your neck.

      Of all the things those of us out of favor with the UFC have dealt with, bullying remains the worst. Which brings me back to Hunt, and White's comments on his video blog. As a result of the UFC's stringent -- dare I say virulent -- media policy, it appears some with access have allowed the fear of losing a place on the inside to get in the way of doing necessary reporting. Important questions don't get asked nearly enough, and White's M.O. clearly explains why: screw with our business and we'll screw with you.

      White's verbal assault has received attention for its misogynist tone and despicable anti-gay rhetoric (for which groups like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have demanded, and received, an apology). I don't believe White's homophobic -- like many people that's just how he talks. Really, White's anvil-tongue is the clearest reason why he's become a fan favorite and pseudo celebrity. But language is different than context, and in calling Hunt a "[expletive] dumb b----" while rebuking her reporting as "absolutely [expletive] retarded" he offered in plain view the way in which much of the media covering MMA is regarded by him and his company.

      Privately, he's offered similar thoughts in my direction. But that's different. That's behind closed doors, or over text message. This was public, a sanctioned verbal bullying of a female (not that it should matter) reporter that would have, at a minimum, required a strong rebuke of any executive in any industry, if not an outright dismissal.

      Having earned the reputation of a man who could make a sailor blush, White will seemingly get another pass, though I imagine it might be his last.

      For quite a few of us in the MMA media, his latest rant was business as usual. That the rest of the world appears to be paying attention may change the dynamics. Only time will tell.
      Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

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      • #4
        Warning: Strong Language




        To Apolyton Admin: I am not trying to push the limits here, hope this is ok people
        Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

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        • #5
          No backstage access???

          Managers and agents are fast becoming an endangered species backstage at UFC and WEC events.

          Zuffa, the company that owns and operates both promotions, has notified select fighter representatives that they will no longer receive credentials from the promotion to sit with their clients backstage on fight night.

          The reasoning behind the UFC’s decision varies according to the source. Some say the move is yet another strike in a campaign to separate fighters from their business representatives. Others say Zuffa is making a reasonable attempt to control unnecessary backstage traffic and lighten overcrowded dressing rooms of freeloaders.

          The latter explanation loses traction, however, when the promotion has not enacted a blanket policy across the board, which brings into question if the move is more personal than procedural.

          Of five separate fighter representatives and their firms that spoke to Sherdog.com, two said they were told that credentials would no longer be doled out to them shortly after UFC 94 on Jan. 31. These firms were also denied backstage access in person at UFC Fight Night 17, UFC 95 and UFC 96, as well as WEC 39, which took place March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

          Both reps said Zuffa would give no reason for the change in policy when asked over the phone and in person.

          “You don’t ask questions of them. You know how that goes,” said one manager, who, like multiple fighter representatives interviewed, would only speak on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.

          Zuffa’s public relations department did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment on the promotion’s sudden shift in policy after eight years.

          Outraged managers and agents said the silent treatment speaks to a greater issue that Zuffa is trying to keep hidden behind closed locker room doors.

          “They’re divisively trying to split management and fighters,” said one representative. “They’re trying to de-power the managers and agents to create a wedge between them. They give locker room bonuses and say, ‘This is from Dana [White] and the UFC -- nobody else.’ They’re telling fighters they can go directly to them. They’re telling fighters they’ll be doing sponsorships themselves in the near future that will put the managers and agents out of business. They’re trying to minimize the managers’ and agents’ role in the fighter’s life so they can better control salaries.”

          If these allegations hold validity, how would a promotion be allowed to prevent a fighter from protecting his business interests no matter where he is?

          In both boxing and MMA, a majority of statutes allow athletic commissions to license managers and agents, which essentially gives these representatives the right to handle the fighter’s earnings. However, the promotions have the discretion to assign walk-around credentials to managers, agents and other parties not affiliated with the regulatory body, something promotions have done with little fuss over the years -- until now.


          Photo by Sherdog.com


          Dana White was an
          MMA manager himself.Many representatives speculated the order came from UFC President Dana White, himself a former manager who once worked with Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.

          The California State Athletic Commission, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and the Tennessee Athletic Commission -- which hosts its first UFC event Wednesday in Nashville -- all told Sherdog.com that they either do not have the jurisdiction or did not wish to grant backstage credentials outside of their commission employees.

          All three regulatory bodies said managers and agents are welcome to apply for one of the three commission-issued credentials allotted to licensed seconds or cornermen.

          “If the manager is one of the three seconds, he may be at ringside. If he is not, it is at the promoter’s discretion who gets credentials,” wrote Tennessee’s newly appointed Executive Director Jeff Mullen, who judged nearly 50 UFC events. “I can only ask for credentials for someone who is on official commission business.”

          CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas agreed.

          “We will not be involved with the issuance of credentials outside of our scope,” replied Douglas in an e-mail to Sherdog.com on Monday.

          If Zuffa won’t credential certain individuals backstage as managers, then why not just apply for a second’s license?

          Agent Ken Pavia, who has 55 athletes on his roster, said a cornerman is a crucial role that most managers or agents leave up to the pros.

          “With the multiplicity of disciplines the fighters must be schooled in, their striking coach, their ground coach are needed in the corner,” said Pavia, who was among those denied. “Their training partner is in the locker room with them, helping them warm up, to break a sweat, to grapple, to pummel, whatever. Often, a full-service fighter will have all three in his corner, which pushes the manager or agent out.”

          Monte Cox, who manages 60 fighters and once simultaneously guided the careers of three UFC champions, believes managers must pick their battles.
          Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

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          • #6
            Dana White voicing displeasure-embarrasement about one of his fight cards

            Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

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            • #7
              Dana White: The Beauty and the Beast

              ESPN The Magazine's MMA ace explains Dana White, and the possible long-term repercussions of his expletive-laden video blog rant.


              by Ryan Hockensmith

              Last year, I did a long interview with Dana White. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the UFC inking a huge advertising deal with Bud Light. It was a big moment for the UFC, and for MMA. Not so long ago, the UFC's main ad dollars came from Mickey's Malt Liquor and Toyo Tires. Now, the organization's prime sponsors were going to be Bud Light and Harley Davidson, full-on, mainstream American brands.

              At that moment, it was obvious that the UFC and Dana White had Muay Thai-kicked its way through perhaps the biggest barrier left for the sport—it showed that big business was taking the UFC—and the disposable income of its fans—seriously.

              As we talked, White explained about how we were upon a pivotal moment in MMA history. While doing so, he emphasized every poignant point with an F-bomb.

              I stopped him once and said, "Dana, you may be right about the business side of this. But let me ask you this: Let's say Bud Light is the first of many big sponsorship deals for you and the UFC. Let's say companies, big, mainstream corporations all over the world, start calling you. And let's say you have to start putting together board-room pitches and wearing suits and speaking to executives—aren't you going to have to clean up the language, the wardrobe…clean up you, basically?"

              His reply: "God, I hope not. God, I f—ing hope not."

              With that one response, we see the beauty and the beast in Dana White, at least as it relates to the UFC.

              The beauty?

              It's in the language, the in-your-face T-shirts, the willingness to answer any question honestly—maybe too honestly—that's what made him so refreshing for fans. That's what makes everybody from Main Street contractors to Wall Street contract-writers flock to their local bar to eat wings and drink beer and watch guys punch other guys in the face on UFC pay-per-view. He's not Roger Goodell, and fans like that.

              Then there's the beast.

              White is also the guy who'll berate a woman reporter for writes a story that, frankly, needed to be written and did its best to include the UFC's thoughts on the matter. He's the guy who made homophobic remarks and dropped 42 F-bombs—all in a three-minute video blog that Dana White himself had posted.

              What will be the end result of this?

              My guess is, not much. Look at messageboard reactions to the incident—the real meat-and-potato fans aren't going anywhere (as evidenced by the reaction White says he's gotten so far). They're going to buy the pay-per-views. They loved when on the first night of this season's The Ultimate Fighter—which debuted on April 1, the same day of his quickly-becoming-infamous rant—White welcomed the cast of UFC wannabe fighters by saying, "You ready? Welcome to The Ultimate Fighter, motherf—ers!"

              So maybe ratings don't drop. But the ultimate blowback will be measured in dollars and cents that go beyond PPV money. How will companies react to White's rant? The obvious answer is, badly. There's no way to predict how much money White and the UFC just lost from potential sponsors. And while it could be significant, that might not be the worst damage from White'self-inflicted wound.

              Some time in the next few months, White, the UFC and MMA will take center stage in front of New York state legislators. The goal: convince them to sanction the sport in New York. The key piece of persuasion in the UFC's favor was pure dollars.

              "In a time of economic struggle, why wouldn't the state of New York want to fill up a few arenas and put people to work?" White could have asked.

              A week ago, those sanctioning hearings were all but a formality. The majority would have recognized that the UFC is worth too much, financially, to turn away for another year. White would have been there, and he'd have put on a show. He probably would have put on a suit, cleaned up the language and not punctuated his arguments with expletives.

              Even then, there were going to be a few politicians who wouldn't have bought White's pitch, dancing around the fact that, basically, they believe the sport is a barbaric, ill-mannered anachronism that has no place as sanctioned family entertainment in their state.

              Now, if they play White's video blog, they might not have to say it out loud.
              http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=4040540

              So his expletive-laded tirades may play with fans, but not with sponsors. But who can say if not getting more big deals with major sponsors will get him to change his ways?

              Too bad about the Iceman. But he is 39. Not everyone can make a comeback like Randy "The Natural" Couture.
              Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
              Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
              One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD

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              • #8
                When I was actively competing in TKD in the 80's, fighting from Pittsburgh to Conneticut back home to the Carolina's, I felt such a level of respect for one fighter, from Canada, his name was jean Yves Theriault..a.k.a. the Iceman..

                By trade he was a tax collector, I seem to remember, but allways the gentleman.

                Until in the ring, he took apart everyone, especially one fella who talked too much smack, Bob "Thunder' Thurman from the USA.

                Jean Yves fought long and hard, and at the twilight of his career, a trash talking, no respect giving Rick "The Jet" Roufus took him out, during their pre fight interview, showed no class to a man worthy of respect. This was somewhere between PKA and ISKA days, still it was the precursor to UFC, it helped pave the way, Joe Corley, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace,Jeff Smith,Joe Louis, Jerry Rhome and Bad Brad Hefton to name a few were those that fought for low purses and the dignity of full contact.

                I have to say Dana White is a great promoter of the sport within the confines of the Octagon, but mainstream America, or perhaps mainstream advertisment, cant and wont condone a back alley way of addressing people. See, its all about dollars and sense, making money and people coming to their senses, not accepting the prejudices of a tyrant to flow from "His" mountain top.

                I would ask Ming and rah, not sure about rah but Ming dealt with advertising for at least awhile, I can almost assert with confidance, Ming would say the consumers who pay for products wont appreciate a cursing,prejudice-in your face front man being associated with their product for long.

                I read somewhere in past couple weeks, its one thing to train and turn loose bullies in the Octagon, quite another to be one outside when promoting your cause.

                Brother Bruce
                Hi, I'm RAH and I'm a Benaholic.-rah

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                • #9
                  I'd have a better opinion of Dana White if every third word out of his mouth didn't have to be bleeped out. And that's when he knows he's on TV.

                  Could be part of marketing to the viewing audience, I suppose. Do tough guys and wanna be tough guys need to swear that much?
                  Pool Manager - Lombardi Handicappers League - An NFL Pick 'Em Pool

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