Morning Report: Dana White takes aim at Viacom, declares 'they're never going to be as good as us'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It's been a while since UFC President Dana White verbally attacked either Bellator or Viacom. But like a former fling whose ex is very publicly tongue-kissing with another, that silence just wasn't bound to last.

"They're never going to be as good as us," UFC President Dana White declared to MMA Junkie. "This is what we do 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Christmas. Easter. Let Christmas time come. Viacom shuts down from Dec. 3 to after the new year and then all the big holidays in between. Christmas? I'm on the f--king phone on Christmas. Easter? I'm on the phone. Thanksgiving? I'm on the phone. Bad s--t happens in our business every day, and if something real bad happens, I'm on a f--king plane on Christmas Day flying to fix it. That's the difference between us and everybody else.

"We're the original. We invested in this thing and believed in it when nobody else did. Viacom MMA, they're just a 'me, too.' They didn't believe in this thing when we pitched them The Ultimate Fighter. They didn't believe in it so much that we had to invest $10 million into that show, and then they liked it a lot better after that happened. But they never got it, and they never will."

White's criticism comes on the heels of several high-profile Bellator signings, along with the promotion's new reality television vehicle, Fight Master, which debuted on Spike TV last Wednesday to mediocre ratings. While the series borrows certain elements from the UFC's The Ultimate Fighter, Spike executives went to great lengths to distinguish the two programs.

Nevertheless, despite Bellator's relentless march forward into the public consciousness or the subtle jabs Viacom occasionally throws at the UFC, White's message is crystal clear: he considers neither Bellator nor Viacom to be competition.

"We just beat the Rolling Stones in Winnipeg," White said. "I'm not just trying to beat Viacom MMA or any of these other guys. I want to beat the f--king Rolling Stones. I want to beat Major League Baseball on Wednesday night if they're going head-to-head with us in the timeslot. I want to beat the NFL someday. I want to beat everybody. I want to win.

"Nobody's ever going to outwork us or outhustle us. That's just never going to happen. It's impossible."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

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UFC reaches Irish deal. The UFC and Irish broadcast outlet Setanta Sports reached a multi-year agreement to bring extensive UFC programming, including 30 live UFC events, to subscribers in Ireland.

Credeur troubles. Following the issuing of a warrant for his arrest, former UFC middleweight Tim Creduer turned himself over to Lafayette County authorities earlier this week on charges of marijuana possession and possession of a firearm.

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MEDIA STEW

Dang, they're really pumping these promos out like candy right now.

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Ever wanted to see a movie starring Yves Lavgine? Well today's your lucky day! (Oh, and some schlub named Sanderson Gilva is in it too, or something.)

Props to our own Mike Chiappetta for the find.

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Speaking of greatness: Hey kids, remember when Anderson Silva banished Forrest Griffin to a lifetime highlight reel? Well, the UFC has been kind enough to remind you exactly how wild it was.

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Christian Colombo never stood a chance.

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Ya know, in retrospect, Ronda's pretty right about that ref.

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And now for your obligatory morning chills, this tremendous fan-made trailer for JDS-Cain III.

(HT: Reddit)

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GOOD TO KNOW

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EASY, FELLAS

Huge props to @yannikyriacos for the find.

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YEP

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Monday, June 24, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from Machiel Van, who crunched the numbers to determine: Zuffa Statistical Folly: Leonard Garcia vs Roy Nelson for the Title of Top UFC Punching Bag

Zuffa's recent announcement that Roy Nelson has now achieved a place in the UFC's record books (albeit for an unfortunate accomplishment) as the fighter to have absorbed the highest number of significant strikes in the UFC got me thinking: who previously held the record before Roy had the courtesy to give Stipe Miocic the most lucrative pad-striking workout he can likely hope to have in his career?

I'm not sure why (though I theorize it's from, you know, watching all his fights), but the name "Leonard Garcia" was instantly manifested from the depths of my experience as an ardent fan of MMA. I decided to test this idea by visiting the website of the fine folks over at FightMetric, the official provider of statistics for UFC contests.

According to FightMetric's online database, Roy Nelson has indeed absorbed 437 significant strikes across 10 UFC bouts. This information can be extrapolated here. This perceptively high number is primarily due to his fights against Junior Dos Santos (130 sig. strikes absorbed), Fabricio Werdum (91 sig. strikes) and the recent loss to Stipe Miocic (106 sig. strikes), which account for 327 of the 437 significant strikes he has absorbed during his UFC tenure. That means that in 7 of his 10 UFC bouts, he has only absorbed 110 sig. strikes, or an average of 15 strikes per bout. While the fortitude of Roy's chin cannot really be argued at this point, the stats seem to indicate that Roy really only becomes a "human punching bag" when he faces inherently superior fighters, who can't find a way to finish him due to his ability to withstand a prolonged beating.

While this ability to absorb punishment is unusual, and it should be noted that Nelson is absorbing significant strikes thrown by heavyweights, the number of significant strikes he has absorbed pales in comparison to a recent UFC departure, the famed Leonard Garcia. Yes, I know, many of you thought the UFC and Leonard Garcia had parted ways forever, but if the available data is correct, he may always have a place (of some sort) in the company.

According to FightMetric, which again, is the UFC's official statistics provider (and presumably the body who's data is used to establish the UFC's statistical records), Leonard Garcia beat Roy's total number of significant strikes... by a long shot (which can be examined here). The data reveals that across 9 fights in the UFC, Leonard Garcia has absorbed a whopping total of 627 sig. strikes, surpassing Nelson's supposed record by 190 sig. strikes. Now, Garcia was finished by submission in his fight against Jung Chan-Sung (that's right, I didn't anglicize it), but 1.) Dana White specifically said "Roy Nelson broke a UFC record tonight: 437 significant strikes absorbed without being knocked out," and didn't indicate that the record was only for heavyweight bouts, and 2.) even if you discard Jung fight, that would only take away 30 of the 627 sig. strikes absorbed.

Did FightMetric make a miscalculation? Did the UFC levy the award upon Nelson due to some sort of prolonged spite against him? Does it even matter? I'd say that, given the lack of importance placed on detailed statistical metrics by most fans of the sport, it probably matters about as much as who is and isn't placed in the UFC Hall of Fame. It's nothing but a fun little factoid, and an indicative lesson regarding the internal levying of "UFC records" by Zuffa.

All hail the UFC's rightful Punching Bag King, Leonard Garcia.

(Honorable mention: BJ Penn - over 900 sig. strikes absorbed across 22 UFC bouts. Ineligible due to 4th round TKO finish via his corner telling the doctor to stop the fight at UFC 94).

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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