Dana White has given his take on the ongoing drama between MMA analyst Joe Rogan and ESPN analyst, Stephen A. Smith.
At UFC 246 on Saturday 18th January 2020, Conor McGregor returned to the Octagon to face Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. He utilized shoulder strikes, his signature left, and ground and pound to seal the victory in just 40 seconds of the very first round. The Irishman’s decisive win had some spectators questioning Cerrone’s fighting ability, including ESPN commentator Stephen A Smith.
After the action finished, Smith slammed Cerrone’s performance. Considering Smith’s lack of experience in training MMA, Joe Rogan was shocked by his harsh criticism and called out the reporter during his podcast episode.
Stephen A. Smith sent a video response where he showed his respect to Rogan and his knowledge of the sport but nevertheless stuck by his comments. Joe Rogan would not budge and still insisted that Smith was wrong, leaving both men ground locked in their stance on the situation.
Now Dana White has added his two cents on the conversation. During an interview with MMA Junkie, the UFC kingpin said he was “not into it” when referring to Smith’s comments:
“I didn’t hear what he said, I know there was some stuff going back and forth which is going to happen,” he said.
“One of the things when we bought and built the UFC that we always did, being fight fans ourselves. I’m a huge fight fan, Lorenzo [Fertitta] was a huge fight fan, Joe Rogan is a huge fight fan. One of the things that we hated was on HBO boxing and some other boxing that they would do. Listen, you’re tuning in and buying the pay-per-view because you love these guys and you respect these fighters, and you’re a fan of the sport. The last thing you want to do is hear somebody ripping them apart.
“I’m not into it. Rogan is not into it. You don’t see that in the UFC. There will be times where I’m pissed off at a guy, and I’ll voice my opinion on what he did or whatever, or if a fight is really bad or somebody did something,” said Dana White.
“But, what we don’t do is, when a fight is over and a guy loses, we don’t go in and rip them apart. It’s just not our style. We’re fans. We don’t do it. I think Rogan was reacting to that because hat’s our philosophy here.
“For Stephen A. Smith, that’s his sting. That’s what he does. It’s going to happen. You’re always going to have people who have a difference in opinions, especially when you have two very opinionated guys like Stephen A. Smith and Joe Rogan.”
It’s clear which side of the Smith vs Rogan fence that Dana White is on, but what about you? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.