Dana White tells fighter to show the UFC some respect over concussion protocol

Dana White went in on Jared Gordon after his admission of a concussion ahead of UFC Vegas 74.

By: Stephie Haynes | 4 months ago
Dana White tells fighter to show the UFC some respect over concussion protocol
IMAGO/ICON Sportswire: Dana White did not enjoy Johnny Walker's win at UFC on ABC 4.

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.

Hey Wait!

Thank you for reading this article. Please consider subscribing to the Bloody Elbow Substack to enjoy our daily premium content. Your paid subscriptions are helping build our new site and keeping hope alive that our staff will remain intact. If you haven’t already, please pledge with a paid subscription today. If you have, please share this post far and wide.

Join the new Bloody Elbow

Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.

Share this story

About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories