If you are in the MMA media sphere, or even if you’ve simply been following MMA, and specifically the UFC, for a very long time, you know the drill. You know very well that UFC President Dana White does not answer matchmaking questions 10 minutes following the conclusion of an event.
For the longest time, White would tell the media “I don’t make fights the night of the fight” when peppered with questsions about future match-ups for fighters who were still cleaning up in the back. For a while, White stopped giving even that reply. Recently, any time he received a matchmaking question, White would instead give a vague answer, along the lines of “yeah” or “sounds good.”
White gets a lot of grief from the media. A lot of it is deserved. This isn’t one of those times. Unless there’s an obvious number one contender waiting in the wings, matchmaking shouldn’t be done the night of.
The UFC 274 post-fight press conference featured a myriad of matchmaking questions during White’s appearance on stage. Nothing out of the ordinary from the media. However, White brought back his “I don’t make fights the night of the fight” comment. He rejected multiple matchmaking questions after the event.
If you watch or listen to White’s post-fight press conferences, you recognize at least the voices of various media members. Some of these reporters only go to a couple of events, but there are some who attend just about every show or at least every UFC pay-per-view. Yet these same reporters who’ve asked White several questions over the course of the year still ask him matchmaking questions, knowing damn well that he doesn’t answer these types of questions.
And yes, we’ve done it once or twice ourselves.
How hard is this? Why is the media pretending like they don’t know what White’s response will be? Why is it that they act like they’ve never heard White dismiss matchmaking questions previously? Worse, when White opts to go with the “sounds good” or “makes sense” sort of responses, these get blown up into bigger stories suggesting fights are set in stone.
That’s not always the case, much like some of the leaked war room match-ups were placeholders, or just wistful thinking.
I get it. We’re all fans and there were some exciting moments during UFC 274, especially in the lightweight division. As a result, we are all curious as to what we should expect to see next.
I see nothing wrong with fans and the media wanting to discuss and speculate on what is next for each fighter. But please give the matchmaking questions the night of the fight to White a rest. You know he won’t give you an answer, so stop asking him matchmaking questions right after a pay-per-view. At this point, they’re just filler.