After what was a great night of fights at UFC 166 last weekend, Dana White talked about John Dodson, an exciting flyweight fighter who won his bout via knockout. Dodson is like many dynamic and hungry fighters on the roster; he wants to fight as often as possible in order to make as much money as possible.
The fight game has always belonged to the young, sans exceptions to the rule, such as Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Bernard Hopkins and others. Fighters want to make the most of the time they have and the spotlight available to them.
Sadly, in the UFC, competition for both is fierce.
White, never a man to shy away from any conversation that deals with his company and the policies by which they exist and thrive, spoke on the subject of Dodson, fighter cuts and the realities of having a full roster (h/t Jesse Holland via mmamania.com).
“I keep telling you guys our roster is too full. Guys have to get fights and every time after a show we cut a guy, people say ‘F--k you, Dana White, you’re an idiot.’ Shut the f--k up and let us run our business.”
As usual, White does not hide his feelings or resort to false pretense when faced with the public’s recurring misconception about a company policy. He’s got more than enough right to conduct business as he see’s fit. He is the man that knows what the guts of the machine actually look like, and how best to keep them running.
But there is a wrinkle in the bed sheet.
White may indeed be the man with the plan, but the fans are the ones who make it possible. As the sport has grown, so has the UFC, and that has seen White grow more and more accustomed to addressing the fans as if they were nothing more than ignorant children who should be happy with whatever he decides to give them.
Obviously, if pushed to address this fact, White would give the fans their due and explain that he is not speaking to the masses, but rather the minority who take exception with nearly everything he says.
But at the end of the day, when speaking with the media, if he does not make that difference known at the podium, then the message goes out unfiltered, and is processed and assimilated by the fans in total, who have every right to feel angry and slighted by such declarations.
White is in a tough position, just as every man in authority is. But he took that mantle upon himself, and by now he should know how to navigate the landscape without trampling on everyone who just so happens to be in front of him.