The UFC is sort of like teen-heart throb Justin Beiber. Some people (13-year-old girls) love the guy, while others (everyone else) find him rather obnoxious. The UFC and its main man Dana White have made their fair share of enemies over the years, whether it be disgruntled fighters, outraged fans or rival promotions. The most recent attacks against the company have come from its former welterweight champion, now semi-retired, Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre and his disgruntled comments about the UFC can be added to a growing list of former UFC champions who have spoken out against the promotion.
It’s important that while looking into the claims that are brought against the UFC, we also take the time to listen to the other half. Here’s a list of former UFC champions who have spoken out about the UFC in a positive light:
“The Iceman” retired in 2010 and since then has been working as the Vice President of Business Development for the UFC. Liddell was the face of the UFC for a long time and continues to do press and promote the organization. In 2013 Liddell defended the UFC when he spoke to SiriusXM Fight Club about fighters complaints in regards to how much they get paid.
Gracie is the tournament champion of UFC 1, 2 and 4. He has stuck around the promotion throughout the years. He came back to the UFC in 2006 to fight Matt Hughes and more recently in November of last year, for the UFC’s 20th anniversary, Gracie participated in UFC media events and rolled with, then champion, St-Pierre.
The former two-time UFC welterweight champion officially retried in January of 2013. After an incredible career in the UFC, Hughes stayed with the company as Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations. Hughes spoke with MMAInterviews.TV last year and said that Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture not being a part of the UFC was their own fault.
“I would say [this] about the UFC, if you’re good to them, they’re good to you. Those guys, there’s certain times in their careers, weren’t loyal to the UFC. So now they’re paying the price.”
Griffin retired and entered the UFC Hall of Fame in 2013. Griffin was a fan favorite and continues to show up at events and appear in UFC related media, including the upcoming EA Sports UFC video game.
So like the Beibs, the UFC will always have its share of unwanted attention, whether it be fighters speaking out about drug testing or low pay. In the end it’s a safe bet that like Justin Beiber the UFC will be around for quite a while regardless.