Today hasn't been a good day for UFC president Dana White.
After news broke that UFC lightweight contender Jeremy Stephens was arrested this morning, White went on the offensive and stated numerous times on Twitter not to listen to the MMA media who were doubtful that Stephens would fight Yves Edwards.
He continued to promise throughout the day that Stephens would in fact still fight Edwards. Even during the Fuel broadcast, right before the fights went live on FX, White was positive that he would make that fight happen.
The card came and went and Stephens never made his way to the Octagon. Many were waiting for an official announcement during the broadcast regarding the situation, but it never came came. Instead, White went to the Underground to explain what happened with Jeremy Stephens.
So here's the deal. I have been working since 11am to get him out of jail. the people in Iowa hate this kid and are going to stick it to him for SURE. Every time I would cut a deal for bail they would change the deal and I was willing to do anything. They kept changing the deal thinking I would tapout and when I didn't they left me hangin changing it every 5 mins. People at Minn Sheriffs Dept were amazing and I wNt to thank them. He has been in town since Monday and they arrested him Friday at 11am for a reason to really fuck him. I literally just told Yves he wasn't fighting 35 mins ago. He is a TRUE OLD SCHOOL PRO who waited all night for us to try and get Jeremy here!!!!! It is a pleasure being in biz with u Yves. So I wanted u the fans to hear it from me first.
Stephens was arrested this morning on an outstanding warrant on felony charges. While the exact charge was never confirmed, there were rumors throughout the day that they stemmed from a charge from 2011 for assault.
At the UFC on FX 5 post-fight press conference, White confirmed that the arrest did stem from the 2011 incident. White also confirmed that he was willing to pay an astronomical fee to get Stephens out of jail.
While I commend White for attempting to keep the fight on the card, at some point there needs to be a bit more transparency with fans and media. Based on his comments throughout the day, fans expected to see Stephens fight. If he got ahead of the story, people would likely have been a lot less critical of the situation.
Hopefully the UFC can put this day behind them. It's definitely a low point in promotion history.