Dana White is fed up.
The UFC president recently had an issue with Yair Rodriguez reportedly turning down fights, causing White to release the featherweight prospect before the sides ultimately reconciled. Apparently, it’s a problem White is dealing with more frequently these days: Many fighters are refusing certain opponents in the hopes of hand-picking their fights, and it isn’t sitting well with UFC’s boss.
“Listen, I get into these things where this is the fight business and the UFC is the elite of the elite in mixed martial arts,” White said on the most recent episode of the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast, per MMAFighting.com. “You get into these situations where you get these guys that don’t want to fight certain people and if you don’t want to fight certain people, this probably isn’t the place for you.
“I’m looking for people that want to be world champions, that want to f—ing fight the best in the world, and if you’re not that guy, then there’s plenty of other places where you can go and make money. This place isn’t for you.”
The fight business is tricky. In an ideal world, White could make any fight at any given moment. But the reality is egos, financial demands and opportunities outside the octagon often make negotiations messy, leading to prolonged absences for some fighters.
Well, it sounds like White is done dealing with that uncertainty, or so he says. Although Rodriguez now is back with UFC, it’s clear White was trying to send a message during that whole fiasco. And White since has doubled down in issuing a warning to UFC’s roster and those who aspire to join the promotion.
“That’s what I’ve run into with a few guys. You’re going to see more of it. There’s more coming today,” White said on the podcast, per MMAFighting.com. “I’m not f—ing around anymore here. If you don’t want to fight, don’t sign here. If you want to hand-pick fights, don’t sign a contract here. This isn’t the right place for you.”
White, who claims this wasn’t much of an issue during the old days, even gave an ultimatum of sorts, acknowledging there’s plenty of money to be made elsewhere if fighters have a problem with the way UFC operates.
“You’re here to fight and you’re here to become a world champion” White said, according to MMAFighting.com. “If that is not what you are here for, this is not the place for you. You can go many other places. They’re paying guys great money out there right now and a lot of times you can go out there and make more money than you’re making here. Knock yourself out because that’s where you belong. You don’t belong here.”
White is talking the talk. We’ll see if he walks the walk with some of UFC’s biggest stars.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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