Whether you’re a fan, a fighter, or even a newcomer, you’ve probably got a strongly-held opinion on Dana White. My personal opinion of the man is simple: despite his many shortcomings, I truly think White starts and ends every day wanting to make the UFC, and by proxy all of MMA, bigger and better.
But the man has an ocean of critics who love to point out how controversial and foul-mouthed the man is. But today I’m not focusing on the obscenities that have come out of “Uncle Dana’s” mouth; I’m focusing on the stupidities. Since I have so much to work with, I’m sticking within the last few years.
There’s probably a lot more than five, and you probably have your own favorites, but here are what I think are the five dumbest things Dana White has said… in recent years.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes sarcasm doesn’t translate that well (and sometimes it doesn’t translate at all) across the Internet. I’ll also admit that even as a joke, saying Dana White bet on Jon Jones because the UFC decided to sponsor Jones is probably in bad taste and honestly just not that funny.
But the UFC’s (and in particular, White’s) response was entirely out of proportion. CagePotato’s response, which basically amounted to shrugging its shoulders and saying “It was a bad joke, sorry,” was the only right move either company made in this entire bizarre story.
Apparently, the right to free speech isn’t as important as the right to lawyer-up and sue somebody.
If you ever want a picture-perfect example of just how hypocritical Dana White can be, ask him about Kimbo Slice.
Even better, simply watch the video on your left. It contains a huge amount of examples of White utterly trashing Slice back when he was headlining in Elite XC, and then talking him up when the UFC was able to climb aboard the Kimbo bandwagon and attract millions of people to its own show.
The UFC was smarter in its exploitation of Slice’s image and popularity, but the plain fact is that it did many of the same things as Elite XC did once it signed Slice.
This was definitely one of White’s darkest moments, in terms of both the incredible amount of negative publicity it got and the almost 100 percent negative feedback it got from MMA fans.
There are some people who will stick with White no matter what the man says, but White crossed so many lines in this interview that he eventually apologized, one of only a handful of times White has ever apologized for anything he’s ever said. Even better, his apology was as backhanded as it gets, basically saying that he regretted offending homosexuals by using words like “fagot” but that he didn’t regret much of anything else.
You knew it was coming. So many other people have talked about this, but this absolutely deserves a place high on this list. Trust me: we’ll be debating this one until the end of time.
We’ll never reach a consensus on what could’ve happened if Fedor Emelianenko ever fought in the Octagon. But Dana White is an idiot for trying to trash the things Emelianenko did in his prime. In his prime, he beat the best competition in the world, at a time when all the best heavyweights were in PRIDE, and the UFC’s list of great Heavyweights consisted of… almost nobody.
I don’t think Dana White will ever forgive Emelianenko for not signing with the UFC, so I don’t ever expect White to give Emelianenko his due. And for that, he’s pretty stupid.
I’ve read, heard and seen interviews with Dana White since the first time I took a serious interest in mixed martial arts. In my entire history following White, I have been stunned by what he has said only once. Only one time have I felt so strongly negative towards him that I began to wonder if all the cynics were on to something.
If I even tried to explain how incredibly stupid and insensitive it was to compare UFC.com getting hacked to 9/11, I’d probably launch into a mostly incoherent, rambling rant that would take up most of your day.
So let me leave you with this: comparing a website getting hacked to one of the worst tragedies in the history of the United States is not only the dumbest thing White has ever said, it’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard in my life.