Last month I posed a question to our readers: “What Does Your Perfect MMA World Look Like?” Thanks to all who responded. I hope you had a little fun playing “MMA Deity For a Day” just like I did.
The editorial staff here at Caged Insider wanted to go a step beyond today. What if you could spend a day in the shoes of the man who Matthew Polly playfully refers to as… “Dana White, Hallowed Be His Name?”
What would you do?
Would you yell at the top of your lungs to end what’s bothering you in the MMA world?
Or… would you try and listen a little?
I think Mr. White has done a good job in guiding along a product that’s entertaining to the fans. I’m not sure how much I’d change in the way fights are arranged and fighters are matched. But, maybe I’d take a look at fairness to the fighters. Yesterday, the “Dean of MMA referees,” John McCarthy, had some stern words for Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer. Big John has had enough of Kizer’s appointments of MMA judges, like CJ Ross — who infamously scored the recent bout between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez a draw.
There’s someone to listen to. Maybe the UFC President only has so much power to effect change in the NSAC, but he’s got to have some.
Fighter pay? Hey I won’t lie. I’ve never seen a UFC balance sheet. But maybe extending something like the Muhammad Ali act to MMA is within reason.
I’d try and listen to concerns about fighter safety, too. Not in the rule set, which I think is pretty good. (McCarthy would like to open a discussion about a new method of scoring, which sounds interesting. I’d also consider looking into adding an infraction for anyone purposely putting one of the four points on the mat to avoid knees to the head. That one bugs me.) I’m thinking of drug testing.
Simply put, drug testing in the combative sports is inadequate. These are sports where there’s probably more at stake, too. A pitcher on steroids could harm himself or a teammate, sure, but sports which involve punching one another in the head should be held to an even higher standard.
All that said, the UFC actually does a better job than most. I love them to death, but have you ever heard of a fighter from Shooto failing a drug test? Me neither. I doubt it’s because they’re all being tested, and passing.
Last year, boxers Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan agreed to take part in random drug testing, supervised by the Volunteer Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), in addition to the NSAC protocol. Peterson would fail his test, and Keith Kizer admitted that the synthetic testosterone he used would not have been caught had VADA not been involved.
This year, Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks are butting heads over increased testing by VADA. Is VADA too far? No way. It’s not far enough. Anyone who chooses to become an athlete should understand they will be under scrutiny, year-long; and especially an MMA fighter.
So, there you go. Three bullet points for me as UFC President.
Oh, and let’s get rid of the gladiator and “Face the Pain!” music we’ve been hearing for the last ten years. “Time to end the suffering,” indeed…
What about you? What would you do if you were UFC president? Let us know!