Sports

Dana White Is Walking A Fine Line With UFC Fans

Toronto fans made a big statement at UFC 152. A capacity crowd booed loudly during the UFC flyweight title fight out of boredom. These boos didn’t sit well with Dana White who ripped into all of the UFC 152 critics following the fight.

Dana White for the second time in about two weeks made his point very clear to anyone who criticizes the UFC. If you don’t like it, Dana White doesn’t want you to buy it. As a matter of a fact he would rather not take your money than hear you boo. This is a very dangerous game being played right now by the most successful MMA promoter in history.

It wasn’t just the fans in Toronto that disapproved of the flyweight title fight. Twitter went ballistic with a ton of negative tweets during the flyweight title fight. Most disagreed with anything Joe Rogan said about Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez fight being a great fight.

White was asked about the booing during the flyweight title fight at the UFC 152 post-fight press conference.

Guess what: Every fight that you see in the UFC, two guys aren’t going to run at each other and just start swinging like mad men,” he said. “These two guys have worked their entire lives to get to this point, and it’s a five-round title fight. If they can get the knockout or the submission quick, sure they’re going to go for it. But the guys are so talented. You have the world champion here and the second-best guy in the world. It’s just insane.

There is nothing wrong with what he said there. What he said next is what floored me when I heard the post-fight presser.

Don’t ever buy another one,” White said. “I don’t want your money. You’re a moron, you don’t like fighting, you don’t appreciate great talent, or heart, if you didn’t like that flyweight fight.

Wow! This wasn’t just Dana getting hot in the heat of the moment and ripping off the cuff. This was the same answer White gave during a media call two weeks ago when he was asked about fans complaining about Belfort vs. Jones being a mismatch.

This is a dangerous line that White is walking. Any promoter that ignores what his customers are telling him and will do what he wants regardless is a promoter that is either a) feeling the heat or b) a promoter that will see a steady decline in business as long as he takes that attitude. What if everyone stops buying?

I hate to compare the UFC to the WWE but in this case I will. Vince McMahon has his critics and the WWE of today is certainly not one that I am a big fan of. However, Vince is very shrewd in that if he sees something is not working he changes it. Could you imagine where the WWE would be today if Vince insisted on ignoring fans and declining numbers in exchange for what he thought was best? Business is certainly not where it was, but the WWE has not seen the decline in ratings and buyrates that the UFC has seen. The WWE just broke over a million buys for WrestleMania. The UFC hasn’t broke a million buys on anything in years.

Dana also has to take a lot of responsibility for this. Dana is the first guy to come out and rip a fight for being boring if it isn’t to his tastes. Dana has manipulated the fans in a sense that anything but a knockout or submission is a boring fight. How come there is no bonus for best Ground Attack of the Night? Dana created this monster and now it has come back to haunt the UFC.

What is wrong with booing anyway? If you paid your money to attend the PPV or paid your money to watch, why can’t you boo or go on Twitter and criticize a fight? Dana White does it all of the time! Dana will be the first to rip a fight on Twitter during a live event. Why is it any different for him to rip a fight? Why does Dana rip fights? Because they don’t have action! So you tell me who cultivated this expectation for UFC fans?

If Dana White is that disconnected with his fans to think that fans will pay to see more flyweight title fights, he is in for a rude awakening the first time they headline a pay per view with flyweights. I don’t mean any disrespect to the flyweights but there is a reason that the WEC never turned into the UFC. There is a reason that a great heavyweight fight will outdraw anything. Over time if the right fighter catches on with the fans, maybe they can sell this division. Right now, nobody wants to pay for it.

That is one of the biggest problems in general I see with the UFC. Every show seems to have more fights from the lighter weight classes than the heavier classes. People want to see the big men slug it out, it’s that simple.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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