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Thursday, 04/19/2012, 04:36 pm

Lorenzo talks CagePotato | Issues Highlight The Fact That Rashad Thought It Was Legit.


By Lorenzo Luciano:
The photo posted by CagePotato.com which implied that Dana White was wagering on Jon Jones in this week’s upcoming fight, was not taken lightly by many, including a very upset Rashad Evans. Although CagePotato.com insisted that it was humorous, they issued a retraction.

The UFC had to scramble to answer many questions including questions from a very upset Rash Evans.

Lorenzo Fertitta had this to say on the call from Rashad (via USA Today), “Dana had to talk to Rashad on the phone for 30 minutes to calm him down, to tell him, ‘Are you crazy? There’s no way I would ever bet on a fight or bet against you,’ ”

“We had a flurry of people contacting us through e-mail, Twitter,” says Lorenzo Fertitta, CEO of UFC parent Zuffa. “Rashad throwing a complete fit … and then Dana having to call him to calm him down. If (people) thought it was just satire, we wouldn’t have had that reaction.”

In an interview with Fertitta and UFC’s chief marketing officer, USA TODAY’S Brian Johnston got the following responses to his questions concerning this issue.

Clearly this is a very serious issue for you. Why is it such a serious thing for UFC?

Fertitta: Because these guys flatout lied. They just made up a story and lied. Somebody who doesn’t know what our policies are and what we do, they could look at it in a very negative light.

A lot of people out there already don’t even understand how the fight business works with regulation and everything, and for these guys to come out and make a statement like that, that is an extremely slanderous statement that potentially harms us in a big way.

The other thing too that you’ve got to understand is the fallout that you have. These fighters are already paranoid enough. Dana had to talk to Rashad on the phone for 30 minutes to calm him down, to tell him, “Are you crazy? There’s no way I would ever bet on a fight or bet against you.”

These guys go out and do this reckless reporting — it’s not even reporting — make these reckless statements and they end up causing us fallout and having to deal with issues. Why should we even have to deal with this stuff? They made this up and lied and put it online.

Their counterargument is that it was just satire and that most people clearly understood it as such. Why is that an insufficient explanation?

Fertitta: Because we know what the outcome was. We had a flurry of people contacting us through e-mail, Twitter. Rashad throwing a complete fit and talking to Caren Bell, and then Dana having to call him to calm him down. If (people) thought it was just satire, we wouldn’t have had that reaction.

Johnston: And it’s really a weak argument to hide behind, satire. If tomorrow we put out an article online that said you were a pedophile and it went worldwide, it doesn’t matter what kind of satire that is — how do you unwind that?

You don’t, but I think …

Fertitta: Yeah, you don’t.

Where you do you draw the line? If someone’s telling a joke and it just happens to be a bad joke, is that reason enough to…

Fertitta: But it didn’t even read like a joke. It didn’t read like a joke at all. If you look at the article, when you first read that, it sounds like that they were in a room with Dana, talking to him, and he says, “Oh,” and he kind of made a mistake and said something, and said “Don’t print that.”

To me — and I’m a pretty educated guy, I read the paper every day, one of the people that still reads the paper …

Thank you.

Fertitta: …if I read an article like that, I would seriously believe that that actually happened and that went down.

It wasn’t like it was a cartoon of Dana, with him blurbing something out in his head, with a bubble. It was put in print like a regular article.

They issued a retraction on their website. Does it satisfy your demands?

Fertitta: We’re currently evaluating whether it’s sufficient or not. Like I said, there’s been a massive amount of fallout in the wake of them putting out something that is completely reckless in the way that they did. I don’t understand how anybody could defend what they did. It’s a very serious allegation.

For them to even joke that Dana made a wager of that magnitude on one fighter versus another fighter is something that could have tremendous negative implications for the industry, for our company and a lot of different things.

When you say there’s been tremendous fallout already, you’re referring to social-media feedback, as well as what you’ve heard from fighters and people of that nature?

Fertitta: Social media feedback. Fighters. Rashad himself.

Play this out: What if on Saturday night there’s a controversial decision that goes to Jon Jones? Which obviously is completely out of our hands. What if that happens? Can you imagine the fervor and the fallout that there would be? It would be a complete disaster.

When will your legal folks complete their evaluation of what you may or may not do next?

Fertitta: This just happened. We just got back from the fight in Stockholm.

You’ve got to understand, Rashad’s entire team — his entire camp — was in his ear telling him they read this online and that Dana bet half a million dollars against him.

This was a real issue. This isn’t just some kind of slap on the back, funny little joke. This was reckless reporting on their part.

 

comments

43 Comments to Lorenzo talks CagePotato | Issues Highlight The Fact That Rashad Thought It Was Legit.

  1. steveb says:

    Rash Evans? Really?

    • jc says:

      check this video out (3 min mark) shows that dana is full of shit when he says he doesn’t wager on the fighters.

      • Turkeykneck fun chav says:

        you dumb fuck, they are friendly bets and not industry gambles.
        its like better your mate you can beat his ass at tekken
        hardly the same thing is it

        • Jc says:

          Obviously dumb fuck Different story when Dana swears he dosent put bets on his fighters, thought I might juxtapose it with this video.and When did I say that the bets were of the Same magnitude? Bro you need to relax and stop hating

        • Jc you idiot.. says:

          you just dumb. Yeah, different “magnitude” like you said. stop hating? when you say dana is “full of shit,” is that suppose to be showing love? You dumb. Jc, you dumb.

  2. SmoothAssNigga says:

    Almost off topic but has there ever been such an underdog as Rashad is goin into this fight? I can see the fight goin both ways for either guy, decision/tko/ko. Most make it seem like Evans has no chance in hell to mount any kind of offense.

    Jon has only been in a fight ONE time which was the first round with Lyoto. Everyone else includin my boy ShoGun were just punchin bags with legs. Rashad may not be better skill for skill but I believe he will be in there to actually fight Jones and not get lost in the moment like the rest.

    • Jc says:

      Evans is just as skilled as jones. Just dosent have the freakish body structure that jones has, that alone is a
      Massive advantage over anyone

  3. Choke_Poi says:

    It read as a satire to me as well. It is cagepotato after all. The majority that visits the site know it. Its pretty funny Rashad actually thought it was true, he seems mentally weak right now if that’s the case.

    • john groom says:

      Understanding what is humor/satire and what isn’t is a lot harder if someone is not fluent in the language. I speak/understand/read Portuguese, but when I hear stand-up comedians in Rio do their thing, I can’t get most of the jokes or satire. The blackzilians (well the 2nd half at least) probably thought the report was true.

  4. jbeamazing says:

    Rash Evans has a temper

  5. GET RID OF FITCH (forever) says:

    What i think is funny is everyone knows Dana drops millions gambling all the time and braggs about it so i wouldn’t doubt one bit if he bet on Jones to beat Rashad even with the 6 to one odds for Rashad to get beat. Dana has gotten to the point where he says and does whatever the hell he wants and could careless what anyone thinks about it. The man thinks he is bigger than life. I’m sure he said it to someone and it was over heard and now he is just doing damage control by denying it. Yes i’m sure he made the bet in someone elses name so no way to track it and he has his ass covered

    • care says:

      You’re a moron. Dana is smart enough to handle his business correctly. There’s too much at stake for a guy at his level to shit as stupid as you describe.

      • Rumplestiltskin says:

        Doesnt stop the politicians does it? Now give me your baby, its time for soup.

        • Shawn says:

          When serious money is involved, everyone is willing to do something stupid they know they may regret later. The rewards are too good to pass up. But in the end, how many of these politicians get busted. Enough times. That anyone else who would follow the same risks are considered stupid. But smart politicians never make anything they do public knowledge (even though some things get leaked out). If Dana was betting on fights, he wouldn’t be that dumb to publicly announce it. I found the quote funny, and thought it was PROBABLY a joke. But when it comes to the media, most people will speak before they think, and once it spreads like wild fire (which it normally does), people just don’t bother to even think anymore, they just say it was “quoted” in the news, online, or some sort of social media site. It’s called responsible reporting. Cagepotato isn’t exactly a College Humor, or The Onion. If they are trying to be any of those two, they have no business reporting about any MMA news, and at the very least would do themselves damage by not being taken seriously.

        • Politicians vs UFC says:

          Dana and the Fertitas built the UFC from a $2 million investment into $1 billion AND GROWING. Hell yeah they gonna be sensitive about the gambling issue because that could bring down all what they worked for. And that is all that Dana has in his life: he lives and breathes UFC. If anyone has ever been driven towards a goal, it is Dana White. Politicians cheat the system all the time. The difference is the amount of investment (time and money) that they have into it. Money for politicians come from donors~not out of their own pockets. Zuffa’s money is earned.

          No comparison.

  6. Nick says:

    The way I see it is, that if it was hilarious and completely outrageous it would be acceptable. But it wasn’t even funny at all. It’s like a 14 year old wrote that joke. Pretty dumb on their part.

  7. Mwill says:

    All I kept hearing in this article was Rashad was crying like a baby! Does he not have a championship fight to get ready for? This close to the fight, he should have tunnel vision by now and not give a flying fuck who is betting against him! He is the only one out of two people that have any say in the outcome of this fight and if he was confident he would not care who was betting what! The dude is a head case and it will show on Saturday!

    • Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

      The dude waited for his title shot against Shogun, got injured, had to fight Tito because Jones appeared injured after his fight with Rampage, then he injured his thumb in the fight with Tito, fought Phil Davis and now he has finally gotten his title shot. I’d be pissed too If thought my boss was betting against me. That’s disrespectful after all he’s been through to get back to the top. That’s not crying, that’s keeping it real.

  8. They’re pissed cause it might as well be true.

    The UFC has bet on jon jones.

    THEY fucking bet on him.

    THE UFC HAS SPONSORED ONE OF THEIR OWN FIGHTERS. Anyone who is a fan of fighting should be outraged at that.

    • Yeas says:

      Isn’t the first time, if you consider Xyience and fighters like Dan Hardy who avoid being cut for being sponsored even after 4 loss streaks.

      On a side note, that was the actual picture that caused the commotion? That was pretty clear satire to me, but I guess the real test was Evans who did take it seriously.

      • Gabi says:

        Idk if that’s the picture. But I do know that that picture is a still from the commercial they did w/ Bud Light for the Battle at the Bayou event. I doubt that’s the picture they used because everyone should remember that commercial. It was only shown like every other commercial weeks before the event. It got to be really annoying really fast.
        And Rashad should be pissed on the simple fact the UFC sponsored Jones and did it few weeks out of the event. That’s basically Dana and the UFC betting on him. It’s a slap to the face of Rashad and UFC all together, basically they are telling him that they think Jones is going to win w/o actually saying it or putting public bets. The UFC shouldn’t sponsor certain fighters. I understand sponsoring a champ but they should do it for all champs in each division, not a certain weight class champ because they are on a roll, if they want to sponsor fighters. Personally I think it’s disrectpful towards Rashad and all fighters on the roster. Both fighters are good, neither are my favorites. I rather watch Jones fight though.
        One last thing. Is it me or do you see dark days for the UFC ahead w/ the dirty test blant lies by Dana, and so much favoritism towards certain (few) fighters while others are shitted on. I believe the UFC needs to check themselves and get back to reality before everything comes crashing down. I’m sure fighters are getting sick of the top brass antics and might start speaking of the dirty secrets and other things only insiders know like all other sports. The UFC have their heads to full w/ their quest for global domination and it might bring everything crashing down. Moving to fast w/ no checks to make sure they stay on path.

    • John says:

      they arent betting on Jones theyre using him. Hes currently the big up and comer with a dominant style of fighting. If Rashad beats him itll be all about the savvy veteran. There is a MASSIVE difference between sponsoring and doing what the UFC is doing both legally and practically. The UFC has hitched their advertising wagon to him no doubt, but every sport does that. Its simply propping up the sport and Jones is currently the one to do it while Silva and GSP havent fought in forever

  9. Kenny Powers says:

    I agree with Lorenzo completely. It did not read like a joke at all.

  10. jon anti-christ jones says:

    If you use multiple pictures, and lay it out like a comic, and use cartoon bubbles…then and only then can you clearly be neutral in that position to tell a joke like this.

  11. GET RID OF TRT says:

    Are you Jones’ fans gonna jump on Rashad’s bandwagon after he beats your hero up?

  12. James Troy says:

    i dont want to live on this planet anymore

  13. harl180 says:

    Why would u be pissed at being an underdog going into a fight? If anything, I’d be even more motivated to perform at my top level, quit bitchin’ wahshad.. Get back to fighting.

  14. DMAC says:

    I’ve never looked at couchpotato site. Sounds like a desperate move to bring eyes to their site. Pretty fucking sad!
    Was this a ploy by Jackson, or UFC, who knows but like Ferrita said it leaves room for speculation. Kinda fucked up Rashad has to deal with outside entities trying to play mind games. I have to admit it does sound like some bitch shit Dana would pull, signing him to a UFC sponsorship during this entire ordeal is just as bad..

  15. Rashad Evans looks more and more like Tito Ortiz everyday. Tito was champ and was training with the Iceman and they said they would never fight so Chuck beat guy after guy that then never got a shot at Tito and When Chuck Liddell finally got the belt will Tito was out renegotiating his contract Tito was pissed the Chuck had his belt. Chuck beat Tito latter. Does any of this sound familiar Mr. Evans. What did you think that Jones should through away his dreams so you could be the man a Jackson’s. Get over Yourself Rashad.

  16. Mike c says:

    Why would Dana even need to gamble it’d just b for fun he is constantly making money anyways gambling wouldn’t really help him like if he won 500grand it’s peanuts to what he actually makes

  17. A.James says:

    It definitely didn’t read like a joke.

  18. hanibal says:

    first of all, I think lorenzo is just exaggerating rashad’s reaction in order to use that to his favor if they go to court..
    however, I think the only reason some people believed such news from a site that is known for their jokes, is that dana did actually bet on jones when he decided to sponsor him!!! and whats even worse is the timing,right before this fight!!!!!!
    so in all honesty rashad has the right to be upset even if the betting story is not true..

    I dont like both fighters personality since both are cocky, although I enjoy their fights, specially jones who as brandon vera said thinks he is the second coming of jesus christ, so I was undecided on who to cheer for but everyday I get more and more to rashad’s side..
    I hope he brutally KOs jon jones and then fights either shogun or machida

  19. Devilock says:

    Even if cagepotato didn’t made this joke caption, it would be on anyone’s mind after learning of the sponsorship deal. I feel that it is generally accepted that sponsors are more willing to sponsor winning fighters. There are also the aspects of good personality and social responsibility that the brand can benefit from, but I think winning fights is one of the top reasons that you would get sponsored.

    • Investment 101 says:

      I think that the UFC will sell it’s rights to Jon Jones to other companies, and the selling price will be much more than what they are sponsoring Jones with. The UFC isn’t stupid, Jones has the commerical potential on the level as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan. If they didn’t act now, they wouldn’t have a piece of that pie in the future. It is about money, period. Not about Jones at all. No other UFC fighter (American fighter at that) has the promise as Jones does in future endorsements. His stock will skyrocket if he beats Rashad.

  20. doner says:

    What idiot would believe the caption was real. Oh wait, Rashad Evans. Grow up!

  21. Xguardener says:

    Trying to see who the biggest vagine is . Ferrtita or Evans. “We got twitter and phone called , we just might sue”, fertitta. If eveans was truly upset about dana betting against him he should habe made sure he cost dana money, instead he continued being an infected vagine and called and cried.

  22. JoeMamma says:

    Let me start by saying that I think both fighters are tremendous. I don’t really care who wins either way. I think Jon will win, but I find myself rooting for the underdog against a fighter like Anderson Silva or Jon Jones. With that said, any one who says they would not be pissed after hearing news like Dana betting against them “if they were in Rashads position” is either just trolling or is flat out lying. If you honestly didn’t care, you wouldn’t even voice your opinion at all. I know I’d be pissed and I think Rashad has good reason.

  23. Xaninho says:

    Hahaha Rashad was on the phone high pitched voice : “You fat motherfucker! I KNEW it! If the judges fuck me over I know who is responsible you bald gasping swine!”

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