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Why Dana White Had it Wrong & the MMA Media Had UFC 177 Right

Why Dana White Had it Wrong & the MMA Media Had UFC 177 Right

UFC President Dana White was spouting off and fuming mad on Saturday’s UFC 177 PPV broadcast.

His target was what he called “the so-called MMA media” (note: he even made the ‘in quotes’ finger gesture).

White dubbed media comments about the UFC 177 card — those discouraging fans from paying $60 to purchase the PPV — “the most disgusting f—ing despicable media coverage of a PPV.”

White cited how hard fighters worked to prepare themselves for the bouts of UFC 177. To discourage fans from buying the PPV broadcast? White finds it unforgivable.

I didn’t discourage anyone from buying the show, but the talk from White was still what I’d call “unpleasant” — yes, you can go ahead and make the ‘in-quotes’ finger gesture.

But, you take the good with the bad.

In fact, I praised White last week for acknowledging an important issue in their event in Macau. I was happy to report the UFC new drug testing protocol last week too.

This time? I think White & Co. are way off.

Yes, of course the fighters of UFC 177 worked hard to prepare for their fights. In fact, the event was pretty enjoyable — helped in no small part by a spirited effort by the unheralded Joe Soto in the main event, and a spectacular and unusual submission win by Yancy Medeiros.

But, that doesn’t answer the burning question: does this collection of fighters really belong on a $60 PPV?

Why should a writer describe the lineup of an event as PPV-worthy, if that’s not their opinion?

If you’ll recall, UFC 177 originally was to feature the Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson rematch in Las Vegas. Then the bantamweight rematch replaced it, and the site was moved to Sacramento. A flyweight title bout was on the card, then not. An Olympic gold medalist was on the card, then not. Finally, Barao was replaced by a UFC newcomer, and we ended up with a UFC PPV card with less name value that any of years past.

Not all those issues are the UFC’s fault, sure. Is it possible to move an event from PPV to free TV at the last minute? Probably not. But does any of this make UFC 177 an event that’s worth a fan’s $60? Probably not.

The UFC is snatching up every fighter they can, holding events worldwide with a watered-down roster. But instead of paying for a PPV every few months as in years past, it’s several in a month. The current MMA climate is not to everyone’s taste, or budget.

Every week you’ll find articles regarding the latest MMA event: some positive, some negative. “Five Reasons To Buy This PPV” is a pretty common title. It’s unlikely we’ll hear a complaint about any of them.

Again — if you’re going to take the good, you should take the bad as well.

We do, in the media. We have our disagreements but we’re all fans of this great sport.

That’s where Dana White went wrong in Saturday’s criticism. It’s not that he doesn’t have a right to sell his product — of course he does. But it’s disappointing to hear him sound like a guy who doesn’t really care about the sport.