Dana White's Nightmare: The 5 Worst Party Crashers for a UFC Event
Move over, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and your raft of roguishly charming hijinks. Because despite your propensity for party crashing, methinks you'd be VIP at the UFC.
Not so these other hardscrabble fellows. There's no charm in these guys. They are all rogue.
At least that's the apparent position of UFC president Dana White. And he got upset recently when Tito Ortiz took to Twitter to rally an honorable if somewhat rag-tag team of outcasts—Expendables, if I may—to crash the UFC's upcoming 20th anniversary party, going down at UFC 167 this November.
Among those he worked to rally were former champions and longtime White antagonists Frank and Ken Shamrock, recent Bellator convert Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and multi-time UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
White responded to that little thread by calling Ortiz and Co. the Super Friends. And I think he was being facetious. He also said that Ortiz was "cheap" and "irrelevant" and that Ken Shamrock owed him money. Oh, and the UFC also just happened to cut Randy Couture's son Ryan just days after the exchange.
Wow. That's what I call scorching the Earth. And yet, it got me to thinking: Who else might White be none too pleased to see crashing the gates of his party? Let us take a look.
Honorable Mention: Adrien Broner
Adrien Broner makes Floyd Mayweather look like he got his flamboyance from the toilet store.
But when Broner said he didn't consider MMA "a real sport" recently, he manned up a few days later and admitted his mistake. Still, I'm not sure White and the UFC would be ecstatic to see him in line at the ticket gate.
5. Lenne Hardt
When the UFC bought and absorbed Pride, it appeared to make a conscious effort to avoid absorbing anything that reminded people of Pride, especially from a production standpoint. Zuffa brass were not interested in displaying that kind of pro wrestling-style histrionics or doing anything to give any impression that Pride was still alive.
That's fine; it's Zuffa's right, of course, and it is more than entitled to sculpt its own identity without being mired in a past that has nothing to do with it. But given that Pride was, eh, into production stuff, the fact is a good many things that were familiar to (and, in many cases, popular with) fans were lost.
The living embodiment of those things is probably Lenne Hardt, whose trilling fighter introductions could give Ben Stein goosebumps.
That's why she's probably persona non grata, either directly or indirectly, at a UFC event. But never fear; she's alive, well and introducing fighters in the ONE FC promotion, among other places.
4. Jake Rossen
The former ESPN blogger hasn't been high on the MMA journo radar much lately, although he did write a great piece recently for The New York Times. It's a shame for fans of smart MMA writing; he was and is good at what he did and does. But it's probably less regrettable for White, who made Rossen the subject of one of his most famous vlog-etherings.
For the crime of doubting White's ambitious global expansion plan in 2009, Rossen got the serious business end of a White rant. It was frightening. And I get the impression that White would need to be held back (verbally, if not physically) from accosting Rossen should their paths ever cross, especially at a signature UFC event.
3. The Couture Family
I'm not going to shoot the undead horse that is the White vs. Couture feud. But it has heated up lately, culminating most recently with Ryan Couture's release.
Now that Randy would appear to have even less incentive to play nice with the UFC than he ever did before, one wonders if he'll devote himself full time to UFC gadflying. Unlike gleeful heel Ortiz or less-cerebral antagonists like Jackson or Shamrock, the Hall of Famer and multi-division champ is a legend in the sport and revered by most segments of the fight-watching population. If he started taking broadsides in earnest, he could really rock the boat.
2. The Shamrock Twins
Of all the "Super Friends," Ken Shamrock's anger at the UFC might be the most visceral.
Ken's adopted brother Frank is a tad more diplomatic in nature, but he still doesn't conceal his desire to kick at White's apple cart whenever he thinks the time is opportune.
Taken together, Fire and Somewhat Less Hot Fire would be a disruptive duo, on multiple levels, at any UFC function.
1. Tito Ortiz
Public Enemy No. 1.
No one with any interest in MMA needs a recap of the Tito vs. Dana history. They are sworn enemies and will stop at nothing to discredit or embarrass each other.
A long time ago, White and Ortiz nearly went head to head in a real cage fight. Why not resurrect that now? I'm deadly serious. Tito vs. Dana. UFC vs. Bellator. Zuffa vs. Viacom. Fox vs. Spike. And while we're at it, let's make it a ladder match. There are record numbers to be had here.
Scott Harris likes to engage in all sorts of baseless MMA speculation. For more, follow Scott on Twitter.