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No One Wins When The UFC Publicly Criticizes Fighters

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Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

For the sake of the sport, the UFC and Dana White need to stop publicly criticizing fighters who they disagree with.

 It doesn’t help advance the sport, nor professionalize it.
The latest example is White saying Gilbert Melendez “needs to look elsewhere” and that he’s “done” with Melendez.
This follows White saying Alistair Overeem is ducking Junior Dos Santos, that Georges St-Pierre’s recent comments about drug testing are “kooky,” and that Cris Cyborg committed “professional suicide” by partnering with Tito Ortiz, whom he called “dumbest guy in the sport.”
Nobody wins when White verbally insults these fighters.
In the case of Melendez, he’s arguably the best lightweight in the world. He lost a close decision to Benson Henderson for the title, in a fight many believe Melendez won.
Here’s a guy who is highly regarded, whom the UFC is about to let go of, all over a contract dispute and the UFC’s inability to get along with Melendez’s management.
White may very well sign Melendez in the end, so publicly letting everyone know that he’s willing to let Melendez walk away, doesn’t boost Melendez’s value, nor make the UFC look above it all.
If the UFC signs Melendez, what does it get? A guy apparently White could live without.
When it comes to Overeem, White is essentially calling him a coward. He is implying that Overeem’s rib injury is faked so he won’t have to fight the hard-hitting JDS.
Overeem’s has fought 51 times in MMA and 15 times as a kickboxer. He’s been knocked out 11 times as a fighter. He stepped into the cage against Brock Lesnar.
Overeem is not afraid of anybody. And even so, so what? How does it help anyone for White to call him out? It just buries Overeem and turns another fighter against the UFC President.
Everyone is still talking about a Cyborg fight with Rousey, so apparently she didn’t commit professional suicide and Ortiz just stepped down as her manager, so he must not be that dumb afterall.
Let the athletes be athletes. They are not cowards. They are not dispensable. It’s best to uplift all the fighters and let the fighting happen inside the cage.
  • Ol’ Rooter

    Dana wants so much to be Vince McMann. As soon as Dana realizes that MMA is a sport, and treats the fighters as participants in a sport, all this shiat will go away. If he keeps treating the participants as actors, who should just bleed for entertainment purposes, the UFC is going to start rolling downhill past One FC, Bellator, WSOF, and others.

  • Peter Banh

    The game has changed. UFC is no longer a monopoly like it was. More and more fighters will follow Gilbert foot steps seeking for better contract from Bellator when they become free agent.