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Dana White critical of Urijah Faber during radio interview

During Dana White’s much-publicized appearance during “The Dave Carmichael Show” on 1140 KHTK in Sacramento, the UFC president discussed more than just the company’s decision to release former welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch.

Towards the end of the interview, host Carmichael Dave asked White about Sacramento’s own Urijah Faber. The former WEC featherweight champion recently lost his title at WEC 36 earlier this month in an upset against new champion Mike Thomas Brown.

Carmichael wanted to know whether White felt Faber could regain the title.

“Yeah, I think he can,” responded White. “He’s a talented guy. ”

But White continued with his answer and the theme of the interview once again reverted to fighters and how they handle business. White held true to his usual form and said what was on his mind regarding Faber.

“… A lot of these guys, what happens is they jump into the sport,” White continued following his initial answer. “And they start to get big and get some wins and they start turning into businessmen and focusing on things that they shouldn’t be focused on. What fighters should focus on is fighting. Focus on fighting (and) keep it going and all of the other stuff will come to you. When they’re out there chasing (and) trying to start all of these different businesses and spin off all this stuff, it’s too much. It’s just too much for just the guys who just business to do business let alone being a fighter. Being a fighter requires a 150 percent commitment of your time.”

20 COMMENTS
  • portland mma says:

    How was he critical of Uriah Faber? He said yeah he’s a talented guy then generalized what pisses him off about fighters (not selling there soul on time).

    Editor’s Note: And he generalized during his answer about Faber. If it didn’t apply the Faber, why bring up those comments at that juncture? Clearly it was in response to Faber’s name being introduced to the conversation. It’s obvious that White feels like Faber is allowing outside interests to interfere with his fighting.

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  • madiq says:

    That’s true, but other professional athletes rely upon business managers and agents to look out for their interests. Dana & Co. would prefer to freeze those individuals out, so that these fighters are 100% reliant on the largesse of the Zuffa Empire for their sustenance. I’m sure Mr. White and Mr. Fertitta would like that (gets them bigger houses, cars, and jets) but the Professional fighter should be compensated for his athletic endeavors, and for the physical sacrifices of training, dieting, weight-cutting, and subjecting himself to physical abuse. But that’s just my opinion…

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  • Timmy D says:

    Yeah it would be nice if Faber could rely on just being a fighter, but since he only made 14k for his last fight he needs to be a business man in order to survive. Shame on you Dana! Somebody as talented and well known as Faber should be making at least 3x that for a fight.

    Editor’s Note: Faber made much more than $14,000 for the fight. After the September show was canceled, he received an advance on the payout for the re-scheduled November date.

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  • Gabber says:

    How can he make 3x that a fight? There’s no PPV revenue and I doubt the live gates can support a huge contract.

    Editor’s Note: Faber made much more than 14K. However, whatever he was paid, it isn’t as much as he could generate if the UFC added a 145 pound division and allowed Faber to fight on their shows.

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  • HexRei says:

    “… A lot of these guys, what happens is they jump into the sport,” White continued following his initial answer. “And they start to get big and get some wins and they start turning into businessmen and focusing on things that they shouldn’t be focused on. What fighters should focus on is fighting. Focus on fighting (and) keep it going and all of the other stuff will come to you. When they’re out there chasing (and) trying to start all of these different businesses and spin off all this stuff, it’s too much. It’s just too much for just the guys who just business to do business let alone being a fighter. Being a fighter requires a 150 percent of your time.”

    In other words, take the money the UFC gives you and don’t look for anything else. Don’t worry about establishing alternate revenue streams to support you when your career inevitably falters, the UFC will provide everything you need (as long as you keep winning)

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  • ken says:

    Timmy is just an idiot and doesn’t understand how these fighters get paid! Why do you think elite when under?!!!

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  • Devil's Advocate says:

    In other words, Dana, like a true used car salesmen, is like “trust me.” “Just fight and Uncle Dana will take care of the rest.” Puleez. Many of the fighters don’t make much money. And even marque names, such as Faber, seem to only make pennies on the dollar as compared to the promotion. So now, according to White, fighters shouldn’t try to maximize their value and should just sit back and trust that a promotion – – whose interests are not necessarily 100% alligned with those of the fighters – – to maximize their revenue-earning potential? DW is actually the one becoming a little delerious.

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  • josh says:

    Dana is just pissed because fighters are starting to realize they are getting screwed when paychecks are handed out. Dana needs to quit being some cheap and pay the fighters what they deserve.

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  • Jason G says:

    They’re trying to make ensure that what the UFC is to MMA is similar to what the NFL or NBA is to football and basketball. I think that is a good thing in some respects and bad in others. It would be awesome for the fans to have all of the top fighters in one organization fighting each other but if it’s not done correctly I think it will set the sport back. If Zuffa becomes the only major promotion the fighters have no bargaining power as of now and with low pay it will keep top athletes from going into MMA in the future. Zuffa needs to keep increasing their profits and in turn increasing pay and it’ll all work out.

    The fighters are eventually going to need to unionize and force a collective bargaining agreement. It would take a hell of a lot of support but if they got enough fighters on board they could force Zuffa’s hand.

    Personally, I like the plan that Bellator FC has talked about with tournament brackets available to the public so there is no politics or popularity in the matchups just like the NFL or NBA. And by tournament I don’t mean a fighter fighting multiple times in one night, just brackets that decide the next matchups and maybe superfights for guys that have already been eliminated.

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  • Matt Cava says:

    Fitch was the PERFECT example of a “fighter just being a fighter” and look what it got him.

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  • steve says:

    he wasn’t talking about Faber. it’s quite obvious he was talking about fighters in general.

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  • JudgeIto says:

    Dana’s right, they should be focusing on fighting and leaving the business to the agents. But then, if he doesn’t like your agent, he’ll say, we can do deals without your agent.

    Which is it then?

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  • alkatraz says:

    WHY IS THE UFC WORTH 2 BILLION AND TOP FIGHTERS ARE FIGHTING DANA OVER SMALL CHANGE?U TELL ME WHO IS GREETY.

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  • nate says:

    argh! maybe Urijah did make more than $14k, but it isnt obvious to me based on what was reported.

    I just want the best fighters to be able to dedicate themselves to the sport, so when I see the low number I get concerned.

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  • Sonny says:

    “Being a fighter requires a 150 percent commitment of your time.”

    Right because Dana White is an experienced career MMA fighter and should know.

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  • Tony Fennen says:

    What Dana is saying is that fighters dont need the distractions of running a business.

    If you dont own your own business… YOU HAVE NO IDEA!
    Anyone can work a job… Figthers train and fight, Thats their job.
    When they start another business (because they can make more money, say with a clothing company) their job performance starts to suffer because they are distracted.

    If you dont think its true… try to work you 40hr a week job and start-up a full time business. Its not easy

    Agents, Managers, Publicists… All have their hand in your pocket and dont always represent their clients in the proper fashion.

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  • Chris says:

    Sounds like maybe White is pissed that some guys are off doing deals that he isn’t get a cut of.

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  • buzzcramp says:

    Dana happens to be right… worrying about the business end is a terrible distraction for the fighter. Fighting sports are largely psychological, and the focus does need to be on that exclusively. However, one has to laugh when Dana mentions this since the fighter not concerning himself with the monetary end is is entirely beneficial to Zuffa Inc.’s underpayment of their employees.

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  • Tim says:

    So fighters are trying to make as much as they can while they are on top, whats wrong with that ? I like Dana alot but I’m not sure how he can criticize a guy for trying to make all he can off his name while he is hot.

    In essence, isn’t the UFC trying to get all they can while they are hot ?

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  • Niteterror says:

    I believe that Dana was refering to Urijah’s Training gyms (He just opened a new one in Folsom). However, if Urijah is also training people on the side, how does that hurt his fighting career? Training is training, isn’t it???

    I also believe what others have suggested, that Dana was upset that fighters were making money and by-passing people like him. He wants a cut of everything!!!

    I just wonder why Dana and people like him always think they know what’s best for fighters? Is or has Dana ever been a professional fighter? Or maybe a trainer? No… How about a sparring partner?

    What he knows about MMA is what he has learned since becoming prez of the UFC, and that’s as much as the average fan of the sport, nothing more.

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