Dana White: The Promoter

This was the tweet of Dana White after Fedor Eliminako’s loss to Antonio Silva. The fans of not only Fedor, but of the MMA community went ramped on Dana’s twitter account insulting him and calling him a disgrace to the sport. But, the question is was Dana really insulting Fedor, or was he just pleased on the result of what could have been?

First things first Dana White works for the UFC first as President and then becomes a fight promoter to make sure the UFC is the best company across the world.  He wants to sign the best fighters and make sure the fights that take place are the best match-ups over any other MMA organization. This is his job and he even though sometimes things are done the way that many would think would be looked at as “correct, White has made the UFC the most successful MMA company in history.


Now over the last couple of years White has had many discussions with K-1 Sports and Fedor’s manager trying to sign him to a UFC deal. But to no avail, his management team signed with Strikeforce after a offer rumored to be the ball park of 30 million. Dann Stupp had this from MMA Junkie from January 2010:

“Emelianenko, the longtime PRIDE champion, recently competed for Affliction Entertainment, where he defeated ex-UFC champs Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. After its promotional demise, Emelianenko and the UFC entered talks that soon sparked a war of words in the media. White said the fighter’s demands (which included the caveat that Emelianenko’s UFC fights must be co-promoted by M-1 Global) were outlandish, but he said he was willing to pay big for the fighter. (Finkelstein, though, later denied reports that the UFC had offered a contract worth $30 million.) However, the co-promoting demands eventually halted the negotiations.”

That’s the way Dana White runs business and that is he really doesn’t have much wiggle room for negotiations. Strikefroce on the other hand gets taken advantage of and that was probably the big reason why Fedor signed with the company. White likes to be in control on what the contracts say instead of wondering when the fighter will will fight next. It’s a tough situation for Strikeforce, but dealing with Fedor, they don’t seem to be holding the upper hand in negotiations.

So after Fedor suffered the TKO from the hands of Silva, White went on Twitter to express his happiness with the result. Step into his shoes for a second and imagine trying to sign a fighter that would make more fans watch an event, but also draw big numbers for the business aspect of things. It would be a win, win situation for the company and make them that much more relevant.

I’m sure he tried multiple times to sign Fedor and put him in the already stacked Heavyweight Division. There would have been plenty of match-ups that would have gone down in MMA history, and been known as epic fights. But with Fedor’s management team, M-1 has ruined his career in the cage so far. Mind you he is only 34 years of age and with retirement a possibility, that excitement just got bigger for White.

Dana never said he didn’t respect the guy on Twitter or what talents he possesses. He simple put a smiley face for a business decision he tried to execute but never materialized and so far looks like it worked out for the best. He can look at it as fate or a needle in a haystack on the deal not working out but saving money for what it looks like a valley of Fedor’s career, who wouldn’t be happy?

White takes a unique way of using Twitter to his advantage and boasting his happiness as well anger on his account. When has he ever held back before?  If the fights suck he will tell you, when the fights are amazing he will vast in that glory because that’s what any President for any company would do.

Yes Fedor is a legend, no doubt about that, but when a contract is avoided and the result is a positive for a company, you can’t help but :).

Filed under: MMA

Tags: fedor, m-1, mma, scottcoker, strikeforce, UFC


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  • I wonder how many of those people that lost their composure and flipped on Dana were aware of the facts that led to his reaction to Fedor's most recent loss as well as the loss to Werdum . If Dana gave into the outrageous demands of the M-1 management he would be regarded as the biggest sucker in sports and in business .

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