Hero Or Villian: Dana White Simply Cannot Lose
Like him or not Dana White seemingly simply cannot lose. What am I talking about you ask? Unlike his corporate peers, the UFC President gets to tell the world how he sees things, occasionally in verbal tirades which might make Andrew Dice Clay blush a little bit, and typically hes not too far off but when he is, he still ends up on top.
Even when something doesn't play out as Dana expected it to, he has ingeniously positioned himself and the UFC to benefit either way. Dana does all this in front of a world wide audience where every move is scrutinized and lesser men are crucified daily.
For example back in 2007 the UFC's heavyweight champion Randy Couture walked away from his UFC contract over money and the UFC's failure to sign Fedor. Fans were stunned. The UFC's notoriously soft heavyweight division was left in disarray.
Dana immediately became public enemy number one with fans screaming for his head on platter. Lesser men may have crumbled and given in to the demands of those crazy Russians or possibly granted Randy his release to save face. Dana on the other hand simply stood his ground and barely blinked.
Dana told the world Randy had a signed contract with the UFC with obligations left to fulfill. And as it became clear Randy wasn't going to retire we were told we'd see Randy fight in the UFC again, Dana guaranteed it and all we'd have to do was wait and see.
The end result? A year and a half layoff for Randy who returned to a new multi-fight contract. A mini heavyweight tournament within a stronger heavyweight division to unify the interim belt with the belt providing headline fights for several PPVs. Oh did we mention the coming out party for one Brock Lesnar and Dana's head planted squarely between his shoulders?
Well played Mr. White. Well played.
Recently Dana had a statement about Kimbo Slice attempt to come back to haunt him. During the meteoric rise to fame of one Kimbo Slice in 2008 during the rise of another promotion known as EliteXC Dana White went on record a few times telling the world his opinion on Mr. Slice and banking on Kimbo was a mistake. He also said the only way Kimbo would make it into the UFC was through The Ultimate Fighter.
Oct 2008 saw EliteXC not only have the carpet pulled out from under it, a piano was dropped on it followed by being run over by a bus. While EliteXC's fall can be attributed to many factors it came on the heels of its third and final event.
At EliteXC's third event live on network television a headlining Kimbo Slice was on the wrong end of a quick stoppage. This stoppage was courtesy of a short jab via the hands of last minute replacement light heavyweight Seth Petruzelli who was filling in for Ken Shamrock who had cut himself hours prior to the fight.
With Kimbo off the radar for several months and Kimbo stock looking up to see the sidewalk word came out that The Ultimate Fighter season ten was modified from its original format to accommodate an all heavyweight cast. This cast surprisingly including none other than Kimbo Slice. Quickly season ten went from wonder who was going to be the next Junie Brown to the most eagerly anticipated season ever.
Even with Kimbo's unsurprising loss to a disappointing Roy Nelson proving Dana was right all along Dana still seems to be sitting on top of a gold mine. Kimbo has become the beloved underdog now and gained in popularity even amongst his biggest detractors.
Yet again there appears to be method to Dana White's madness where he simply cannot lose.
Last on my laundry list is that whole messy Fedor situation. You know, the one involving those crazy Russians. MMA fans around the world hold they're collective breath each time the UFC and those crazy Russians sit down to negotiate signing Fedor to the UFC.
To date Fedor has not been signed and both parties have gone on record criticizing the other for business practices. Unfortunately for those crazy Russians the UFC has the better competition for they're fighter and stands to pay much better. While they adhere to some odd ball business practices they deprive the fans of the fights we want to see.
Not only does not signing Fedor not do Dana White or the UFC any harm, it actually solidifies anything Dana happens to have said about Fedor. The debates and speculation rage on unabated by reality meanwhile almost everyone holds they're breath every time Fedor fights to see if Fedor is what we've built him up in our minds to be.
Should Fedor lose to Brett Rogers it won't hurt the UFC in the slightest. It may even aid them at the bargaining table to sign Fedor. Should Fedor win the pressure goes up to pit the UFC champion versus the WAMMA champion but that only means higher profits for the UFC in the end. Should Fedor come to the UFC and win it only means good things for the UFC and Dana.
Whether its simply due to the growing popularity of the sport, or intrinsic dynamics created or perpetuated by Dana and the UFC it seems that, at least while the UFC is the top promotion, that Dana White simply cannot lose.
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