If Dana White walks out on a UFC headliner is that a career killer?

UFC boss Dana White left the arena rather than watch the tedious wrestle-mugging Cory Sandhagen put on Rob Font at UFC Nashville.

By: Nate Wilcox | 2 months ago

Dana White didn’t have to watch the headliner, so he didn’t

UFC boss Dana White left the arena during the Cory Sandhagen vs Rob Font headliner at UFC Nashville. The five round, 25 minute hugfest was dubbed “an absolute snoozer” by MMA Mania.

LAS VEGAS, NV - March 3: Dana White at the ceremonial weigh-ins at MGM Grand Garden Arena for UFC 285 -Jones vs Gane : Ceremonial Weigh-ins on March 3, 2023 in Las Vegas, NV, United States. (Photo by Louis Grasse PxImages) (Louis Grasse SPP) PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRAxMEX Copyright: xLouisxGrassex xSPPx SPP_156457
IMAGO | Sports Press Photo by Louis Grasse

Tom Clark tweeted “Dana just walked out and this arena is getting filled with boos. WTF Cory.”

The twitter reactions told much of the tale:

“The boo birds are out in full force with 30 seconds left in round 2.”

“Rob’s coach yelling at him to wake tf up then saying “not trying to be a dick but wake tf up.”
“Bisping telling it like it is. This fight stinks. One fighter is dominant and winning is the key. But is the fight entertaining? No. Doesn’t mean the fighters sucks, don’t go there.”

MMA Junkie summed it up, “Sandhagen’s 25-minute win, which was marked by nearly 20 minutes of control time and some of the paltriest combined striking numbers in UFC history, was derided by many critics, and UFC president Dana White reportedly walked out of the arena in the middle of the fight rather than stay for the end.”

Sandhagen got injured early, took a cautious approach

Sandhagen took to Instagram and revealed he got hurt early on and now needs surgery.

“Fully torn tricep in Round 1 :/,” Sandhagen posted. “Wasn’t able to punch or elbow with that arm without pain and it feeling like shit. Did what I had to do to win that night. Surgery this week – back soon! PEACE – LOVE YOU”

Whither Dana White? Did he go watch Nate Diaz vs Jake Paul?

MMA Mania summed it up.

“White also skipped UFC Nashville’s post-fight press conference, and because of that, no one got to hear his actual thoughts on the main event.

“This isn’t the first time UFC’s president has stormed off the venue floor because of disappointment. He infamously left during UFC 270’s lackluster main event when Francis Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane and also during Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland in 2021 at UFC Vegas 22.

“Nevertheless, who knows, maybe White snuck off to watch Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul at this hotel — he tends to do things like that.”

Does Dana’s exit bode ill for Sandhagen’s future in the UFC?

According to the crew on MMA Junkie’s Spinning Back Clique show, it’s not a good sign for a fighter’s future when Dana White walks out on a bout.

Panelist Nolan King said, “We know how the UFC runs things. We know what they’re looking for, and if UFC president Dana White did get up and leave during the fourth round, and that was out of spite, that is certainly not a good sign for Cory Sandhagen going forward.

Mike Bohn added, “I don’t think it’s a great look if Dana White did get up and leave. The last time I remember him doing that mid-fight was, I think, the first UFC event I ever covered as media, UFC 149, when he peaced out in the middle of Hector Lombard and Tim Boetsch, which was an awful fight back then too.”

Nolan King continued, “The UFC seems to find that balance of, you know, respecting the talent versus, you got to show me something to get those fans up off the seat. So when you hear us saying that this was, you know, really good performance and dominating, I think we also understand where you guys are coming from. If you paid money and you wanted to see what was advertised as supposed to be a fun striking match, we get, I get the boos, you know what I mean, at the same time.”

Time will tell if Sandhagen is permanently in Dana White’s UFC doghouse or not.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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