Randy Couture and 5 Former UFC Stars on the Outs with Dana White
We've seen a lot of fighters become stars over the years. Very few of them have stayed on good terms with UFC President Dana White.
Former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture is now living in Dana White's dog house. He is by no means alone.
So who are the other fighters, past and present, that have drawn the ire of the UFC's top dog? Who is going to be glossed over when Zuffa brass talk about the UFC's most important fighters?
Find out right here!
As stated, Randy “The Natural” Couture is the most recent addition to Dana White's *%@$ list. While this may be surprising to some newer fans, people who have been following MMA since the 1990s' know all too well how one of the UFC's all-time greats has a long history of bad blood with UFC brass.
Randy Couture became the UFC's third ever heavyweight champion in 1997, beating Maurice Smith at UFC Japan. He would never defend the belt, leaving the UFC over a contract dispute, and taking his talents to Japan. He would return to the UFC in 2001, and stuck around until 2007.
Couture, currently the heavyweight champ, would again try to leave the UFC. This resulted in a bitter, ugly court battle over his flirting with major UFC competitors, IFL and Affliction. Couture would return, and would fight Brock Lesnar.
From here, Couture's history with the UFC was whitewashed. Hard. As his retirement fight with Lyoto Machida came and went, he was remembered as the grizzled veteran who was great enough to have five different belts strapped around his waist.
Now attached to Bellator, he finds himself once again butting heads with Dana White. These days, it's a lot easier to remember his fights with the UFC out of the cage, than his fights with the UFC in the cage.
The feud between the former light heavyweight champ and Dana White is one of the ugliest in the history of MMA. Both parties exchanged words where, if MMA wasn't a billion-dollar business, bridges would be left behind in ashes.
Dana White called Ortiz “one of the most dishonest human beings I've ever met”. Ortiz famously wore a shirt reading “Dana is my Bitch” at the weigh-ins to UFC 84. Ortiz actually showed his contract off to other fighters in order to soften the UFC's negotiation strength, costing the promotion millions.
Ortiz would, eventually, return to the UFC and once again, the bitterness between the two was buried by the memories of the good old days where they skipped through meadows hand-in-hand. Once again, this sense of camaraderie ended after the fighter started a new job that put him at odds with the UFC.
These days, Ortiz is an agent, currently at the helm of Primetime 360 Entertainment and Sports Management. This has him representing several fighters, but most notably Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
You likely already know the story with Ronda Rousey joining the UFC, and a superfight (this actually would have been a superfight, too) between Rousey and Cyborg getting nixed by Ortiz. Lately, White has been attacking Ortiz, and his accomplishments as a fighter, on a personal level.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Dana White are, in many ways, two peas in a pod. The thing is, as anybody who dormed with their at-the-time best friend sophomore year knows, peas can get really mad with each other after they spend extended periods of time together.
Jackson has always been a bit of a prima donna, and has rarely reacted well to adversity. This, of course, made his role in the light heavyweight division difficult to pin. Was he the sort of wily fan favorite Matt Serra was when he fought Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg? Or was he a legitimate title contender?
The UFC, at least, believed him to be the latter and as he began losing to younger, better fighters he became more and more eccentric.
His loss to Forrest Griffin? Racism. UFC matchmakers? They need to be shot for pitting him against wrestlers (even though the vast majority of top light heavyweights are wrestlers). Zuffa executives? Liars and cheats.
Worse than all that, however, was his pulling out of a scheduled UFC 107 matchup with Rashad Evans following The Ultimate Fighter season 10. The event was built around Jackson, and took place in his hometown of Memphis.
Even though White has been a sport since Jackson's final UFC fight at UFC on Fox 6, and says there's no bad blood, it's tough to believe that.
Dan Henderson is the only current UFC fighter to find himself, and it does not all stem from the cancellation of UFC 151.
When it comes to UFC 151 Jon Jones initially took the heat for the first ever collapse of an event with all the false nobility he could muster. As the details emerged and the dust settled, however, it came out that Dan Henderson knew he may not be able to fight at UFC 151 weeks in advance.
At this point, the hate and blame fell squarely on the lap of the former Pride two-division champion and Dana White minced no words in putting the blame on him. This, however, wasn't the first time White and Henderson found themselves at odds.
What makes Henderson qualify as a "former" UFC fighter (for this article, at least) was his ugly exit from the UFC in 2009.
Following the victory over Michael Bisping that gave him one of the greatest highlights of his lengthy career, he found himself in his own contract dispute with the UFC. The result? He joined Strikeforce, infuriating White to the point where he banned Henderson's clothing line, Clinch Gear, from appearing in the UFC.
Obviously, he has returned since, but man...the man keeps angering Dana.
Frank Shamrock loves attention more than anything else. He loves it more than friends, family and money.
How has he gotten this attention? Showing up with literally every major American MMA promotion, ever. Usually this was as a fighter. Sometimes he a commentator. Sometimes he as a coach.
After each one of these gigs, he kicked a can of gasoline onto the bridge out and threw a lighter on it. Few have left behind as many, and none have found so many ways to infuriate in the MMA industry as Frank Shamrock.
Recently, Shamrock has attached himself to Bellator, and will be appearing on their MMA-focused reality show. This has reopened the old wounds between the two, and they have been exchanging pointed jabs at each other since. You can read some of their recent exchanges here and here. Other gems you can see here, here and here.
Ken Shamrock, at one point or another, committed nearly every one of the offenses thus far in this article.
Allying himself with competing promotions? Check. Litigious contract dispute with the UFC? Check. Taking issue with Dana White, personally? Check.
The one thing that put Shamrock securely in the No. 1 spot as Dana White's most-hated fighter, though, was his appearance on an ESPN “Outside the Lines” special on UFC fighter pay. Don't take my word for it, though. Here are some excerpts from White's epic rant:
“These guys are coming out, and they got Ken Shamrock. Are you [expletive] kidding me? You know how much money Ken Shamrock owes me...Ken Shamrock filed a bogus lawsuit...against us and lost. He owes us that money. Do you know what I've done for Ken Shamrock? Ken Shamrock, when I brought him over, he was broke—flat [expletive] broke. He was in income-tax trouble. His knee was shot. I rebuilt his knee. I got him out of income-tax trouble, fronted him a [expletive]-load of money. We gave him money—literally gave him money—$60,000. We gave him $60,000 just to get him back on his feet. You know how much money he made in the two fights he fought with us? It was $2.5 million...[expletive] you, Ken Shamrock.”