Many fans were unimpressed with both the co-main event and the main event of the evening, finding them to be boring.
White agreed with this sentiment, particularly in reference to the co-main event of the evening, Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson.
White remarked that he was unimpressed with both fighters, calling it "an ugly heavyweight fight" and "borderline embarrassing."
Criticism of Roy Nelson's performance is understandable. He looked gassed after the first round, and by the end of the fight he was completely exhausted. It was the worst he's looked so far in the UFC, and maybe the worst he has looked in his whole career.
However, the criticism of Mir's performance is unwarranted. He won the fight decisively. Mir's wrestling looked as good as it has ever looked inside the Octagon. Frank might not have been able to finish Nelson, but he landed a bunch of big shots throughout the fight, and anyone who saw Roy's fight with Junior Dos Santos knows he is a hard man to finish.
White has been a part of MMA for a long time now. Dana knows that Mir had a pretty good showing last night. The reason White is criticizing Mir is because the casual fans didn't like the fight; Dana is siding with the fans.
This is not the first time this has happened.
White is often critical of fighters who fail to please the fans.
It has been evident for quite some time that White is not a big fan of Jon Fitch, Fitch being a fighter who regularly fails to finish fights.
Here are a couple quotes from White, following Fitch's fight with B.J. Penn:
"Fitch is one of these guys that goes, 'Oh, I want my respect,'" White said. "He just fought a 155-pound guy and went to a draw with him, and in my opinion, he lost the first two rounds—and he's crying for a title shot?"
"You've got to get in there and decisively beat people. You have to have fans clamoring for you to fight for the title."
First off, White calling B.J. Penn a 155-pound guy is disrespectful because B.J. was a champ at welterweight before he was a champ at lightweight. Dana was clearly trying to make B.J. seem like a less threatening fighter than he actually is in an effort to make Fitch's performance seem less impressive.
Also, Fitch "crying" for a title shot was understandable because he was promised one if he beat Thiago Alves at UFC 117, which he did decisively.
Having fans clamoring for you to get a title shot is clearly a criteria that White is only applying to Fitch. How many fans were clamoring for people like Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Brock Lesnar, Frankie Edgar or Dan Hardy to get title shots? I could drop more names, but I think the point is made.
White will turn on fighters at the drop of a hat, if the fans don't like them.
Mir has been with the UFC for a decade. He has fought for the company 18 times and has been in a bunch of exciting fights.
After all that Mir has done for the UFC, you'd think he could count on White to have his back, but this is not the case.
Mir's past two fights have been poorly received by the fans and, despite the fact that in both those fights the lack of excitement was more due to Mir's opponents, White is already talking down about him.
MMA is still a young sport and so casual fans have trouble appreciating it's subtleties.
Rather than obviously pandering to the fans by echoing their thoughts, White should be supporting his fighters and focusing on the positive aspects of their performances.
The casual fans are never going to be able to open their minds to all aspects of MMA if they keep seeing the President of the UFC parroting their close-mindedness.
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