The UFC has a well-deserved reputation for being an aggressive business, routinely going after rival organizations that are threatening its dominant market share. With Bellator set to enter the PPV market in November, it seemed likely that the UFC would do something to try to shut them out.
However, UFC President Dana White has stated to MMAjunkie.com that his organization has no interest in counter-programming Bellator’s event. Why? Well White doesn’t see a lot of fan interest in the headline bout of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Tito Ortiz, both of whom are coming off of three fight losing streaks.
“I’m sure you guys saw when they did their press conference, all they talked about was me,” White said at a press conference for UFC Fight Night 26. “What are they going to talk about? That fight? ‘Well, you guys have lost your last 10 fights, uh … how do you think this fight is going to go? Well, I can tell you this: One of us is going to win. Somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go.”
Uncharacteristically, White doesn’t seem threatened at all by Bellator’s first foray into an area that’s historically been the UFC’s bread and butter.
“Obviously, they need money, and good for them,” he said. “Let them do their thing. I’m not [worried] at all about it.
That lack of worry seems to have translated to White’s feelings on Bellator overall, saying that his “video blog does more viewers than their television show does.”
“I’m not feeling very competitive,” he added.
He wasn’t too happy about Bjorn Rebney’s continued criticism of the UFC though, and Dana had some words of his own for the rival president.
“I saw that ‘Bjork’ was talking some smack. I’m like, dude, just shut up and run your business. That’s over, man. You probably should have done that in the beginning when you had some legs to stand on. You need to shut up and run your business. They’re hurting.”
“They don’t know what they’re doing, and they try to copy things instead of being original and doing original things,” he concluded. “They’re not involved in this because they love the sport and they’re looking to push the sport forward and trying to do all these things. They’re in it because they want to make money.”
It’s definitely interesting that Dana White, and the UFC overall, isn’t looking to more aggressively push Bellator out of the market. In the past, the organization has put on shows in under a month’s time just to counter-program rival promotions. This time though, it seems like White is more than happy just to watch things play out.
Bellator 106: Rampage vs Tito will take place on November 2 in Long Beach, California.