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The story according to Dana White
When UFC lightweight Jared Gordon was pulled from his fight with Jim Miller just two days before the event, the MMA community was left wondering if it was because of a comment he made at the UFC Vegas 74 Media Day event this past Wednesday. As it turns out, that is exactly why he was pulled.
Gordon mentioned having sustained a concussion as a result of the clash of heads in his fight with Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 71 but that it had “went away” before the fight with Miller was booked. Last night, at the post-fight press conference, Dana White was asked about the situation and he didn’t mince any words, scorching Gordon with a vitriolic rant. Transcription courtesy of Alex Behunin.
“When you come in here on press day, and you announce that you had a concussion six weeks ago, and you healed yourself from the concussion, you’re done. We’re not going to let you fight with a [concussion]; yeah, we pulled them because he should have told us that six weeks ago.”
“You know what I mean?” Dana White continued. “You should have shown at least the company and your opponent some respect, and at least did that six weeks ago. You’re not an f—king doctor. You didn’t cure yourself from a concussion.
“So what did he do? Did he get a concussion? Was he self-diagnosed? Or did he go to a doctor, and did a doctor diagnose him with a concussion? You have to be honest when you get injuries. And of course, the minute we hear about it- no fight is worth keeping on if it’s going to risk somebody’s health, safety, longevity, whatever it might be, we will pull you out in 2.5 seconds.”
Where was the breakdown?
Were the matchmakers and Dana White somehow unaware that Gordon’s fight with Bobby Green ended with him being knocked out? Did they forget that knockouts produce concussive injuries? A conversation on Twitter had some media members noting that commissions weren’t allowing injury suspension information to be dispersed, but it was MMA manager Daniel Rubenstein’s comment that garnered the most attention:
“Neither can we. We just get told by the promoter what suspensions the fighters have and what is needed for it to be cleared. I’ve lobbied for a limited login to the ABC database to check my fighters suspensions and licenses and was denied.”
This tweet from Caposa also summed up the issue. Gordon was clearly concussed in his last UFC bout against Bobby Green at FC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs. Blaydes on April 23, 2023.
ABC president Mike Mazzuli sets the record straight
ABC president Mike Mazzuli was quick to step in and address Rubenstein’s comment, though.
“I don’t know who [Daniel Rubenstein] spoke to at the ABC, but he never spoke to me.” He also noted that Rubenstein’s statement was “absolutely incorrect,” and said fighters can get access to their suspension information at any time from the ABC, although access may differ state to state and commission to commission, based on HIPPA laws.
Access to vital information like purse payouts has been severely limited as commission after commission has decided to not make that information public going forward. The promotion has managers denying interviews with their athletes unless it’s to UFC-approved outlets. They’ve closed loopholes that would have allowed for fighters to engage in class action lawsuits. They’re raking in money hand over fist, yet are only allowing for a 13-14.5% cut of the revenue for their athletes. The Big Bad seems to be seizing control of every aspect of the sport and it looks like there’s nothing really obstructing their domination.
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