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Banned Questions for Dana White at UFC 293
UFC CEO, he shed the president tag earlier this week, Dana White, spoke to the UFC access media following Saturday’s UFC 293 pay-per-view card in Australia. This is a column I began when I was with Bloody Elbow. The concept behind the column is twofold. The first idea is to present questions that I would ask if I was among the hand-selected media allowed to attend UFC events. The second idea behind “Banned Questions” is to give the media members who are tapped to attend UFC events some ideas on providing their readers, fight fans, and, in some cases, the UFC fighters, with more information.
On to the column…
Dricus Du Plessis and the entire UFC roster
Dana White: “When opportunities arise, you jump on them, and you take them. You should never turn down fights when you get the call. Especially if it’s for a world title.”
TR: This seemed like a thinly veiled reference to Dricus Du Plessis and a clear message to all fighters on the UFC roster.
I understand this from the UFC’s point of view. Of course, they want to make one call and have their first choice to fight for a title accept that fight. However, what if the fighter is injured? What if the potential title challenger can’t get a full camp in? What if the fighter’s coach is already training another client for a just as significant contest? There is a long list of reasons an athlete might know that turning down a world title fight is right for them at the moment the UFC offers the “opportunity.”
So the question becomes, what if the fighter who turned down the chance to fight for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 293, in this case, Dricus Du Plessis, is the No. 1 competitor in the division and one, or more, of the above reasons prevented him from taking the fight?
Should he put faith in his “official UFC ranking” because there is no such thing as “Dana White privilege” in the UFC and have faith that when he is healthy and can put together a full camp, the fight will materialize? Or should he accept the UFC’s offer, knowing he’ll be compromised and that a loss will set him back in the rankings and give him a long path back to another title fight?
The UFC is in the UFC business where the date on the calendar is more important than the fighter who could compete. The promotion must be more flexible on this front if it wants to present the best fights possible.
Where’s the line?
Two fighters used homophobic slurs during their post-fight interviews.
White summed this up as “mistakes” being made, but what’s the line on “mistakes?” If a fighter makes a “mistake” and says something racist, is that acceptable for White and the UFC? How about religion? Why is homophobia okay with the UFC?
UFC back on the road?
Dana White said the UFC is going to go “everywhere” soon.
When will this start happening? I ask because Dana White said the same thing in October 2021, “We’ve got to get back on the road. We’ve got to start going to places like Oklahoma and all these other small towns that we do Fight Nights in. We eventually have to get back to work. I’m looking forward to it. Sooner than later.”
That was nearly two years ago, and still, the UFC relies on the UFC Apex for many of what would typically be “Fight Night” events somewhere other than Las Vegas. Glancing at the UFC’s schedule for the next few months, four of the UFC’s nine booked events will take place at the UFC Apex.
Power Slap getting sanctioned?
This one came up following Tuesday’s Dana White Contender Series card when a member of the access media, perhaps looking to ingratiate themselves with White, decided to ask about Power Slap.
In reply, White said that “all these states” are going to start sanctioning Power Slap…
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