In a battle of wits, Dana White is unarmed – Showtime responds to UFC CEO’s attacks

Dana White gloated over the rumoured demise of Showtime Boxing. Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza has now clapped back.

By: Tim Bissell | 2 months ago

Dana White and Showtime have been going at it

Recently it was rumoured that Showtime might be pulling the plug on most, if not all, of its boxing and combat sports programming (hence the rumours of Bellator being on the brink of extinction). With news that Showtime Boxing could no longer be a thing, UFC President Dana White reacted as you’d expect.

During a press conference this week, White was asked about the situation.

“That’s incredibly unfortunate. Production of that show is fantastic, the guy who runs Showtime boxing is a great human being. It’s unfortunate to hear this.”

White was being facetious. Something proved by his next comment, “F*** Espinoza”, referring to Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza.

Espinoza responded to White’s comments during a press conference for this weekend’s Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo mega fight.

“The UFC has never done a gate of $20 million in its entire history. We’ve done it three times since April,” said Espinoza.

Predictably, this elicited a fiery response from the UFC CEO (and previous President).

“That scumbag has absolutely nothing to do with the success of Canelo, Ryan Garcia and Terence Crawford,” wrote the Power Slap owner. “Those guys are mega stars and they are the ones responsible for driving the gates in their fights. For him to even try and take any credit at all shows you exactly what an arrogant, delusional POS that guy is.”

White went on to criticize Showtime’s production values before calling Espinoza a “little guy with a big yap” and a “complete phony”.

Stephen Espinoza responded to Dana White’s ‘scumbag’ comments

In an interview with Michelle Joy Phelps of Boxing Social, Steven Espinoza was given the chance to respond to Dana White.

When asked about how this latest chapter in their feud started, Espinoza said he was “confused” by it all.

“I was minding my own business and, all of a sudden, it’s ‘F Espinoza’. I’m not sure where it comes from. I don’t give a lot of thought to Dana and when I spoke yesterday about the gates… everybody took it as a shot against the UFC. I was trying to put it in perspective how impressive it was and how big a roll boxing is on, that we’ve got massive gates in a row, three mega events in a one year.”

Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza addresses Dana White’s recent comments.

“We know Dana, it’s not surprising,” continued Espinoza. “The reality is he’s threatened when you tell the truth. I mean that’s clear. I stated facts.

“I stated facts that we got three 20 million dollar gates. Stated the fact the UFC has never done one. His response is to call me names. You know it’s not really an adult conversation when someone states facts and the response is to call you a name. But, the reality, it turned into this stupid back and forth where I’m stating facts, in return calling me names, it’s like a grade school type debate. And I’m not interested in continuing it. It’s sort of like it’s a battle of wits and he’s unarmed. There’s really nothing left to say.”

July 11, 2017 - Los Angeles, California, U.S - FLOYD MAYWEATHER and CONOR MCGREGOR (R) ,UFC President Dana White (Speaking) kick off their world tour with a press conference PK Pressekonferenz Tuesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles,California. Mayweather vs. McGregor will take place Saturday, Aug. 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Mayweather-McGregor Los Angeles World Press Tour - ZUMAf136 20170711_zap_f136_013 Copyright: xChrisxFarinax
Dana White and Steven Espinoza collaborated on the 2017’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. IMAGO/ZUMA Wire/Chris Farina

“He’s been wishing for us to come to an end for a while,” he added. “And I could say a lot of things about his product and his various products, but look that’s not my style. The reality is, he’s tried to get in boxing. He’s repeatedly failed. I mean, unless you count being an errand boy and driving fighters to the airport, which he did pretty well, I heard.”

Espinoza later refuted rumours of Showtime Boxing’s demise, albeit softly. “We’ve heard these kind of things before and we know where they come from,” he said.

Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo is this Saturday on Showtime

Canelo Alvarez fights Jermell Charlo this weekend live on Showtime and FITE.TV. Information on how to order and watch the fight can be found here. Dana White, who doesn’t have a UFC, Power Slap or ZUFFA boxing event this weekend, will probably be watching.

Bloody Elbow merch now available

Bloody Elbow is pleased to announce our partnership with Revgear. They have been a pioneer in the MMA gear industry and have grown into a formidable brand and true leader in the market. Revgear now have Bloody Elbow t-shirts, hoodies and hats so you can show your support for independent MMA journalism.

Screenshot 2023 11 13 at 1.31.05 PM

You know you can count on us for quick, consistent quality Boxing, UFC and MMA coverage. Bloody Elbow is an independent, reader supported publication. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our best work and learn how you can support the site.

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
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at Nice messages will get a response.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories