Stupid is as stupid does , or Dana White showing why he’s seeking to become bigger than his sport …
I do not care who you are as an executive of a company, even if you are its founder or co-founder , you simply cannot and should not believe it right to criticize the most productive or popular of your employees without provocation and without justification ! . Yet, within the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) under the banner of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) , that governing body’s President Dana White continues to ride roughshod over that entity , as if it is his God-given right. His recent criticism of two of the sports’ most popular fighters in Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva , simply indicates that White has not been fully appreciative of what these two profoundly gifted practitioners have done to make this genre the fastest growing and one of the most popular combative sports in the world. Imagine , the outgoing commissioner of the NBA , David Stern being critical of LeBron James and Michael Jordan , in simply calling both , egotistical and conceited. White for his part was critical of former middleweight champion Anderson Silva for not wanting to compete on regular basis , which is clearly idiotic when you consider that over the past three years Silva made multiple defenses of his middleweight crown in a calendar year before his two recent losses to current champion Chris Weidman .
In the case of the Canadian , Georges St Pierre , who has relinquished his welterweight title belt , with White suggesting that the champion has personal issues to deal with. It should not be the UFC President’s place , to make such a statement, unless he was given the permission to do so by St Pierre. In recent months, , it was common knowledge that George St Pierre was not completely satisfied with the direction that the sport was heading in, with their being no strict regulations with regard to testing protocols for fighters, fighting outside the state of Nevada , where the UFC is actually headquartered in Las Vegas and where the sport , itself comes under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. A body, which in recent months, has come in for a great deal of justifiable criticism, after the asinine officiating at several recent world championship boxing bouts , for which the then state athletic commissioner Keith Kizer stood steadfastly in support of the licensed judges who presided over the bouts in question. Dana White has for his part, has seen several such controversies arise within MMA, and his criticism of the officials in question, has often been a profanity laced tirade , rather than being one that is succinct and to the point. If anything, Dana White has become everything that MMA under his tenure, sought not to be, with has now dragging the sport down to depths of sheer buffoonery with his antics.
White’s business partners in the founding of the UFC, siblings , Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta III have both become extremely wealthy with the founding of UFC, during which time the principal brand has taken over several of their smaller rivals, integrated those brands and marketed them under the umbrella parent banner. From humble beginnings, that brand (UFC) has now become, a multi-billion enterprise , with affiliates around the globe, with the sport’s popularity exploding around the globe and rivaling that of several other martial arts’ related combative sports.
I suspect that White knows , without both Silva and St Pierre as MMA’s two biggest draws , with the exception of light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones , he can either choose to combative towards both fighters, as they seek recuperate from injuries , as is the case with Silva , having broken his femur in his most recent bout in challenging Chris Weidman for the middleweight title . Or in the case of the St Pierre, simple fatigue and the very fact that the fighter had now become disenchanted with the sport altogether . While there is a great deal of positive direction for MMA , complacency is the one thing that cannot be allowed to set in, as has been the case, with the sport of boxing, which has now become so devoid of character and talent , that it now relies simply on the visibility of Floyd Mayweather to keep the sport alive and some might say, relevant , if that is to be correct analogy to be used . Boxing has been dying on its feet for a decade , with their being no undisputed champion in any of the weight categories.
Linear boxing champions, are simply an anathema to a sport, where at one time, fight fans were simply happy to witness a bout , where Mike Tyson was either pummeling an opponent into submission or more often than not , simply knocking them out. The heavyweight division of the sport has become fractured, with the Klitschko siblings, dividing the spoils, between them both. Although, with the recent announcement by Vitali Kiltschko that will retire from the sport relinquishing his WBC title to enter the world of politics and seek democratic reforms in his native Ukraine , which is currently undergoing a civil struggle, with many Ukrainians longing for the days of former Soviet rule, which others seeks a Western style democracy , which both Klitschkos are in favor of .
Vitali’s brother, Wladimir Klitschko continues his career , having made several defenses of his titles , putting together a string of successive wins defenses against nameless faces , which now has him with the third-longest string of title defenses within the division , with seventeen . Only the twenty-five defenses, made by the late and great Joe Louis “Barrow” and Larry Holmes with twenty consecutive defenses have more successful marks . Yet, in terms of longevity, Wladimir Klitschko’s reign as the IBF , WBA , WBO and IBO heavyweight champion , is the second longest in boxing history at eight years, within the heavyweight division . Joe Louis’ tenure of eleven years, eight months and eight days , remains the yardstick against the heavyweight championship reign is measured by.
While Dana White believe he is now in the driver’s seat, in terms of his overwhelming power within the sport , unlimited access to make decisions, as he sees fit, that benefit the sport. It has not gone unnoticed, that he has run afoul of a number of fighters who believe that the UFC President has at times far exceeded his powers, concerning contract negotiations with fighters and their agents or managers as the case maybe , by strong arming, with threats of never having a fighter be promoted or be allowed to fight on any UFC sanctioned or promoted event . These are the antics often heard of and used by noted boxing promoters, Bob Arum and Don King , but you would be hard pressed to hear the UFC President admit to that fact, not now , not ever .
For years the UFC , was dead set against having female fighters within its ranks , but having witnessed the growing clamor for female combatants by the male and female supporters amongst its ranks , Dana White finally acquiesced , when the UFC introduced the bantamweight division as the only weight class for women within the entity’s ranks. Ronda Rousey , the first female champion within division , who remains undefeated , has now become one of the most recognized faces within the genre and overnight she has become a household name , while away from the octagon , Hollywood has recognized her appeal. Rousey, has been tapped to play a role in the third chapter, of the Sylvester Stallone action movie saga , “The Expendables “ . The first two movies combined , have grossed in excess of have crossed the half a billion dollars threshold ($500,00,000), in terms of international gross, and the third installment back with many of the original cast , with the exception of Bruce Willis , is expected to continue the trend , and also become Stallone’s most profitable project, since the Rambo installments came to a welcomed end.
MMA has made giant inroads as a mass appeal sport, amongst young males , far exceeding even Dana White , Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta’s expectations . Moreover, who could have guessed that the growth of the sport would also enhance the sibling’s wealth , now placing them amongst Forbes’ Wealthiest 400 Americans ? Their combined wealth, $2.6 billion , originally built up through their gaming and casino holdings ., still plays a significant part in their business empire, of which Zuffa LLC , is the holding company under which UFC operates, as part of that overall empire. By comparison , White’s wealth is significant, having been a co-founder in UFC and part owner, his estimated worth $200 million, would include his stake in the UFC, which based on current revenues, would realize a value far exceeding $2 billion.
Ronda Rousey has been a breath of fresh air to the sport , bringing along sex appeal , physical savvy and exceptional talent to her art. Not surprising, when you find out that her mother Dr AnnMaria De Mars Ph.D is one of the world’s greatest female judokas , a multiple world champion and the very first American to have won a world championship in the ancient Japanese art . In the world of academia , De Mars is a well-recognized name, excelling in the field of statistics, but it is her work with Native American Indians, that she feels proudest of , alongside that of the careers of her children .
With the absence of both Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva, it will now be left to stars such as Ronda Rousey , Jon Jones, Cain Velazquez , Chris Weidman , Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis to keep those wheels churning , as well as the excitement created and generated by the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). There is a clear reason why , in terms of demographics , more young males from differing ethnic backgrounds are now drawn to the sport, than they are to boxing . Quality of the contests staged are of the highest standard and rarely is there a situation , where you have a champion seeking to avoid an opponent in a title fight. The same cannot be said, in the world of boxing, where there is not, an undisputed champion, in any weight category. Moreover, at this late a stage, it is highly unlikely , the one fight that should have taken place at least five years ago , will now ever take place .
Manny Pacquiao is no longer fighting to secure his legacy , but to repair it, and inasmuch , he believes that a rematch with Tim Bradley will be his redemption , any thought of his meeting Floyd Mayweather in any type of mega-fight for a multi-million purse, should be put in his rear view mirror. Pacquiao, is past his prime and Mayweather now seems disinterested in meeting the Filipino world champion , for no matter how much money is thrown at him , as a lure . His six-fight guaranteed $200 million deal with Showtime PPV , simply cast aside any doubts, about such a proposed mega-fight , long ago .
The UFC will stage UFC 171 , this weekend , with the stage being set at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas,. Headlining the event will the welterweight title contest between the division’s top two fighters , with Johny Hendricks taking on Robbie Lawler , with the winner becoming the newly crowned welterweight champion. Granted , there will be those who suggest, that with Georges St Pierre (GSP) having relinquished the crown in absentia , he should be given first right of approval, in facing the winner , upon his return to the octagon. I beg to differ, as I believe that St Pierre, should have at least one fight against a ranked opponent within the division , before facing the victor of the Hendricks’ Lawler bout ! At the same time, given the machinations and manipulative behavior of Dana White , whose idea of showmanship, is to create as much hype and antagonism as can be possibly had, simply to sell tickets and create rabid fervor. I would not put it past him, to be now engineering some type of drama and emotion , where there is none to be had , in preparation for Georges St Pierre’s return to the octagon. As of now, his layoff and that of Anderson Silva’s, whose long-awaited return, might be as long away , as another six months. The void that has to be filled, with the absence of both of these great fighters, it will now be left with White and his PT Barnum style showmanship and its gregariousness, or we can look to the champions within the sport to now step up to the plate. Personally, I would rather, see the likes of Jon Jones , Anthony Pettis and Ronda Rousey , fill the vacuum, left by GSP and Silva, rather than having to witness the antics and petulant immaturity of Dana White !
White seems to be following in the rather asinine footsteps of both Don King and Bob Arum, and we have all seen how fast that sport has now fallen from grace with such a rapid decline in a short space of time. That, is most definitely something, that MMA and the UFC can well do without .
In all professional sports, we have executives, who oversee the business as well as competitive side of that entity, with them, using their guile and obvious acumen to achieve the very best possible results. What if anything, do you feel is definitely needed for a professional sport to succeed at the highest level , beyond that of the acumen of the senior most executive ? Leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else that you believe to relevant to this subject matter and thanks as always for the continued support of the site as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Johny Hendricks , center, reacts following a UFC 167 mixed martial arts championship welterweight bout on against Georges St. Pierre, of Canada, on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. St. Pierre won by a controversial split decision. Hendricks will be the main headliner alongside Robbie Lawler when the two meet at UFC 171 for the vacant UFC welterweight title that was vacated by Georges St Pierre . The Canadian fighter will be taking a leave of absence but it is hoped that his return to MMA and the UFC will be a quick return, where he dominated the welterweight division making a record number of title defenses. AP Photo/Isaac Brekken …
(2) A clearly shocked Chris Weidman looks on as his opponent , Anderson Silva lies on the octagon mat unable to carry on in their rematch for the UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 168 , a bout which Weidman won on a TKO , after it was confirmed that Silva had in fact broken his leg during the contest . MMA Junkie / Kieran Russell ….
(3) From left to right , Jon Jones , UFC light heavyweight champion , Anderson Silva , former middleweight champion and Georges St Pierre . In recent months UFC President Dana White has been overly critical of both Silva and St Pierre , often disparaging both fighters with the use of obscenities . However, consider the fact , that the two fighters have accounted for some of the biggest television viewership ratings, when their title bouts have been staged and you would have to ask yourself, what is it, that the UFC President is trying to achieve with his gross behavior and attitude towards both fighters . Keith Stewart / AP Photo ….
(4) Co-Owner, UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta , mixed martial arts fighter Junior dos Santos , President, UFC Dana White and Co-Owner, UFC Frank Fertitta attend UFC on Fox: Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images North America / Jason Merritt ….
(5) Wladimir (L) and Vitali Klitschko pose with their award for sport at the Bambi Awards 2009 at the Metropolis Hall at the Filmpark Babelsberg on November 26, 2009 in Potsdam, Germany. The two siblings hold all of the recognized and relevant title belts in the heavyweight division of professional boxing but have refused to meet each other in the ring to bring about an undisputed heavyweight champion . The last boxer to hold that distinction was Lennox Lewis of Gt Britain , almost a decade ago , with the division and the sport remaining fractured ever since , without an undisputed champion any professional weight category in the sport. Getty Images Europe / Michel Villagran ….
(6) Regarded in some circles , certainly amongst many boxing historians as perhaps the greatest heavyweight champion of all-time, Joe Louis . His record twenty-five title defenses stands the test of time and is unsurpassed in boxing history. Though many have come to regard Muhammad Ali , as the greatest heavyweight in history , their respective records speaks for themselves . Getty Archives @ copyrighted material ….
(7) UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion , Ronda Rousey , left holds her belt as she stands across from her opponent , challenger , Miesha Tate , prior to their scheduled contest at UFC 168 . Rousey would go on to defeat Tate , keeping her unbeaten record in tact. Already, with a legion of male and female fans , Ronda Rousey has also brought a great deal of “sex appeal ” , having posed nude for SI , as well as doing several other notable magazine pictorial . The lure of Hollywood has also come knocking , with the MMA artist accepting a role in the 2014 release of “The Expendables III” and also unconfirmed reports of her also being cast in the seventh installment of the action movie car chase saga F&F VII (Fast & Furious 7) . Both action movie series have done considerably well at the box office , domestically , but more so, on the international market , which the Hollywood movie industry now relies on , more so than ever before, for their movies to be extremely profitable . AP Photo / Kelly Marshall ……
(8) Headliners at UFC 171 , and fighting for the vacant UFC Welterweight Title Johny Hendricks , left is seen here with Robbie Lawler . The two were promoting the bout in Dallas Texas , where the event will be staged on Saturday night , 15th March , at the American Airlines Arena , in Dallas , Texas . The new champion will be succeeding Georges St Pierre , the previous holder who held the record for the number of title defenses and tenure , in terms of the length of reign . l ……
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