We’ve all overreacted at some point in our lives to something. I do it all the time when watching a hockey or football game, and I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this overreact or react on instinct and emotion to sports as well.
So when Dana White overreacts to certain aspects of his company, like fights not delivering or his fighters doing something stupid, it’s to be expected.
The difference between you, me, and White is that he’s in charge of a multi-million dollar company.
P.S. - If you’re reading this and you’re in charge of a multi-million dollar company, hook a brother up with a job.
Moving forward, on Thursday night Dana fired Miguel Torres for an unfunny tweet about a rape van. Dana didn’t see the comment prior to being interviewed in Canada by Michael Landsberg, but made the decision shortly after the interview to release Torres without talking to the bantamweight star.
Earlier in the day, Rashad Evans made a comment about Penn St. and their child molestation scandal directed towards his upcoming opponent and PSU alum Phil Davis. Instead of firing or fining Evans, Dana talked to the former UFC champ, let him explain himself, and decided that Rashad was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again.
We all see the double standard here. Even though Rashad’s comment was far worse than Miguel’s, Miguel was the one released because he’s never headlined a PPV that did a million buys. Lets not look at the double standard though.
Instead, lets look at Dana and his overreaction to one situation and his sensible reaction to the other. With Torres, he was essentially blindsided with news of the tweet and reacted immediately without giving the fighter a chance to explain himself. With Rashad, even though his comment was made just a few feet away from White, he claims he didn’t hear the comment but once he got news of it, he let Rashad explain himself.
It’s not like this is the first time Dana has overreacted to a situation. The problem with his overreactions though is that he always takes the extreme. It’s either the worst thing in the world to happen or the best. There’s no middle ground with him. And once again, when you’re the head of a multi-million dollar company, it’s probably not the best idea to take the extreme.
When Quinton Jackson had his run in with the law or certain female reporters, Dana allowed “Rampage” to explain himself and let him off with nothing more than a warning, much like he did with Evans.
When Junior dos Santos defeated Cain Velasquez in 64 seconds, Dana overreacted to the negative extreme. He was obviously upset that his big main event lasted just over a minute, but instead of praising JDS, he instead decided to bury both fighters on national TV.
When Jason Miller lost to Michael Bisping last weekend, Dana took to Twitter to call it, “the most one-sided fight in UFC history,” even though there was a fight not three hours before that was more one-sided. Once again, it was an overreaction to the negative extreme.
When Frankie Edgar came back to defeat Gray Maynard at UFC 136, Dana took the positive extreme and called Edgar the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
There are plenty of other examples of Dana reacting to one extreme or the other to all kinds of situations. Unfortunately it’s usually more negative than positive, but I get it. Dana is a very emotional guy. If you don’t believe me, just watch him and Joe Rogan scream at everyone to order the PPV even though we can hear him just fine.
We can all agree that Dana has done great things for the sport of MMA and that the UFC likely wouldn’t be in this position if someone else were in charge. He’s a guy that inspires confidence in his group, thanks in large part to his emotions. But that emotion is going to get him into trouble, especially now that he’s even more in the public eye thanks to the FOX deal.
Personally, I think Dana needs to step back a little bit. Right now he’s the face of the UFC. Whether he’ll admit that or not, he is. He’s the most public figure in the company. He has the most twitter followers, he’s in the Bud Light commercials, he does more interviews than any other figurehead in any other major sport, and he does video blogs every week, and he’s always in the public eye.
When you’re as emotional as Dana and when you’re in front of the public as much as Dana, you’re going to say stupid things. It’s the environment he’s created. You want to know why guys like Forrest Griffin, Torres, and Evans make rape and molestation jokes or why guys like Frank Mir say they want to kill other fighters? It’s because Dana, the head of the company, reacts on emotion and calls journalists “b*tches” and “c*nts” and throws around “f*ck” like it’s a football and he’s Aaron Rodgers.
Dana isn’t going to change his ways, but he can tone down just how much he does. Let Lorenzo Fertitta be in front of the camera a bit more at press conferences and on media calls, definitely don’t allow Dana to be front and center on the FOX shows like he was on November 12, and someone should probably monitor what he puts out on twitter as well.
MMA is a sport where guys get paid to punch each other in the face. We shouldn’t expect them to act like Taylor Swift, although they could learn a few things from her about how to become a media darling, but they have to know when they’re crossing line. But before Dana can police his fighters, he needs to do a better job policing himself.