It’s been quite some time since Pat Miletich and Dana White were friends and business associates. If one was to trace the divide between the two back to it’s origin they would find that the split was cemented with Miletich’s decision to become part of the International Fight League that has since gone under.
On last night’s episode of ESPN’s E:60, the founder of Miletich Fighting Systems made his current feelings about the UFC president quite clear.
“He’s done a lot of great things for the sport, without a doubt,” the UFC veteran was quoted as saying. “I just have seen the wreckage around him a lot.
“Dana has never told me anything that ended up being the truth, besides the fact that his intention was to crush other people’s lives and businesses.”
The recent statement made by Miletich shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone familiar with the past court case between the UFC and the IFL.
Below are some excerpts from Pat Miletich’s sworn statement given in the case held during 2006, according to public records.
8. In or around late Januray 2006, I recieved a call from Mr. White. During the conversation, Mr. White stated that he respected me both as a trainer and fighter, but then proceeded to express in a rather irate manner his feelings about the IFL and abruptly stated that “he was going to fucking crush these [the IFL] guys”. Mr. White further made it clear to me that he was livid about losing Keith Evans to the IFL.
9. During this conversation I expressed to Mr. White my opinion (based on numerous conversations with individuals in the MMA industry) that a lot of people involved in MMA industry didn’t very much care for him or the way Zuffa conducted its business and treated the individuals who fought at UFC events. In response, Mr. White stated that it “wasn’t his fucking job to be liked”. Mr. White further told me that he had spoken with the Fertittas (who own Zuffa), and they had given their “permission” to go after the IFL.
10. Mr. White further threatened me during the conversation, and implicitly the livelihoods of the fighters I train, stating that “when the dust settles, anyone associated with the IFL would not be associated with the UFC”. I took this for what it was — a threat to me and to my fighters who count on me to represent them and obtain opportunities to for them to fight in the MMA industry. Because of the virtual monopoly that Zuffa has in the MMA industry, Mr. White clearly knew that cutting me and my fighters off from the UFC would have a devastating economic impact.
11. Mr. White further told me during this conversation that he had been on the phone all day calling everyone he dealt with in the MMA industry and told me that, after speaking with all of them, none would be doing business with the IFL. My understanding from his comment was that he had made the same threats to everyone else he knew in the MMA industry that he had just made to me during our conversation. I attempted to tell Mr. White to calm down and tried to be rational with him. I expressed to Mr. White my opinion that the IFL was going to help the MMA industry and ultimately would increase the UFC’s presence throughout the world. I further attempted to dissuade Mr. White from doing anything irrational with respect to the IFL (i.e., the lawsuit) and told him that I felt going after the IFL for no reason would be very bad for the entire MMA industry. Clearly, Mr. White could care less what I thought.
12. Following my conversation with Mr. White, Ken Shamrock, another world-renowned MMA fighter, called me and told me that Mr. White had just “raised hell” with him about his being associated with the IFL. As I understand it, Mr. White had made similar threats to Mr. Shamrock whom I believe at the time had an agreement with the IFL to coach one of its teams. I further understand that Mr. White made the same or similar threats to Randy Couture, perhaps one of the most legendary MMA fighters in the world and a former UFC World Champion. I further understand that Mr. White called a current UFC World Champion, Matt Hughes, to inquire of him whether he had any involvement in the IFL.
13. Knowing Mr. White the way I do, I can honestly say that Zuffa’s intent is bringing this litigation has nothing to do with protecting any confidential information. Rather, I believe this litigation is about one thing and one thing only — stamping out legitimate and, indeed, healthy, competition.