If you’ve never visited CagePotato.com, do check it out. It’s an entertaining, very funny MMA website.
Their writers take stories from around the MMA world and apply a satirical, comical element to them. It’s a refreshing alternative from traditional reporting.
Satire also has a very rich tradition in society.
It’s based on the assumption that a reasonable person will be able to recognize that what is being said isn’t necessarily “true,” but simply a statement intended to elicit a reaction, be it humor, or something more lofty, like a social or political statement.
Apparently, Dana White isn’t a fan, and he’s gotten his lawyers involved.
The issue stems from a caption (since taken down) of a Cage Potato story that read, “Not only am I paying Bones to wear UFC logos on his walkout gear next weekend, I also placed a $500,000 bet that he’d beat Rashad. Oh sh*t, I guess I shouldn’t have said that out loud.”
Suffice it to say Dana White was less than amused.
A reasonable person, however, should be able to read that caption and immediately deduce that it’s just a joke. In that case, the UFC really has no legal leg to stand on, but that doesn’t mean White cannot make life miserable for the Break Media-owned website.
Dana’s response, “not even close.”
Legitimate legal gripe, or big bully picking on weaker foe?
Cage Potato managing editor, Ben Goldstein spoke to USA Today about the issue, “This is just so silly that I want to print this retraction and get this behind us.”
Based on White’s tweet, and his already foul feelings for the site, this isn’t an issue that will likely be squashed.
But Goldstein wants to make it clear that he has no intentions of bowing down to White should the UFC boss wish to take further action.
“I have no problem swallowing my ego and apologizing for a joke,” he said. “But if it turns out they want to set their lawyers on us on a regular basis because of satirical captions we write on our website, then we’ll fight back.
"We’ll get our own lawyers involved and defend ourselves…We’re not going to change the way we do business.”
As the most powerful man in the sport, White has long been a target for ridicule, humor and satire. That pretty much comes with the territory. So what makes this particular episode so special? Well, White has a long running hatred for Cage Potato.
Dana’s anger likely stems from another event that took place in October 2010.
UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste was featured in Playboy. Cage Potato went ahead and published the photos on their site.
Goldstein got an impromptu phone call from a livid Dana White, who according to Goldstein, said, “I’m going to (expletive) you up worse than you’ve ever been (expletive) before.”
CagePotato has since been banned from all Zuffa events, and with this latest incident, it’s a safe bet that the ban will stick forever.