Dana White not happy with Georges St. Pierre’s choice of agents

When news first broke that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre had signed with the Hollywood-based Creative Artists Agency’s sports division, it was heralded by many as a breakthrough for the mixed martial arts industry.

By being able to attract such a mainstream agency, it was treated as an indicator of just how the sport has come in a short span of time. For St. Pierre, aligning himself with such a high-profile agency could help garner greater pay from the UFC as well as land mainstream sponsors.

However, despite being welcomed into the MMA industry with open arms by many, there is one man who is less than thrilled with CAA Sports’ arrival. And that man is none other than UFC President Dana White.

“All those Hollywood agents. You know how I feel about that,” White is quoted as telling Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press. “They’re all a bunch of pukes who tell you ‘we can do this, we can do that.’ If they deliver on 20 percent of that they tell you they’re going to do, you know … When you end up signing with this those guys, they end up (screwing) you up some way.”

However, it doesn’t sound as though White is targeting CAA specifically, just mainstream sports agencies in general.

“Randy Couture, when do you think all that s— started?,” White is quoted. “Where do you think it started? It started from the day me and that agent had that talk on the phone. That’s when it started.”

White was referring to Couture being represented by Matt Walker, formerly of The Gersh Agency and now of The Wasserman Media Group. As you might recall, it was while under the representation of Walker and Gersh in which Couture took the UFC to court in a bid to escape his contract. However, both sides reached an out of court settlement in August and Couture is slated to defend his UFC heavyweight title vs. Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Nov. 15.

So why does White have such an issue with major agencies? Davidson may have hit the nail on the head by referring to White as “a micro-manager who likes to have his finger in every pie, [who] does not like it when his fighters leave the corporate home in any way.”

24 COMMENTS
  • dpk says:

    I just hope that GSP doesn’t turn into a Couture or Vera situation.

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  • GoofyMonkey says:

    WHAAA! Dana has to deal with a real agent… Suck it up.

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  • Ft. Dub says:

    In other words, Dana White doesn’t like it when his fighters have any leverage at all. As if having the most powerful fighting league in the sport isn’t enough, he wants to be the promoter/manager/agent for all the top fighters as well.

    Breaking that hold is crucial to the long term survivability of the sport.

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  • JJ says:

    It’s funny how quick Dana White attacks any of his fighters who are only looking out for their best interests.

    Dana has become the vile boxing promoter that he so often tells us we should despise.

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  • mattio says:

    How much money are these athletes going to force out of the UFC when all of them have Jerry Maguire’s?

    Will the UFC play hardball forever? They should probably try. I have noticed that fighters will accept contracts so inflated that it almost ends up driving the promotion they work for right out of business.

    A fighter who reaches the upper ranks of the UFC and stays their for an appropriate amount of time deserves to be paid enough money that they never have to worry about earning another dollar when they hang up the gloves. But they should never be given contracts so large that a solid gold bathtub seems like a reasonable purchase.

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  • glock says:

    That’s great news for GSP. But you gotta take it for what it is. He’s a very special case he’s one of the best in the world at what he does, AND he’s very MARKETABLE. He looks good, great body,an athlete among athletes,no scandals,or drug allegations,(that I know of),decent role model, and he’s for real…no smoke and mirrors, (he will have to wok on that accent for stuff outside of Canada though).

    It’s a very small pool of talent that bring as much to the table ( in contact sports De la Hoya, probably Cung Le, Rich Franklin (before Anderson Silva – BAS. What would that be in Latin?? ) , and Randy after Sylvia.
    The big question is, with the right raw materials, can they build something, like say, a Chuck Norris. In the mean time there will be plenty of money to rake in from endorsements with the continued growth of MMA in mainstream media.

    Dana’s little Napoleonic world will have to adapt to the way REAL money interests do things. I’m sure they’ll offer him some mayo and mustard to put on his sh!t sandwich.
    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving megalomaniac……, well yeah I guess it could,
    but it’s still entertaining.

    It IS good for for our sport, though.

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  • Imbecile says:

    All of you who are so quick to squeeze money out of the UFC should also realize you should be careful what you wish for. Right now the UFC has a viable business model that has been successful, and they are spending a lot of their profits on continued expansion of the sport. Right now, they are the ONLY successful MMA organization out there. But that can all change very quickly, and everyone getting too greedy on their contracts is a quick way to make that happen.

    Don’t think these “Hollywood” agents have been good for Hollywood, either. You have plenty of actors who literally kill studios with their salary demands, and their strong unions make them able to force through a lot of very poor business practices. There are plenty of stars who continually make $20 million a film, and the film bombs because it is undercapitalized due to the actors salary, so it bombs.

    I’m not a huge DW defender, but this is not a great development for the sport.

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  • neijia says:

    “Dana has become the vile boxing promoter that he so often tells us we should despise.”

    So true. So true.

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  • Shatner says:

    Apparently Dana does not like the idea of dealing with an agency that is not going to be intimidated by he empty threats.These guys play hardball with big time Hollywood corporations.Do you think there going to cave in to the demands of a wanna be tough guy who has a complex because he could’nt cut it as a fighter and wants people to think he’s some kind of a bad ass.I don’t think so.

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  • Dan says:

    Good for GSP if they are getting commercials and sponsorships and what not. Lets just hope they dont start screwing with his fights. Hopefully he’ll still be able to Fight after BJ gets done with him.

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  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    There are both pros and cons to this kind of situation.

    Obviously, White feels the cons greatly outweigh the pros. How that makes him the MMA anti-Christ that he’s being made out to be in this thread, I have no idea.

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  • PoMoPunchDrunk says:

    If any sport could benefit from weasel agents, it’s MMA. Other than US college athletes (who are getting the biggest screw job of them all), MMA fighters need someone to take care of the business side of their sport. A fighter’s head needs to be solely focused on his/her opponent , not contract talks with Dana White. Now with the demise of ProElite/EliteXC, fighters have next to no leverage when negotiating. Hiring an experienced agent helps fighters garner the most money available and although MMA fighters are in it for the love of fighting, money makes the world go round. Nobody trains for free, flights to venues, rent, food etc. all needs the green. The next step is a union of fighters to ensure that not only are they getting paid for today, but when a fighter’s career could end with one punch, they are set up for the future too. Bring on the agents, bring on more competition for the UFC and get the fighter’s the money they deserve.

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  • babalu says:

    shut the fuck up dana!!!!!you just only think of your self not the fighters future,let it be.

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  • ViciousUppercut says:

    I will never understand these fans who want fighters to make BIG $$$. Money takes the hunger and will to win away. The more money they make the less you see them. With BIG $$$ they no longer need to win or perform at a high level. Brandon Vera comes to mind. With BIG $$$ comes higher ticket prices, higher PPV prices, fewer free events on SPIKE and most likely FEWER events overall. Look at Affliction. This is not good for the fans. WAKE UP fanboys. They aren’t going to spend on you. Why do you want them to make big $$$. So they can sleepwalk through the fight knowing they no longer need to win. Oh yeah, that’ll be great for the sport

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  • ViciousUppercut says:

    When GSP makes 2.5 MIL per fight the UFC might reduce the # of fights per card to 8 fights. I can’t believe have often i have to respond about $$$. Look i like the fighters too, but i don’t love them to where i feel they need to make BIG $$$$$. When has athletes making BIG $$$$ ever been good for the FANS in ANY SPORT. NEVER

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  • babalu says:

    vicious listen yeah,,,they have done enough for us and to the whole fans of mma,they put in the line their ass and life(sometimes)so maybe its time for them to get what they really deserve ok,dont be selfish just about you are in their boots?????

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  • blah says:

    If Dana White wasn’t a worthless sack of ****, the fighters wouldn’t need agents, because they’d be able to trust him not to dick them over. It seems to me that he’s all about playing hardball when he has to deal with people who generally have little knowledge of how business works. Yet, when he has to deal with people who know how to play that game in return, he cries and whines like a little bitch. WHAA HA HAA! It’s not fair! Poor Dana…

    It’s not that I’m a fan of agents, but most fighters need them in order to protect themselves from the Dana.

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  • ViciousUppercut says:

    @ babalu no i’m not in their boots, i work a real job for a living. I’m not complaining, i’m a well paid union electrician who puts his life on the line every day. I could be injured or killed at work at anytime also. That’s why i save my money. As far as getting what they deserve, they are, they live a fantasy life as heroes living the high life who get paid well I’m sure i have given many MMA fighters power and light to train at the gyms where they train, and i’m sure they have houses with electricity and power to eat cook and sleep comfortably. Do they tell my employer to pay me more? Uh NO! @ blah as far as agents they all have them. Dana won’t let them fight without one, but now GSP has a “Hollywood agent”. When GSP’s new contract kicks in, and he starts to believe the crap they feed him look for him to get K.T.F.O. while your PPV bill skyrockets

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  • babalu says:

    vicious, its different thing man!and yes you can tell your employer to give you more money .cause they need you more than you need them ok(only if you are very good electrician)like good mma figthers.if you deserve it,you can get it.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Dana didn’t complain about Hollywood agents because they demand lots of money. He said they make promises they can’t keep. I think the point is that an agent who knows nothing about MMA doesn’t understand what is and is not reasonable or feasible. Everybody can think of situations in which their perfomance on the job was critiqued by somebody else who had no clue about your business, profession or occupation. It’s a pain in the neck to deal with people who are mouthy and also ignorant.

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  • ViciousUppercut says:

    @ babalu, man read the post man, read. I said do THEY ask my employer to pay me more. NO they don’t

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  • babalu says:

    yah i read it man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!thats the samething. if youre good enough you can ask for more money bobo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • patrickgamil says:

    although he’s an excellent biz man, he is filthy rich cause of GSP and others.
    he’s got enough money that he is in no position of suffering from this.
    so the reason i should fell dana’s pain again is…..
    WHAT?

    gimme afarlik break

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  • patrickgamil says:

    keep in mind that fighters have a short time at the top level after which they mostly have damaged there bodies for life. and they can become commentator, coaches if they are lucky – so at least they should do their damdest to cash in during the 2nd half a decade of their 1 decade career where they actually make money

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