Dana White was no fan of the media’s choice of questions at last week’s UFC 287 press conference, a regional show leaves fighters hanging with a last minute cancellation, and more in this week’s Sunday MMA Quick Hits!
XMMA 6 cancelled on short notice, promotion cites lack of security at venue
While XMMA have made a name for themselves stacking cards with former UFC fighters, their latest event has been cancelled (or at the very least postponed) on short notice, due to a reported lack of security to handle the show.
This did not go over well with the fighters, at least one of whom did not get advanced notice of the cancellation. Former UFC fighter Luis Pena also suggested the promotion had stopped answering his calls, in a comment left on the cancellation notice on the XMMA Facebook page.
“Due to Security Staffing Shortages at The John T Rhodes Center, XMMA 6 Has been rescheduled for Wednesday May 3rd 2023,” the promotion wrote in part. In responses to criticism by fans, a promotion rep stated via their Facebook page that “For everyone posting, this is not ‘bogus’ and there’s not 4 more days to fix. At the venue we are required to have uniformed MB police officers, there were no officers available to work the event, we can use other security but it has to be in conjunction with attending MB Police Officers. It’s a requirement that there’s no way around.”
“We attempted to find other suitable venues but were unsuccessful given the time constraints. Those are the facts and if anyone cares to message me or call to talk about it fell free to do so. You can also call the John T Rhodes Center and they will tell you the same thing. People love to think the worst of business’s and I get it, this however is not one of those instances.”
The use of “pay duty” police officers for large events is fairly standard and generally booked well in advance.
Dana White goes off on media members’ choice of questions at UFC 287 press conference
Dana White shut down questions about the Kevin Holland-Jorge Masvidal incident that transpired early last week during Wednesday’s press conference. He was in no mood for jokes about the WWE/UFC “merger” under a new parent company, TKO (at least, that’s what the stock ticker will say — Endeavor has yet to announce what the outfit will actually be called) either.
On the Pat McAfee show later in the week, White went off, once again, about the questions asked at Wednesday’s presser. As he did the night of, the UFC President complained about a journalist asking Jorge Masvidal and Kevin Holland about getting into an altercation during fight week. Despite the confrontation being obviously newsworthy, since it involved two fighters getting physical outside that cage, who were both fighting on Saturday’s card.
In other words, that’s fair game, and normal for the media to be interested in.
“The thing that drives me crazy is, yesterday we’re up there, we’re dealing with some of these MMA guys. There’s this f*cking stupid, unprofessional, looking for clickbait dumb sh*t,” said White, referring to The Mac Life’s Oscar Willis, who posited the questions. “You’ve got these guy going up — Kevin Holland and Masvidal got into it, so they want to get up and start asking questions. ‘Why’d you guys get into a fight, what’s going on with this and this?’ Shut the f*ck up. These guys aren’t fighting.”
No, they were not, which is the entire point that White is missing. Why two fighters not contracted to fight get into it is always going to be a question media members ask, because fans want to know.
“It’s not a good thing that they got in a fight in the back or whatever. And it’s so disrespectful to the guys that they’re actually fighting. Do you have questions? These guys are going to fight these other guys that are standing up on the stage. Do you have any intelligent questions that you’d like to ask them?”
What’s also disrespectful is the two fighters involved risking injury in an out-of-the-cage altercation, which could have seen them bounced from the card. Or, in the case of Masvidal, on bail for assaulting Colby Covington, being in breach of his bail conditions— another logistical nightmare were it to transpire.
White then turned his ire to media personality “The Schmo,” who more often than not crosses the line between journalism and entertainment. The question posed by The Schmo had to do with who Kevin Holland wanted to hit with a steel chair, in light of Endeavor’s acquisition of WWE.
“And then that other f*cking idiot gets up there and goes ‘now that the WWE deal is done, who would you like to hit with a chair?'” White exclaimed. “You, motherf*cker! That’s who. Shut the f*ck up.”
Of course, White wouldn’t be in this position if the UFC didn’t covet the following that fringe media personalities like The Schmo and the NELK Boys/Full Send MMA bring with them. Not to mention, any number of serious sportswriters won’t touch the UFC with a ten foot pole because of White’s longstanding animosity towards the media.
The UFC President isn’t entirely wrong about the steel chair question. It was dumb. But press conference questions often are— they’re generally lighter affairs than the media days which come 24 hours or so earlier.
Perhaps the most embarrassing aspect of White’s latest tirade, however, was seeing Pat McAfee and AJ Hawk laughing along like a pair of complete chuckleheads, not even considering asking White any pressing questions, like why he thinks journalists shouldn’t ask about altercations between fighters that potentially threaten events. After all, imagine the fallout had Masvidal been injured in one of the two Holland confrontations last week, and been forced out of his fight with Gilbert Burns.
Dana White looking ripped ahead of UFC 287
Good thing he isn’t being tested by USADA, right? We’re in peak TRT-era Vitor form here.
Ok Kevin Boda, sign me up 🔥 pic.twitter.com/dFcY0V0zjy
— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) April 8, 2023
Sam Hughes reveals boyfriend bet $1000 on her at UFC 287
As if the UFC didn’t have enough gambling headaches, UFC 287 strawweight winner Sam Hughes admitted following her fight that her boyfriend had bet $1000 on her to win against LFA champ Jaqueline Amorim.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 8, 2023
Hughes may get a pass because her significant other didn’t initially tell her of the bet. Still, the UFC changed its gambling policy earlier this year, forbidding fighters, their teammates, coaches, trainers, managers, “and other individuals affiliated with the athletes or UFC” from betting on UFC events. Fighters are expected to report any integrity concerns to the promotion, under the new policy.
The alterations to the official policy came in the wake of the James Krause betting scandal. Krause, who ran a betting-themed Discord channel, allegedly placed bets on behalf of gamblers with an off-shore sportsbook, and had publicly claimed to make more money off gambling than fighting or anything else.
That comment has come back to haunt him, after betting irregularities were uncovered in connection with the November 5, 2022 fight between Shayilan Nuerdanbieke and Darrick Minner, the latter a Krause-affiliated athlete. Krause, Minner, and Jeff Molina, another betting enthusiast who was involved in Krause’s Discord, remain under suspension while the NSAC and other bodies investigate.