There’s a pretty good side-by-side comparison on UFCCountdown.com of a recent video interview Calvin Ayre did and a recent radio interview that Dana White did on the Carmichael Dave show on KHTK in Sacramento.
We’ve chronicled White’s interview on the Carmichael Dave show before but a lot of you may not have seen Ayre’s video comments. He jokes about shaving his head to be more like Dana but gets serious and makes some interesting statements. He believes that Zuffa acquiring Pride means that more people will talk about Bodog now. Ayre also said that the more Dana White talks about Bodog, the more he helps the competition.
I disagree with Ayre’s philosophy about reporters now having to talk about Bodog in order to compensate for the void left from Pride’s acquisition by the UFC. You can’t compare Pride with Bodog. However, I do agree that Dana is helping his competition by bringing them attention in the media.
From a journalistic standpoint, I appreciate Dana’s candor. He gives reporters like me tons to write. And from a personal standpoint, I also appreciate a guy like Dana who is in charge of a big company that doesn’t speak Wall Street and shoots from the hip. But from a business standpoint, I don’t understand why he keeps mentioning the competition.
Each time he takes a dig at the IFL and Bodog Fight, reporters like me run to their computer and write about it. We’re writing about what Dana is saying, but we’re also writing about the IFL and Bodog. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have written anything about Bodog today if I hadn’t seen Ayre addressing comments that White has made towards him and Bodog. Also, not every reporter covering MMA these days actually is a fan of the sport, so Dana might be introducing members of the media to the IFL, Bodog Fight, and other competitors.
I think the smart way to go when dealing with competition would be the old Vince McMahon philosophy back when the WWE was known as the WWF and before WCW was owned by McMahon. McMahon would never acknowledge the competition. If a wrestler from another promotion was signed to the WWF, the wrestler would have to change his name and all of his past accomplishments were ignored. If someone brought up the name of the competition, he would act as if he had no idea what the person was talking about. He tried to create an environment where the only thing that existed was his product.
Personally though, I hope Dana never changes. MMA would be a lot less exciting and interesting if he wasn’t so outspoken. And in the end, while I do think he helps his competition at bit, everyone else will still be a distant second to the UFC as long as their roster of fighters remains as strong as it is.
You can see and hear the side-by-side interviews here: