Dana White has never been one to bite his tongue, but these days, few things seem to get his blood boiling more than the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The UFC President has taken NSAC to task at every turn on a handful of issues, but the bulk of White's ire has been as a result of the commission's judge and referee selection for the promotion's events that are held in Las Vegas.
While controversial decisions, debatable stoppages—or lack thereof—is certainly nothing new to the realm of combat sports, the UFC figurehead appears to be reaching the end of his proverbial rope with the governing body. White has been at odds with NSAC for years, but the intensity hit a fever pitch in the aftermath of Saturday night's main event welterweight title tilt between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks.
White, and a large percentage of the MMA media, had Hendricks winning the majority of the rounds, which should have resulted in the crowning of a new welterweight champion. But that's not how the cageside judges scored the tilt, and St-Pierre took the split-decision victory and retained the title he's held for the past five years.
Immediately upon the conclusion of the card, White ripped the judges at the post-fight press conference for robbing Hendricks of what should have been the biggest victory of his career. While the UFC head honcho launched plenty of verbal missiles during the press conference, the topic carried over into his media scrum, where he broadened his scope and put the commission itself on blast.
With frustration obviously bubbling over, White declared action needed to be taken once and for all, even if that meant Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stepping in.
“They have been very consistently bad," White told the media in attendance. "It’s at the point now…when the Mayweather thing happened, the governor jumped right in there. The governor needs to fix this thing. I don’t know what the answer is, but the answer is to fix this problem. The problem is the judges and some of these referees. That’s the problem."
“When the promoter is more concerned about the fighters than the commission…that’s a problem. The commission is here to protect the fighters from me. I’m a promoter. I’m taking their money and making sure Georges St-Pierre wins because he’s our big money guy and screw Johny Hendricks. That’s what they are supposed to be there for. It is absolutely f***** insane when the promoter is trying to protect the fighters from the commission."
“There is obviously some incompetence there, but there is also a f****** huge ego there," he added. "There is a huge ego who would rather stick it to us than just do what’s right. There’s no doubt about it and I absolutely 100 percent believe that. And I think a lot of you believe that too. This is our hometown, where we live, and the athletic commission is the weakest in the country."
While NSAC is under the microscope for the controversial outcome of the St-Pierre vs. Hendricks bout, problems with MMA judging reach far beyond the boundaries of Nevada. Inconsistencies with scoring have have occurred all across the globe and have brought the sport's 10 Point Must format under scrutiny time and time again.
That said, with the UFC being based out of Las Vegas and the promotion holding a minimum of four events annually in "Sin City", the battle between the organization and NSAC comes with a unique sense of urgency. While White doesn't know the exact answer on how to fix the dilemma, if the issues continue to go on without being addressed, he believes the company may seek alternatives to holding events in their hometown.
“So when you start looking at next year’s schedule, how many fights do you really want to do in Vegas?" White said. "I think the governor of this state is very aware of what is going on with the athletic commission. Now it’s just a matter of getting it done. Getting in there, rolling up your sleeves and getting it done."
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.
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