Dana White claimed Scott Coker was a “very, very bad promoter” in leaked text messages in antitrust lawsuit deposition

By Cole Shelton - February 8, 2024

UFC CEO Dana White had some harsh words for Scott Coker during a deposition for the antitrust lawsuit.

Dana White and Scott Coker

Several text messages have been uncovered during the lawsuit, and on Thursday, BloodyElbow was able to unearth more text messages and deposition statements. The latest text exchange was Lorenzo Fertitta sending a message to Dana White about Scott Coker and Bellator making a fight between Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson.

“I thought they don’t take UFC castoffs,” Fertitta said in a text to White.

Following the text message being uncovered, Dana White was asked about it at his deposition, with the exchange being as follows:

Question: Okay. What did you understand Mr. Fertitta to be saying there?

Dana White: That Bellator had come out and said, “We won’t take UFC castoffs.”

Question: All right. And — but nevertheless, UFC viewed Mr. Ortiz and Mr. Jackson as essentially castoffs?

White: That’s — that’s Scott Coker’s MO. Scott Coker doesn’t build anybody, right? He doesn’t turn anybody into stars. He just takes old names and recycles them. He’s a — he — he’s a very, very bad promoter.

Question: Okay.

Dana White: Very bad at what he does.

Question: All right. And that’s a — that’s — you’re saying that — I just want to understand you. Because Mr. Coker’s been in several different promotions; right?

White: Right.

Question: Okay.

White: All failures.

It was interesting to hear that Dana White thinks Scott Coker is a terrible promoter, even though he built up Strikeforce to have a lot of success. Strikeforce had so much success that the UFC bought the promotion so they could merge the fighters.

However, Dana White’s big knock on Scott Coker is the fact he couldn’t build his stars. In the deposition, White pointed to Ronda Rousey only becoming a massive star once she made her UFC debut.

Question: Right. Is it your — not withstanding the fact that the UFC got some — I think as you testified earlier, some really great fighters from Mr. Coker’s Strikeforce promotion; right?

Dana White: That we turned into stars. When you have Ronda Rousey and you can’t turn her into a star, you should probably go open a restaurant or something.

Question: And so — and so is it your testimony that at Bellator, Mr. Coker is continuing to essentially recycle has-been fighters? Is that —

White: Well, no. He — he recycles big names.

Question: Right.

Dana White: That’s what he does. Rampage Jackson is a huge name. Tito Ortiz is a huge name. And — and basically, he re– you know, takes guys with big names and puts on fights with them instead of turning guys into stars, even when he has a roster packed with stars, and one of them include Ronda Rousey.

Question: Well, Ronda Rousey wasn’t a star at the time that she was fighting under contract with Strikeforce; right?

White: Till I turned her into a star.

Question: Right. But the point is, she wasn’t a star at Strikeforce; correct?

White: Yeah, no.

Question: Okay. So — and at this time in 2013 —

White: Just for the record, I turned her into a star immediately when she got to the UFC —

Question: Okay.

White: — her first fight.

It seems clear that Dana White was not fond of Scott Coker and doesn’t think he was a good promoter, despite his success with Strikeforce and Bellator.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Dana White Scott Coker UFC