UFC President Dana White has responded after former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold accused him of “suppressing the sport”.
Rockhold (16-5 MMA) will be ending his three-year hiatus tomorrow evening at UFC 278 when he squares off with perennial middleweight contender Paulo Costa.
Ahead of the fight, which serves as tomorrow night’s co-main attraction, Luke Rockhold has been vocal about his disappointment with fighter pay, healthcare and multiple other issues involving his employer. In addition, the promotions former middleweight champion accused UFC President Dana White of “suppressing the sport” of mixed martial arts.
“These guys don’t know what they’re doing, and they’re letting Dana (White) just run the show and suppress the sport. They need to grow. This whole f**king thing needs to grow together,” Rockhold said at the UFC 278 media day. “Our lives are on the f**king line. Healthcare needs to be taken care of. Our f*cking health needs to be taken care of. Mine has not been taken care of. Do you know what I mean?”
Those comments did not go unnoticed by Dana White who responded during a recent interview with TSN:
“That’s something we’ve been working on since day one,” White said (h/t MMAJunkie). “While they’re fighting here, these guys are very well taken care of, and so is Luke Rockhold.”
Despite being booked to fight on two occasions following his knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 in July of 2019, Luke Rochhold has yet to step foot back in the Octagon. Injuries forced him to withdraw from slated bouts with Chris Weidman and Sean Strickland, but according to Dana White, the former champ’s healthcare was covered.
“Luke Rockhold was above and beyond taken care of with the issues that he had here,” White said. “I don’t give a sh*t what health insurance plan you have, they would have never covered the things that we covered for Luke Rockhold when he was going through his stuff. Everything he said was absolute f**king gibberish and absolute bullsh*t.”
“Everybody who fights here gets unbelievable healthcare. Unbelievable healthcare. I mean, we don’t even sew people up with regular doctors. If it’s bad enough, we send them to plastic surgeons to get sewn up.”
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