Sports

All The Times Dana White Failed To Practice What He Preached

Darren - January 6, 2023
Sports

All The Times Dana White Failed To Practice What He Preached

Darren - January 6, 2023

UFC President Dana White is arguably the organization’s biggest star. He has been the public face of the promotion for over two decades and led it to the mainstream. However, White is a polarizing figure and many people think he’s quite the hypocrite. It’s hard to argue with that, so today we’ll look at the many times that he didn’t practice what he preached.

White outraged society when he slapped his wife on New Year’s Eve in Cabo, Mexico. This was disgusting but not the first time he’s committed a horrible act. He gives abusers a platform and takes advantage of financially vulnerable fighters every day. The man is a menace to society but his fans don’t see it.

The Athletic

‘Wanderlei in a Dress’

There’s no pretending that White always had respect for female fighters. Initially, he refused to even consider adding women to the UFC roster because he didn’t think they should compete. This was a sexist view but Ronda Rousey changed his mind. He connected with Rousey but didn’t bond with another (and better) female champion.

Marca

White speaks about treating women with respect. But when it came to Cris Cyborg, he didn’t practice what he preached. He disgracefully described her as ‘Wanderlei in a dress.’ This was an unsavory comparison to fellow male Brazilian champion Wanderlei Silva. Cyborg is an elite athlete and deserved more respect (via Pundit Arena).

Fox News

Emotional Blackmail

There are countless examples of when White blackmailed fighters. He demands that they deliver exciting performances and fight to finish their opponent. Nobody did this better than Demetrious Johnson. But the former flyweight champion never bonded with White and went to ONE Championship (via MMA Fighting).

Detroit News

Later, he revealed that White and the UFC didn’t practice what they preached. He said that they tried to bully him into taking a fight against T.J. Dillashaw. However, they refused to consider a bout with Cody Garbrandt. They even allegedly threatened to cancel his entire division because they wanted to protect the more marketable star.

MMA Fighting

Stitched Up

Stitch Duran is one of the most famous cutmen in combat sports. The mustachioed Planada native was a familiar figure on UFC broadcasts for years. This even earned him a minor supporting role in the Creed movie franchise. However, he fell foul of the promotion after the new Reebok deal (via TalkSport).

The Sun

Duran was an independent contractor and didn’t want to lose his independent sponsorships. He parted ways with the company after criticizing its pay structures. Then White turned around and told the media that he was never friends with the mild-mannered cutman. It was a petty statement and typical of the UFC President.

ITV News

Kimbo Slice

There are many times when White didn’t practice what he preached. He infamously shredded the legendary Kimbo Slice when he fought for rival promotion, Elite XC. Slice built up a cult hero profile after many street fights before moving into professional combat sports (via Bleacher Report).

The Washington Post

Then the UFC did a U-turn and signed Slice after his deal with Elite XC expired. Suddenly, White backtracked and hyped up the fighter like he was the greatest in history. Some people will argue that this was good promotion. But the initial way he verbally abused Slice was horrible and says a lot about his character.

UFC

Matt Riddle

These days, Riddle is a successful member of the WWE. But the former college wrestler began his professional sports career as a UFC fighter. He once allegedly pinned Jon Jones and entered the promotion with a lot of hype behind him. But they cut him after he failed a couple of drug tests (via Sportskeeda).

WWE

Riddle revealed that both of the drug tests came after he smoked marijuana. Later, he said that White didn’t practice what he preached and described him as a roid head. The irony is that fighters can legally smoke marijuana out of the competition now. Riddle wouldn’t have an issue if he was in the sport today.

Men’s Health

Backstabbing Couture

Randy Couture was one of the greatest UFC champions ever. He held the UFC middleweight and light-heavyweight belts for multiple title reigns. But he fell foul of White after he signed a deal with Bellator. Then the boss went behind his back and offered an executive position to a future wife-beater Matt Hughes.

The Oklahoman

Couture explained how it disgusted him and left a bad taste in his mouth. He said: “they had an opportunity to keep me and use me. They chose not to, and a week later, after this whole thing leaked, they give a job to Matt Hughes in a significant fashion. Frankly, that was a big ‘f*** you’ to me from Dana. And that’s exactly what he intended to do (via Bleacher Report).”

New York Times

Get Up And Leave

The Ray Rice domestic violence scandal was one of the worst in sports history. White reacted to the 2014 incident by saying it’s the one thing that no man can ever come back from. He also commented on Roger Goodell’s alleged knowledge of the video and weak reaction (via MMA Weekly).

CNN

White told ESPN: “If Roger Goodell saw that video, knew that was what happened, knew what Ray Rice did that to his wife or his fiancé; he should just get up and leave on his own.” However, he didn’t practice what he preached because he slapped his wife in 2022-23.

Sky Sports

Lorretta Hunt

White makes no secret of his disdain for MMA media but he depends on them to sell his events. However, he went too far in his criticism of the decorated journalist, Lorretta Hunt in 2009. The UFC President says that he respects everybody’s right to be themselves but again didn’t practice what he preached.

Marca

He described Hunt’s source using homophobic language in one of the worst moments of his career. Later, he admitted that he regretted the moment but stopped short of apologizing. Meanwhile, he also used misogynistic phrases about Hunt as he further proved he doesn’t respect women (via SBNation).

ESPN

Tax-Free

Chris Leben was one of the most popular UFC fighters of his generation. Nobody will claim that ‘The Crippler’ had the most skills but he always fought his heart out. Leben allegedly once asked White how he should pay his taxes after one paycheck. Then the UFC President said that he’d deal with it personally.

CBC

Unfortunately, he didn’t live up to his word and left Leben in a hole. White shamelessly told FOX Sports that Leben had years of back taxes to pay. It didn’t matter that he said that he would help his so-called friend. Leben should have hired an accountant but White messed up badly.

Sportswire

The Shamrock Grudge

White infamously has a petty personality and holds grudges against everybody who crosses him. He hates the UFC pioneer Frank Shamrock and even blocked his entry to the Hall of Fame. This is ridiculous because his grievances shouldn’t stand in the way of this honor (via SBNation).

MMA Fighting

The UFC President claims that he has nothing but respect for anybody who steps into the cage. But he proved time and again that this isn’t true. He had better relationships with athletes in the early days because the roster was smaller. However, as it expanded and White became richer, he became increasingly abusive.

New York Post

The Reebok Deal

The UFC notoriously underpays its fighters, the very athletes who comprise their product. White has no shame in throwing lavish million-dollar birthday parties for his children. He also ruined a vacation by losing another million at a card game. He makes his money from people who cause potential life-changing damage to each other (via Forbes).

Las Vegas Sun

One of the ways the UFC exploited athletes was by forcing them to wear their uniforms. They signed a deal with Reebok in 2014 and fighters lost the right to wear personal sponsors. This cost them a lot of money but they didn’t have a choice. But White still had the cheek to refer to them as independent contractors.

The Guardian

No Comment

The UFC and White like to say that fighters follow a code of conduct. But they rarely enforce this code when fighters engage in distasteful activity. One of the most recent trends saw high-profile athletes travel to Chechnya. Then they posed and ‘trained’ with the sanctioned warlord Ramzan Kadyrov (via The Sun).

The Guardian

Kadyrov is one of the most brutal dictators in the world. His regime brutalizes ethnic minorities and homosexuals. But this didn’t bother fighters like Justin Gaethje and Kamaru Usman. Nor has it fazed White who has nothing to say about it.  The UFC participates in Pride month but didn’t practice what it preached.

The Independent

Taking GSP’s Belt

Georges St-Pierre was a goldmine for White and the UFC. The Montreal native is arguably the greatest fighter ever and defended the welterweight title a record number of times. But he stepped away after a controversial win over Johnny Hendrick in 2013. This enraged White, who took the champion’s belt out of the cage in a petulant move.

Bleacher Report

He also criticized St-Pierre in front of the media and said that the Canadian had to defend his title. Previously, White hyped up the former champ and said that he was the best in the world. When GSP had nothing left to give, White showed his true colors and became a problem (via SBNation).

Front Office Sports

Coaching Ban

White is capable of descending to unbelievable levels of pettiness. We spoke already about how his relationship with Randy Couture deteriorated. But he took this to the extreme when he banned the UFC legend from all of the promotion’s events. This became an issue when Couture’s son, Ryan, joined the welterweight division.

Bleacher Report

Couture wanted to be in his son’s corner but White personally intervened. This drove a wedge between the two men as White demonstrated his malicious nature. He spoke about champions deserving respect but didn’t practice what they preached. Couture deserved better than this shoddy treatment (via USA Today Sports).

The Spectator

Goodbye Grandma

Everybody knows that White has a dysfunctional relationship with his mother. She claimed that he also neglected his elderly grandma before her death. Allegedly the nonagenarian lived in a trailer park for 40 years. White’s mother said that this was the source of tension between them.

The Guardian

She said: “Dana has done nothing to be sure that she is comfortable and that she doesn’t have to stress over having money for everyday living expenses at her age (via Sportskeeda).” Later, she alleged that White promised to pay for medical treatments. But again, he didn’t practice what he preached.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Premature Announcements

One of the UFC’s dirtiest tricks is announcing fights before athletes sign contracts. This is a pressure tactic that gets fans excited and forces the fighters to play ball. If they claim that they didn’t agree, White will say that they’re too afraid of their opponent. It’s a ridiculous and predictable sequence of events but some people believe it.

Marca

However, sometimes it backfires on the UFC. Once, White said that Lil’ Nog was going to fight Alexander Gustafsson but didn’t realize the Brazilian had an injury. He also tried to pull the same trick with Israel Adesanya. The powerful New Zealander refused to back down and the UFC eased off the gas (via The Sun).

New York Post

Ring Girl Love

If there’s one person in the world who hates White, it’s his mother, June. She wrote a tell-all autobiography in 2011 and accused her offspring of various nefarious acts. Mrs. White alleged that he slept with many ring girls and female fighters as he exploited his powerful position.

South China Morning Post

She also exposed his damaged relationship in an interview (via Sportskeeda). “His marriage is a joke,” she said. “Everyone knows he puts Tiger Woods to shame, he has plenty of the ring card girls sleeping with him. He slept with his sister-in-law in my house which made me absolutely furious. He goes after any girl he wants and usually gets them.”

NFL.com

Greg Hardy

White’s recent scandal isn’t the first time that domestic violence stained the UFC. Jon Jones was also involved in an unsavory incident but reached a plea deal. Arguably, the most contentious in recent years was when the promotion signed former NFL star Greg Hardy (via The Guardian).

MMA Fighting

Hardy became a persona non grata in football after a disgusting battery incident. But this didn’t stop the UFC from ‘giving him a second chance.’ White made no apology for the promotion’s decision and said he wasn’t playing games with the media. However, he proved that didn’t practice what he preached about women’s safety.

Bleacher Report

Rachel Ostovich

UFC fans hated Greg Hardy and booed him every time he fought. But the promotion made one of the most despicable and tone-deaf decisions ever in 2019. They booked the woman beater on the same card as a domestic abuse survivor. White isn’t responsible for making fights but he influences all of the major decisions.

Middle Easy

Rachel Ostovich suffered a broken orbital after her husband hit her during a home dispute. Later, she said that she had no issue with the booking. Nonetheless, the UFC shouldn’t have put her in that position. They also didn’t consider the wider impact on women who live with abusive partners (via ESPN).

Bleacher Report

Powerslap League

White claims that the UFC is at the forefront of studying CTE and post-fight brain trauma. They pretend to care about the fighters but they exploit the for millions of dollars. His cold reaction to news of Spencer Fisher’s brain problems tells fans all they need to know (via Essentially Sports).

Sport Business

Then he outraged many fight fans by agreeing on a deal with the Slapfighting League. This competition sees opponents stand across from each other and exchange undefended blows. However, it appears that it fell apart after he slapped his wife on camera in Cabo. If it wasn’t horrific it would almost be ironic.

Sportskeeda

Crypto.com

Let’s be fair and point out that White doesn’t make all of the decisions for the UFC. In recent years, Hunter Campbell plays a more important role in the business. But he is the face of the organization and can say what he believes. He shamelessly approved the removal of fighter sponsors from their uniforms.

Esquire

Then they rubbed it in their faces by signing a deal with Crypto.com, a trading platform. Needless to say, the fighters didn’t receive a nickel from this new sponsor. This is shameful because every athlete should have the opportunity to flaunt at least one endorsement (via Forbes India).

ESPN

The McGregor Pass

Conor McGregor is the biggest superstar in MMA history. Nobody transcended the sport like him, for better or for worse. However, ‘The Notorious’ lives a colorful life outside of the cage. Now he spends more time breaking the law than fighting. McGregor committed assaults, destroyed personal property, and broke speed limits.

Fox Sports

Nonetheless, the UFC refuses to sanction McGregor despite his rampant lawbreaking. That’s because he’s a major cash cow and they don’t want to upset him. Instead of making an example out of McGregor, White tolerates his baggage. He wouldn’t do this with another fighter because they wouldn’t have the upside (via The Mirror).

SCMP

‘Boring Fighter’

The UFC President says one thing when it suits him but will change his mind in a flash. He infamously had a terrible relationship with former Bellator champion, Ben Askren. The American didn’t join the UFC until late in his career because of his bad connection with the bald one. They even traded insults on social media.

CNN

But business is business and they overcame their differences with the help of Joe Rogan. Suddenly, White was raving about Askren because he saw the opportunity to make a lot of money. Askren achieved a lot of popularity quickly and attracted fans, so White changed his tune.

DWCS LLC

Independent Contractors

We’ve referred to this a few times already but White loves reminding fans that UFC fighters are private contractors. In theory, this allows the promotion to bypass unions, pension schemes, and other common practices. This is the difference between the UFC and other sporting big leagues (via MMA Fighting).

Sporting News

However, the reality is that they didn’t practice what they preached. They force the fighters to hand over their image rights for video games and other merchandise. Meanwhile, the athletes don’t see a dime in compensation. They also don’t get to use their sponsors and have to wear UFC-branded apparel.

RT

No Humanity

Fedor Emelianenko is arguably the best fighter who never competed in the UFC. The Russian heavyweight king achieved an incredible mystique for his efforts outside of the promotion. He competed for PRIDE and Bellator amongst many others. But he blamed Dana White for his absence from the UFC and claims he didn’t practice what he preached.

SCMP

He believed that White despises fighters despite his sugarcoated words (via Bleacher Report). “I just felt like ‘this guy, he just hates us,” ‘The Last Emperor’ said. “Like, personally too. Insults were coming from Dana White all the time. There were many very loud things said, but for real nothing happened.”

TalkSport

Sex Tape Lawsuit

In 2020, White had an unsavory sex-tape lawsuit. He denied that he cheated on his life but what’s more important is that people believed it. A devious schemer blackmailed White after allegedly sleeping with a Brazilian dancer. If it’s true, he’s not being very respectful to his long-suffering wife.

Zuffa

White believes that family is very important or at least that’s what he says. The reality is that he doesn’t practice what he preaches. Many fighters accused White of having relationships with ring girls and female fighters including Ronda Rousey. These allegations may be untrue but they’re frequent (via The Sun).

Bleacher Report

Jon Fitch’s Release

Nobody will pretend that Fitch is the most exciting fighter who ever lived. However, there’s no denying that he had an effective fighting style because he went on multiple long winning streaks. In the end, the UFC refused to re-sign him because he refused to give them his video game image rights.

Al Powers

It infuriated Fitch that he wouldn’t receive any remuneration. Dana White likes to say that fighters are independent contractors but he didn’t practice what he preached. He didn’t create the contract but he did rant in public about Fitch’s sense of entitlement (via MMA Fighting).

People

Eskimo Brother

Former MMA referee and current Bellator commentator, ‘Big’ John McCarthy revealed one wild exchange between Brendan Schaub and Dana White. The latter pair were in a verbal dispute when Schaub allegedly said: “This isn’t how Eskimo brothers act.” This is slang for two men who have slept with the same woman.

L.A. Times

McCarthy also told the Weighing-In Podcast that he knew what Schaub was referring to. This suggested that there was truth behind Schaub’s statement. The experienced ref said that this instantly silenced White and it didn’t refer to his wife. There’s no denying that he’s a seedy individual.

Bleacher Report

Roided Fighters

The UFC partnered with USADA in 2015 as they sought to clean up the sport. They believed that this would help MMA enter the mainstream and achieve more respect. However, White didn’t practice what he preached. He knew about several occasions when fighters took steroids but didn’t act (via Clutchpoints).

New York Post

Vitor Belfort infamously used PEDs before USADA’s introduction. He caused life-changing damage to several fighters but White didn’t intervene. However, the Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt scandal was even worse. White allegedly supported this short-notice match-up even though Lesnar was on more juice than a racehorse.

The Canadian Press

The Wife Slap

This is easily the most contentious moment of Dana White’s public life so far. The media deserves a lot of criticism because many of them focused on his apology. ESPN also allegedly pressured its staff not to light the flames on Twitter. White hit his wife in public and destroyed his remaining credibility (via TMZ).

Newsweek

He once said that nobody can come back from hitting a woman. But he didn’t practice what he preached. Some people said that it was self-defense because she also hit him first after he grabbed her arm. However, no man should ever lay hands on a woman. This was too much for even some of his defenders to accept.

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