Since arriving at FiveOuncesOfPain.com 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.