During the pre-fight press conference ahead of UFC 287, Dana White snapped at a reporter for asking questions about the dust-up between Kevin Holland and Jorge Masvidal. The two aforementioned fighters nearly got into it twice and had to be separated.
As seen in the short clip below, a reporter asked a question that re-ignited the heat between the two, only to be killed by UFC president Dana White.
“Guys, come on. These two aren’t even fighting. Knock it off.” an irked White told the journalist. “Do you have a question about the fight and who these guys are fighting? Or do you just want to start shit in here? What’s your question?”
Dana White explains why he shut down reporter’s question
Veteran reporter John Morgan asked Dana White about his response to the said question. The UFC boss essentially echoed his reaction, while also stating how it is “disrespectful” to the opponents of both Holland and Masvidal.
“We’re f—ng two days before the fight. He’s not fighting Jorge Masvidal. Whatever they got into… First of all, it creates shit backstage and at the hotels. When you guys ask them questions like that and they say something, we still got two days until the fight, and these guys run into each other backstage and everywhere else,” he said.
“And it’s so disrespectful to their opponent. There’s an opponent sitting out there that they’re gonna fight. I just hate that shit.”
The UFC’s history of backstage brawls
The Masvidal-Holland dust-up isn’t the first. As White mentioned, there was the near-brawl between Khamzat Chimaev, Nate Diaz and their respective entourages that led to the cancellation of the UFC 279 presser. The most infamous of them all was during UFC 223 in 2018, when Conor McGregor threw a dolly at the fighter bus that also caused cancellations and injuries.
Oddly enough, that incident made it to the Embedded series for that event, and was believed to be a publicity stunt to hype up a fight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But for White, such questions are possible instigators that could lead to brawls among fighters and their teams.
“I get it. You want your f—ng clicks or whatever it is you guys want to get. Your little f—ng moment that you can post. But I will f—ng attack you if you do that. It causes a lot of bullshit. It’s like the stuff that went down with Diaz and all those guys, Khamzat. These guys have f—ng 20, 30 guys backstage.
“That shit just can’t happen here, and you guys can’t instigate it.”
Holland ended up defeating Santiago Ponzinibbio via knockout and immediately called out Masvidal during the Octagon interview with Joe Rogan. “Gamebred,” however, announced his retirement after losing to Gilbert Burns in the co-main event.
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