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White to fighters: “You turn down fights, I’m going to say it”

White admits, his new tactic to combat the growing trend of fighters turning down fights is to now let the MMA media and community know of their decisions made in private. Most recent to fall into this was Cheick Kongo as he turned down a fight against Roy Nelson, replacing an injured Shane Carwin at the TUF Finale in December.

“Listen, if you turn down fights, I’m going to (expletive) say it,” said White. “And if you turn down a fight at least admit you turned down a fight.

“He turned down a fight, whether it’s on short notice or not, he turned down a fight.”

Kongo used his official Twitter account to respond to the criticism.

“I did NOT REFUSE to FIGHT Roy Nelson,” Kongo wrote on his official Twitter account. “I REFUSED to TAKE A FIGHT on SHORT NOTICE. Which is NOT THE SAME AT ALL.”

During the UFC 154 media scrum, White told the media that the issue stems from a fear of losing which he insinuates is not the heart of a fighter.

“[Turning down fights] is a lot more normal for guys who are worried about losing,” White told in a media scrum following the UFC 154 post-fight press conference in Montreal. “Guys who feel like they’re in a position where they lose, you know what I mean? You’re either fighters of you’re not.

“You come out and you fight and put it all on the line and if you win, you win. If you lose, back to the drawing board. I mean that’s the business that they’re in. But, you turn down a fight then you turn down a fight.”

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  • Joshua Coy says:

    I like that idea they work for the UFC the UFC doesnt work for them

  • Mma Critic says:

    At the end of the day, like him or not, he’s the boss. He should be able to say whatever he pleases…Especially about Matt Mitrione and Greg Jackson.

  • What about the guys who keep injuring themselves??

  • Always sayin they seriously injured n will need surgery n then a couple weeks later “oh I didn’t need surgery”

  • I agree you should always be ready to fight whoever whenever….win or lose throw it all out in the octagon! That’s what fighters do isn’t it…

  • what about the superfight? GSP is turning down fights from number 1 contender to wait for this superfight that isnt going to happen for ages

  • And Joshua Coy the UFC makes money off the blood, sweat, tears, and broken bones of the fighters. The fuck is the UFC without the fighters?? They the 1s we tune in 2 see work. They deserve more credit, respect, and money.

  • Everyone is going to use the Jon Jones excuse from now on lol!!!

  • Dee Moe says:

    dont be a “fighter” and turn down fights! new thing now is too make ridiculous demads like GSP saying Silva MUST come down to 170! smh might as well get a “Im Scared” shirt, he acts like silva is a foot bigger lol or Rousey saying she wont fight at 145 when thats her original class

  • All the guys with too much pride are probably not going to be turning down too many fights from now on.

  • I see this from the fighters’ perspectives. They’ve got a career to manage and are putting their bodies on the line. Nobody faults an injured ball player for not playing the game. One bad loss or injury and they can no longer chase their dreams. UFC is not some metaphor for life or test of a man’s mettle. It is an entertainment sport.

  • Considering how much a training camp can take out of a person and how much preparing goes into training I can fully understand fighters wanting appropriate time to train. It’s easy for anyone to hide behind a post and say you should be prepared at all times the human body just can’t maintain the physicality of training year round just to stay prepared for a fight that could or could not be.

  • It’s fair, if you call into work sick, injured or unwilling to work your manager tells the boss and the boss calls someone in to replace them and let them know there was an issue with the employee. Like it or not fighters are just UFC employees and if they’re refusing to work ppl should know why, esp their opponent. It is silly when it is used to bully the fighters into something short notice though, I can understand timing issues or injury, it’s real life too- these guys have families and obligations outside of work too, but being a puss is unacceptable when you’re occupation is fighter. There’s a big difference in saying I want more time to prepare like gsp than ducking out entirely.

  • Mikey Rod says:

    If you turn down a fight because you are not prepared to take a fight on short notice [and I mean short notice, 1-3 weeks] is totally understandable. Ideally, most fighters prepare 6-8 weeks for a fight. It’s your life and career at stake. You have to prepare for that particular opponent and to make sure you are 100% prepared, especially at that level. For Dana, to generalize and question the heart of the fighter is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, there are guys that “duck and avoid”, but I am referring to the fighters that don’t. The ones that use intelligent decisions prior to entering into a fight. Any REAL fight team will tell you what I have just said. It’s sport, it’s business, and it’s for real when you go in there. If you don’t go in there prepared, you’re just playing with your life and career. Look at any top fighter [and I mean top echelon/top dog in their respective sport], MMA or boxing… do they take fights like that? and ask yourself, why is that?

  • David-That’s the case with any company. Fed-Ex or any company makes money off their employees. They couldn’t run without workers but workers are a dime a dozen, companies to employ them aren’t! Would your boss be cool with saying “No sorry boss I don’t want to do that job today so Im not!” 99% of people get fired for that! This is no different!

  • Jim Ries says:

    BULLY!! He will “say it” the way he wants to say it NOT why the fighter really turned down the fight

  • The reason doesn’t matter! Your a fighter go take care of buisness!

  • I feel bad for.those guys who need time to mentally prepare for a fight. Not all fighters operate like a thrown switch, despite their chosen profession. At least they know ahead of time if they turn down a fight Dana’s going to announce it to the world. It’s a bit of emotional blackmail really, but I can also understand Dana’s position… :/ Lesson here is: The UFC is the big leagues and if you want to operate at that level, sometimes you have to take one for the team! You know most guys are physically prepared…

  • makes sene to me. they want extra credit when they take a fight short notice right? should have been doing this for years. then everyone would have known how big a pussy Tito was. lol.

  • ill never turn down a fight and even if i had an injury this is the ufc man thats where i wanna be so bad and seeing these guys turn down fights just make me wanna fight even more so thanks to all those who turn down fights and i wish dana would call me i would drop everything to fight whoever ill fight anybody man its the ufc

  • What about us fans?!? Create a list of top 5 or 10 fighters in every division w/all their stats/win-loss record & let us vote online. Top 2 picks in case the winning match doesn’t pull through w/fighters injuries. How’s that for a plan Mr.White?!? I hope I get a free ride to a UFC venue for this idea.

  • TJ says:

    Was Kongo worried about Nelson’s amazing Cardio or something? Short Notice? That was a gift Kongo and another squandered opportunity! Taking a fight on short notice is great for several reasons;
    1. It puts the fighter in a better position to demand more money!
    2. Gain favor with the Boss, The Fan’s and other Fighters
    3. And lastly, it gives you an excuse if you lose!!!

  • Pete Wall says:

    I’m probably in the minority here, but Dana’s approach to this issue is petulant in the extreme. Jon Jones had every right to turn down that fight as a professional. He has endorsements and sponsorship deals worth millions of dollars riding on his faultless record in the cage (yes, he beat Matt Hamill) and shouldn’t be coerced into fighting on short notice, and potentially ill-prepared just because the UFC built a big money card on his shoulders. Cheik Kongo’s record has been spotty and it’s easy to see why he doesn’t want to walk into the cage on short notice to face Nelson wailing overhand shots in his direction. I’d sooner be ‘outed’ as ‘ducking’ a fight by Mr White than find myself collecting my P45 cos Big Country connected once. Best of all in this whole furore, Meathead turned down fights for ‘health or ability’ reasons. Hilariously honest. Here’s hoping Roy Nelson doesn’t get to benefit too handsomely from accidentally avoiding being clubbed to death by Shane Carwin.

  • Kelvin says:

    If we are going to compare this to a normal job, we need to put things in perspective. If a boss says, “You need to deliver a presentation to the company.” That’d probably be cool. Now imagine he adds, “By tomorrow.” ‘Short notice’ needs to be defined.

  • Kjtrlt says:

    I’m kind of torn. Dana has a point, the UFC needs fights, but the fighters should have some rights over their careers as well. Tricky path to navigate…

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