More than a few observers expressed surprise along with a hint of doubt upon hearing reports that Bellator's first foray into the pay-per-view landscape drew a buyrate north of 100,000 buys.
Well, go ahead and count UFC President Dana White among those skeptics.
"It shocks me, because no it didn't," White said of Bellator 120's buyrate on Thursday. "Did [Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney] ever find out what the gate was? No, nobody ever got back on the gate?
"He doesn't know what his gate was but he did 100,000 pay-per-view buys? The guy is a f--king clown, okay. Can you imagine having a night where you guys ask me, ‘hey, what'd you do for a gate tonight?' and I was like, ‘I don't know.' When will you know? ‘I won't.' It's like, yeah you don't want to give out your gate, and yeah you probably don't want to give out a real pay-per-view number either. That's why you guys are asking me if I give a s--t about what they're doing and if we're trying to go the same night to destroy them. I'm doing two events the same night sometimes on opposite ends of the world. Like I really give a s--t where they are and what they're doing."
White was then posed a follow-up question asking whether he knew of and could share Bellator 120's "real" pay-per-view number.
"I do," he responded. "I knew the real number before they knew the real number.
"That's their business. Like his gate."
If White's public denouncement is any indication, it's clear that the relationship between the UFC and Bellator isn't likely to improve anytime soon -- a fact only bolstered by the UFC's decision to book a Fight Night event in Connecticut on September 5, just 10 miles away from where Bellator's season 11 debut will be taking place on the exact same night.
Although in that case, White claims the same-state, same-night booking is purely coincidental.
"If you guys really think that we look at Bellator and give a s--t what night they're going on and what they're doing, we don't," White said. "That's the date that we landed on. We get the dates from FOX. We don't pick our own dates, we get the dates. They give us the dates that they need us to go on, and it's determined by what other programming they have and what's going on that night. There's nights that we're going to fall on the same night as World Series of Fighting, too, and I've got no beef with those guys. I don't give a s--t what night Bellator goes on. They make no difference to me whatsoever.
"They're getting crushed already by themselves. They can go on their own f--king date anywhere. It's not like me going on the same night is going to do any more damage to Bellator then they'll already do to themselves."
While the UFC has yet to begin to flesh out its September 5 card, White downplayed the idea that his company would stack the Fight Night event with high-profile names in order to steal attention and viewership from Bellator's season 11 premiere, which will likely feature a championship fight along with the opening leg of the promotion's middleweight tournament.
"Back in the old days, that would've (happened), back when it was a competitive landscape out there and there was things going on," White said.
"I honestly, I literally never think of Bellator. I don't give a s--t what Bellator is doing or what's going on with them. It's not like Bellator is some organization you have to look out for. I mean, let's be honest here. Seriously, look at the cards they put on and what they're doing. The difference is that they're Viacom. They're on a channel right in the middle of everything where you land on there and you watch. Nobody's going out of their way, ‘oh, f--king big Bellator event is on tonight.'"