Dana White Says He’s ‘Fed Up With Bull****’ Fighter Conduct
In the UFC 160 pre-fight media scrum Thursday, UFC President Dana White spoke on the issue that has recently been afflicting the organization: fighters breaking the code of conduct.
In 2013 alone, a number of cases have disrupted the otherwise smoothly-ran events. Several fighters have faced suspension and mandatory rehab following failed drug tests, Matt Mitrione faced a fine and brief suspension following his public tirade against Fallon Fox, Anderson Silva was fined $50,000 for missing a media obligation, and most recently, Nate Diaz has been suspended 90 days and fined $20,000 following a derogatory tweet calling Bryan Caraway “the biggest F*g in the world.”
For White, enough is enough.
“I am fed up with the bull****! One thing I’ve noticed is, money makes people f***ing react real quick. Sorry’s great; I love a sorry here and there. Sorry’s are always good. But it’s easy to say sorry. But when you have to start forking out some cash, you start remembering a lot more.”
Looking at the case with lightweight fighter, Nate Diaz, Dana White said that he knows Nate directed his comments toward one person: Bryan Caraway. That still, according to White, does not excuse Diaz’s comments from being offensive.
“It’s an offensive word. Even if you’re not directing toward- because neither was I, in my rant or whatever you want to call it, I wasn’t directing it toward gay people- but it was a word that bothered gay people.”
Dana White is guilty of having used the same derogatory slur in 2009, but he has since apologized and insists that he certainly paid for his blunder.
“Just so you know, too, I saw a lot of things online, things being said, about when I used that word. Do you think that I didn’t pay in a million different ways for saying that word? The difference is I’m actually really sorry for saying it. I am not a homophobe whatsoever… When I said it, I have people who work for us who are gay, I have friends who are gay; it is a word that bothers them, and it’s a word that shouldn’t be said. I had the same argument that Nate had, and I don’t disagree with that argument. I grew up in the 80’s, OK? That was a word you used… That’s the way it was, but it’s not that way anymore. It’s an offensive word that they don’t like. People want to call it that we’re bowing down to political correctness- no we’re not, we’re being civil human beings is what we’re being.”
White said that the UFC’s goal, as a worldwide organization is to maintain its image as a responsible and respectful leader in mixed martial arts. The UFC’s Code of Conduct is a way to encourage fighters to act responsibly; but White admits that people are bound to make mistakes, and fines are a powerful incentive to make fighters think before they act out.
“It’s gonna happen, it’s gonna continue to happen every day,” said White. “But let me tell you what, when you get fined, you know; Matt Mitrione was like, ‘Dude! Are you serious?’ Yeah, that’s what it’s going to cost you.
“That’s why this new policy is, we don’t give a s*** if you’re sorry or not, you’re getting fined. Maybe it will make you a little more sorry for saying it, or maybe a little smarter not to say it next time… I’m not going to tell grown men to apologize if they’re really not sorry. What’s the point? It’s not real. If it’s not sincere, then it won’t do.”
For the UFC President, these issues are not personal. They are merely business and financial in nature.
“I like Nate Diaz very much. I like Matt Mitrione. The people that I don’t like I make it very clear who I don’t like. I like both those guys. I like Nate Diaz very much, but Nate messed up.”
About future breaches in the Code of Conduct, White reiterated the statements he made at the time Matt Mitrione’s fine and suspension.
“It’s definitely a good thing. I like the direction we’re going in, and like I said: everyone was pissed off after the Mitrione thing, and I said, ‘Believe me, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.’”
(Skip to 12:53 to hear White talk about Code of Conduct)