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What Goes Around Comes Around for Dana White

Since arriving at I have written a couple of editorials praising UFC President Dana White’s shrewd business sense, most notably his signing of Kimbo Slice to be on “The Ultimate Fighter 10” this fall.

I even saw a few comments from the good folks here at Five Ounces that made me laugh accusing me of being Dana White himself.

I make no apologies though. I respect Dana as a businessman. I think he’s a smart guy and I truly respect people who build themselves up from nothing and become a huge success.

Those people really fascinate me.

On the other hand, I don’t always agree with how White handles himself on a personal level. I don’t agree with the way he treats people sometimes, including fighters.

Some argue that the way he acts will hurt the UFC in the long-term and only allow it to reach a certain level of success. I think that’s a legitimate argument.

So while I do respect the way White has built up the UFC with his take-no-prisoners approach to doing business, I had to chuckle when I heard his reaction to what Mirko Cro Cop did to him.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the story by now. After his TKO victory over Mustapha Al-Turk at UFC 99, Cro Cop informed White that he was leaving the UFC to fight for DREAM.

Cro Cop had officially signed just the one-fight deal but according to White, the two had agreed in principle for Cro Cop to fight two more bouts after UFC 99.

It was not to be. White believes Cro Cop was just using his quick stop in the UFC as a tune-up fight before moving on to DREAM. White was predictably outraged when he found out what had gone down.

“He [expletived] me,” White said. “The first time in the history of the company I do one over the phone. He promised me a three-fight deal and he [expletived] me.

“He didn’t keep his word. He talked about honor and all this other [expletive] and he [expletived] me.

“He fed me this bull [expletive] about wanting to take a run for the title, and what I think he did was, he went out and did this. He turned down every other [expletive] fighter I offered him, because I needed him to fight Cain. He didn’t just poke Al-Turk; he poked me, too.”

As Bill Murray would say, “I had to laugh.”

The first thing I thought off when I read those comments was: How does it feel Dana?

How many fighters over the years do you think have said the exact same thing about you? How many people have you screwed over in your life to get where you are today? How many “handshake deals” have you turned your back on?

Hey, I don’t judge. I do whatever I need to do to get ahead. But I also don’t cry wolf when karma kicks me in the ass like it has done once or twice before. When you screw people over to get on top, you can’t cry if someone else does the exact same thing to you.

I’m not saying I agree with what Cro Cop did. Personally I think he’s one of the most overrated fighters in the sports over the last three years. He’s just not the same guy he was back in his PRIDE days, so I don’t see this being a huge loss for the UFC.

However, I think Dana White has a lot of balls, both good and bad.

He has the balls to take a dying company and turn into a multi-million dollar business. He has enough balls to make bold decisions without caring what other people think and let’s give the guy his due, he’s right a lot more times than he is wrong.

On the other hand, he has a lot of balls to cry like a baby when one fighter out of 10,000 finally screws him. Take the Tito Ortiz incident for example.

Ortiz didn’t like the way he was treated in the UFC and White has gone out of his way to slam Ortiz in every interview he does.

Ortiz is a UFC legend Dana. Nothing you do or say will ever change that, so stop acting like a girl who got stood up at the prom. Be the bigger man for once.

Tito needs the media attention. Just let him have it and move on. Don’t try and make it seem like he never meant anything to the UFC because it cheapens the sport for people like me who have followed it since the mid-90’s.

Now with this whole Cro Cop fiasco; let it go. So the UFC doesn’t have Mirko Cro Cop. Who cares? There is no need to drag this on in interviews for the next five years and hold some kind of stupid grudge because you didn’t get your way one time in your life.

You aren’t the Godfather. You are the President of the UFC. Sometimes you need to act like a president of a company and not one of the fighters it employs.

Remember, you may have gotten screwed by Cro Cop but my guess is that White is still way ahead on the “Screwed” scoreboard. And again, when you screw people over for a living even you are going to get caught every now and then.

That’s just life. Deal with it.

  • Jak says:

    Not trying to rip on the author, and has nothing to do with whether i agree or disagree with the article, but it reads like so many generic posts on general MMA forums.

  • MMAFright says:

    I disagree Jak. I really enjoyed this article and agree with it. White would have been more effective if he had something like:

    “It’s a dick move but probably the right thing for him. Did you see him out there tonight? Did you see Cain Velasquez? They are on two different levels. I would have cut Cro Cop after two more fights anyway. He can’t compete in our heavyweight division. I don’t even think I could find a fight for him. He is probably better off in a inferior league like DREAM.”

    That’s better than screaming and yelling like a maniac. Like the article said, when you treat people like White does most of the time not many people are going to listen when you complain how you are getting screwed over.

    I think this article was right on the money.

  • Austin says:

    I was kind of hoping for a more vulgar reaction from white. Something to do with getting fucked in the butt. That’s along his line of thought.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    Dana slams Ortiz for a reason. Tito has been talking about how great he is and he is so arrogant these days. He is a man of broken promises. Its been 32 months since Tito has won a fight. Almost three years! The last two wins has been against an older Ken Shamrock. The last fight against Machida was the worst though. All the trash talking and he was thrown around like a sack of potatoes and embarrised in front of everyone.

  • meatloaf says:

    Tito has lost only 1 fight since 2006 and beat Forrest Griffin also had a draw with and was robbed of a win against Rashad Evans. Fighters grab the cage all the time in MMA and are never penalized for it. Like Lesnar did against Randy Couture and Kenny Florian does repeatedly.

    As far as Machida goes Going to a decision with a guy who’s probably a top 3 or 4 P4P fighter in the world is hardly embarrassing.

    If you hate Tito Ortiz no big deal there are several popular fighters who I particularly don’t care for, but I’m not about to post non sense trying to diminish their accomplishments or success just because I don’t like them.
    Bottom line is Tito has always fought hard, beaten several quality fighters and was UFC Light heavyweight champion longer than anyone.
    The only reason he’s not more respected by today’s mma fan is because of Dana White and if he does resign with the UFC in spite of Dana just for money that will be unfortunate to say the least.

  • Ronnie Liddle says:

    gotta say – it’s a bit ironic to be saying to someone ‘grow up because the world doesn’t revolve around you’ when you mention YOURSELF (i think twice)and how long YOU’VE been a fan of MMA in your own article.

    ‘the UFC because it cheapens the sport for people LIKE ME who have followed it since the mid-90’s.’

    LOL – No, Dana. The world doesn’t revolve around you. It already revolves around me and my .

  • Iconoclastic says:

    Great Article. I think there’s plenty of writers out there who tend to not want to portray the UFC in a negative light for fear of retribution. And, yes, his position on Tito is a load of crap, considering that when the UFC was starting to rise from the ashes, Ortiz was the poster boy for the UFC.

  • madheartmma says:

    MEATLOAF!! VERY Well put! Ronnie Liddle You got it ALL mixed up dude, When he (the WRITER) SAYS “PEOPLE LIKE ME” he speaks for me, and 500,777+ + other FANS who have watched w/ $$ since UFC began,who WORK all week,who pay $50 a month, sometimes more, (if 2 events are on)To dana & co. who rakes in the dough, doesnt pay fighters that good( what they are worth, in their prime, champs etc.) BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE A FIGHTERS UNIONS, HEALTH CARE FOR LIFE, PENSIONS, 401 K, STOCK OPTIONS , ETC.ETC. yeah, dana has done ALOT, but THE FIGHTERS HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE!! And marital arts has this ol’ skool code, of respect, honor, being humble, you know REAL MAN stuff. so being a loud mouth, cussin’ all the time,( he does sound like a boxer) not
    being THAT cool, stepping on, over, moon-walking, on ALL types of people,…WHATEVER.. I’m not gonna judge, but dana gots alot of young kids in mma looking up to him, that’s just fact,mixed w/ opinion. SO WHATEVER. And if this is site is so “generic & going down the tubes, dont read it, & if you do,AND dont waste time writing negative stuff, do some push-ups, hit the heavy bag, practice moon walking, ha! now i sound negative & judging…I’m out.. PEACE or LOSE TEETH. Bless.

  • ihateemo says:

    “How many people have you screwed over in your life to get where you are today? How many “handshake deals” have you turned your back on?”

    I am not a fan of Dana White by any means, but this is sloppy-ass editorialising. How many people HAS Dana White screwed over? Oh, poor Tito Ortiz. Wah. Who else? How many “handshake deals” HAS he turned his back on?

    I’m genuinely curious to the answers to this questions and this is something someone like, oh, Sam Caplan would have answers to (or GET answers) to.

    This piece could have been written by Nelson Muntz: “HA HA!”. Otherwise there’s nothing of substance apart from the usual “blah blah I hate Dana White blah blah”. Yeah, he’s a choad. This is hardly news to the MMA community.


  • munche says:

    Honestly, guys like Tito Ortiz? A dude who sits at the top of the org’s payscale, who ducks quality opponents and looks lackluster in wins over anyone who isn’t Ken Shamrock? The dude got pissed that he wasn’t getting paid more than a champion when his championship years are obviously long behind him. Boo hoo.

    There might be people with legitimate beefs with UFC (Randy Couture for example) but Tito Ortiz is a punk. He is all talk with nothing to back it up, and his only decent win since Matyushenko in 2001 is Forrest Griffin, which was in the early stages of Griffin’s career. Beating up on Grandpa Shamrock isn’t impressive. The dude kept wanting to get $300k+ to fight scrubs, and UFC rightfully told him to shove it.

    Poor poor Tito Ortiz. Must be nice to have fought in the early days when nobody had an skill, so you can be a “legend” off of wins over guys like Jerry Bohlander and Guy Mezger.

  • Ryder says:

    C’Mon man. I dont know why people like to slam Dana White. If he hadnt made the UFC into what it is today, writers like this one wouldnt even have a job like this to write bad about him. This doesnt even make sense. How easy WE forget.

  • Crash says:

    I agree with kenonbass, the content of this site used to be second to none. Where are the good editorials? This isn’t news, everyone expects Dana to act this way. He is by no means holding the sport back except that he does not continue to revamp the MMA system. Bring back tournaments (super bowl style), bring in a second panel of judges to provide another judgement in the case or a locked or disputed judgement call, start testing for substances year round to make the sport more legitimate. He should be providing health care and possibly creating a womens division. These are somethings that hold the sport back… talking trash to fighters who wrong his company means very little to me. It happens in so many other sports it doesn’t matter, management gets in trouble for talking bad about a player, the player says bad things about his team, gets in trouble outside of the court, etc. Japan allowing kicks to the head, freak show fights, and steroid use has done more to damage the legitmacy of the sport. Allowing fights like Sylvia Mercer to go down, or Kimbo Slice to fight on CBS, (prospected) ken frank, or ken anybody hurts to sport ten fold more than anything you have mentioned in this article. Please can anyone find any reson to disagree? If so I’m wondering why someone who has been watching this sport for almost 20 years isn’t looking at these reasons as why our sport is looking silly and illegitimate.

  • Madmax says:

    Good Riddance, Crap Cop is overrated, is a one trick pony, and don’t even tell me he didnt know he poked Al-Turk in the eye, I saw it, and wasnt watching in HD, also, when Al-Turk turned away like that, it was obvious that he’d taken a finger in the eye. Obvious to all except Cro Creep, and the idiot ref who just allowed Crip Cop to beat on a fouled opponent

    Mirko just cant handle the cage, he prefers the Pu**y MMA fought in a ring.

    Just like FEDOR!

  • kenonbass says:

    What everyone needs to realize is that Dana White is a promoter first and foremost. He’s acting like a promoter who is sc*ed over by a fighter. That is his job.

    Love how my original post is taken down. Like I said before. The content has gone downhill on the website ever since Caplan left.

  • edub says:

    Plagu Angel;Munche;

    Your hate is sad. Tito is a top 4 mma lhw of all time deal with it.

    Wins over Griffin, Mayushenko, Belfort, Wandy,

    Gave away a win with Evans

    Took Machida to a decision in a fight he took minimal damage

    Guy is a hall of famer hands down

  • Angry Mike says:

    ihateemo raised the obvious point. The article asked how many fighters that Dana has screwed over or the number of handshake deals that he’s reneged on. And then it doesn’t cite a single example. If you can’t cite a single example, maybe the answer is none. And maybe the piece is nothing more than an ad hominem attack.

  • meatloaf says:

    What are you talking about?

    Look how many fighters are released with fights left on their contract.
    Contracts that are obviously one sided and worthless if Dana and Zuffa can just tear them up and show you the door at anytime even if you have a contract.

    Now Cro Cop was signed to a one fight contract because Dana desperately wanted him for this card in Germany ( which is true whether you believe it or not he tried to line up a Tito/Cro Cop main event for this card awhile ago but that fell through) and now Cro Cop is using a little negotiating power of his own with Dream and the UFC. So what? Good for him.

    It’s embarrassing the people that jump to Dana’s defense as if he’s their brother or best friend. His fans certainly take the least bit of criticism too personally.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I’m still waiting for a single example of a specific fighter Dana cheated or a specific hand shake deal that he reneged on. The issue isn’t whether I’m a friend or relation or admirer of White. The issue is whether there’s any merit to the accusations. So far there doesn’t seem to be any.

  • meatloaf says:

    How about all the people who worked at Pride or the people at that Bull Shit press conference when Zuffa bought Pride who were told this is a new beginning of the organization.

    The fans are going to get a super bowl of fights Pride vs. UFC. Which was a lie the whole deal was a total lie just about every thing Dana White said at that press conference was a lie (if you don’t think so go back and watch it it’s out there). Then to top it off a UFC staffers tells that last remaining workers at Pride via speakerphone that operations were shutting down.
    Also apparently you think that giving fighters who are under contract their walking papers is fine. I mean so what if they sign a 4 fight contract if Dana wants to he can tell them to go away whenever he feels like it.

    And I guess you think it’s OK that the UFC did everything in their power to sabotage Affliction’s 2ND show which was originally scheduled for last Oct.11Th in Las Vegas (to quote Dana “my town”) with a Fedor/Barnett main event but obviously was postponed with a different main event, but at least now we’ll get Fedor/Barnett.

    Or the fact Dana dictates which members of the media are allowed to attend and ask questions at UFC events, post fight conferences, press conferences you name it.Nothing like stepping on a few toes and controlling the media. Freedom of the press doesn’t apply to Dana if you don’t write or report things the way he wants you’re out. If you don’t believe it watch the ESPN E:60 special when asked why aren’t these people allowed Dana’s response “because I don’t want them there”. If you think this is all right you are a lost cause.

    I know I’m wasting my time here because you’re obviously a Dana White mark and if you follow this sport even a little know Dana White has more than a few skeletons in his closet, but to his fans they couldn’t care less because whatever he says they agree with and turn a blind eye to his non sense.

  • psottilare says:

    I wrote this a while back in reference to Tito and Dana’s relationship in general.
    On another note the Muhamad Ali boxing reform act was passed in 2000 and i quote “prohibits a promoter from having a financial interest in the management of a boxer, and prohibits the manager from having a financial relationship with a promoter.” Tell me how does the UFC and Dana square this with both promoting fights and also managing the fighters. Tito Ortiz has long been a thorn in Dana’s side and its basically because he is the only one calling out the UFC and Dana for its subpar pay scale in relation to its reveues.

    “This guy went on Howard Stern and said he was getting $200,000 a fight,” White said. “That was such a lie. Tito made $5.8 million in 2006. He only fought once in 2007. He made $710,000 for that fight (with Rashad Evans) and that was the third match from the top (on the card). He goes around saying we made $231 million last year. He’s a moron. This guy talks about what a businessman he is, and he was on ‘The Apprentice’ and he doesn’t know the difference between revenue and profit. Did Tito make 5.8 million from fighting in the UFC in 2006? I doubt it. So Dana White is trying to tell us he was paying fighters more 3 years ago then he is today? Why is 231 million in revenue such an outlandish statement? This year Dana was quoted as saying he wanted to put on 12 PPV’s for the year or 1 a month. If you low ball it and they average a palty 500,000 views per fight at 45 dollars a pop thats 6,000,000 views for the year generating 270 million in revenues plus the live gate at again low balling it 3 million a show thats another 36 million for a total of 306 million for the 2009 year. Now if you use the last fight, UFC 94, totals of just over 1 million paid to the fighters, you have 12 million paid to the fighters for 2009 and the UFC generated 306 million. Can you see why Tito gets under Dana’s skin

  • stevefiji says:

    Mr Casale offers no proof to his attacks on Dana White.

    He writes, “How many people have you screwed over in your life to get where you are today? How many “handshake deals” have you turned your back on?…When you screw people over to get on top, you can’t cry if someone else does the exact same thing to you.”

    Nasty comments, to say the least… How about some real proof here… is that too much to ask from a journalist? Meatloaf seems to feel Zuffa’s industry wide strategic maneuvers, many in response to competition or Japanese mafia or otherwise qualify for screwing people instead of shrewd business… hardly a slam dunk for his case.

    Contracts are contracts…if Dana had a no cut clause then it would be a screw-job.. NFL teams cut players all the time.. are they screwing people? No, they are making competitive responses to a players performance.

    Just a bunch of unsubstantiated whining from Dana haters… Good on ya, keep crying while he keeps cashing your PPV checks :-)

    Cheers mates

  • JJ Docker says:

    Well said stevefiji

  • Mbreckles49 says:

    Didn’t White supposedly screw over Werdum? I remember hearing that Werdum was promised a heavyweight title shot, but then Lesnar’s emergence broke that verbal agreement.

    I do agree with most of the sentiments of the comments though.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Regardless of the whole dispute about White’s ethics or lack of ethics, Cro Cop sure has burned his bridges with UFC. It seems unlikely that he’ll ever be welcomed back. Could be a good career move for him, though. He was well liked in Japan when he fought for Pride, so Dream may be a better org. for him, especially since he’ll retire sooner rather than later. He isn’t competitive with the top tier in UFC, and probably knows it.

  • jj says:

    “Building yourself up from nothing” is alot more impressive when your childhood friends aren’t billionaires.

  • RU486 says:

    In response to stevefiji –

    You are assuming that the only revenue fighters get from the UFC are the salaries per fight. Each fighter that is on a PPV also gets a significant amount of royalties from the PPV. I don’t have any figures to justify how much, and care to not research it, but UFC fighters make a ton more money off of PPV buys than their salaries. With all that in consideration, Tito probably did make $710,000 in the Rashad fight, and probably did make $5.8 million in 2006. Also factor in the large amounts of money given through sponsoships and endorsements for UFC PPVs, and I would say those numbers are right on the mark.

    This has long been part of the argument in the Fedor not getting paid enough to be in the UFC bit.

    Just wanted to point that out.

  • edub says:

    Dude RU- The very elite of the UFC fighters get royalties. No where near many.

  • Dky says:

    I agree maybe the author should have gave examples of Dana screwing over fighters and other people since that was his piont. I think what he was saying is that it is funny to hear Dana White bemoaning the fact he got screwed over, when in fact if any person who has followed mma knows that Dana has done some things that have come out publicly that could easily been seen as a “Dirty” thing to do to someone, although I don’t exactly see it that way im just saying others might. Examples could be keeping Sherdog out of UFC events, acting like Ortiz was never anything when in fact he did draw alot of Pay-per-view buys and TV ratings (although not strictly be himself. Those things may not be “Dirty” but they make him look like a jerk to most of the general public. As far as him hurting the UFc long term I actually though that his actions at times could, but if you look at Vince Mcmahon he has done business basically the same way and he hasn’t gone nowhere and his product may be down at times, but it’ still going strong. I know it Pro Wrestling and it’s scripted, but Dana has stated before that he looked up to Mcmahons promotional style.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Either going back on your word/lying about your true intentions is a dick move or its not.

    CroCop dicked over White/UFC/Zuffa, plain and simple. And yes, White has done his share of dicking in the past but that doesn’t factor into what CroCop has done. You’re giving him a Get Out of Jail Free card because White has acted less than scrupulous in the past.

    But I’m not mad because White got screwed over. I’m mad because I got screwed over.

    I was looking forward to CroCop/Nog II, CroCop/Couture, CroCop/someone halfway relevant. I also saw this one-fight deal as huge growth in regards to White/Zuffa’s contract negotiations.

    CroCop burned his bridge with UFC, along with many others that we MIGHT have seen in the future.

  • edub says:

    Well put Sergio.

  • I may have missed this in a previous comment but does anybody know if fighters are compensated if they’re cut? And really, that’s irrelevant. If the UFC and a fighter sign a contract that gives the UFC the right to cut them, it’s the fighter’s (and their rep’s) option to sign it or negotiate it. It sounds to me like people with adjustable rate mortgages who “didn’t know their payments could increase” but went ahead and signed the contracts anyway. A signed contract means you agree to the terms of the contract…don’t cry after the fact that the contract isn’t fair.

  • Patrickk says:

    Yeah that’s messed up what Cro Cop did. But oh well, now he is back into the UFC. But he is also claiming that he did not do that. There are some other articles about it on the other MMA websites.


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