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Morning Report: Bob Arum responds to Dana White, calls the UFC desperate

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UFC President Dana White has had an up-and-down relationship with the sport of boxing. Though he made his start as a boxing manager and maintains a level of fandom for the sport, in recent years White has been critical of boxing and some of the major players in it. Recently, White added another log to this fire when in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, when he said that boxing is killing itself by not caring about the future and “trying to get every dime they can out of you” at every event. They’re accusations that some in the boxing community don’t take kindly to.

Top Rank CEO and founder Bob Arum, who has exchanged public barbs with White over the years, recently spoke with NYFights, responding to White’s criticisms by saying that the White and the UFC don’t actually invest in their sport because they are lining their own pockets and not paying fighters adequately.

“You have to understand, UFC is a monopoly. The money they earn on a fight because they pay their athletes 20 percent of the gross, we pay around 80 percent, what they say they’re investing back in the business, they’re investing in themselves. They put money in their pockets! That’s not investing in anything. In boxing, there are a large number of promoters, and when a promoter has a successful event and there’s a profit he earns, he puts it back in the company. What the f**k is White talking about? White is speaking from desperation now, he’s the spokesperson for what could be a failing business!”

White’s criticisms were somewhat odd as the UFC currently finds themselves in a state of flux where “money fights” are being prioritized over sporting legitimacy or merit (see Punk, C.M.). Moreover, the UFC has become increasingly reliant on big stars to drive revenue and they are having a down year promotionally with their biggest star, Conor McGregor, not fighting at all since last November. The last two pay-per-view events for the UFC barely drew over 100,000 buys and their current big finish to 2017 is bringing Georges St-Pierre out of retirement in the hopes that his star power still remains. Add in the fact the Dana White is mulling over the idea of adding boxing to the UFC promotional banner after the success of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, and Arum thinks White and the UFC are starting to get desperate for revenue sources.

“My thoughts are that UFC is desperate. Their numbers are way off, they have no marquee star. Look at their PPV numbers. They barely break 100,000 homes on their shows. They’re having trouble getting renewal on their contract with FOX. They have to do something. One of things they may try and fall back on and try and acquire a boxing presence. About a year ago, I was approached by someone repping UFC, they wanted to buy Top Rank.”

Arum has previously stated that Ari Emanuel attempted to buy Top Rank’s fight library, potentially as more content for FightPass. After all, why would he want to buy Top Rank when Zuffa Boxing is already there for the taking?


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VIDEO STEW

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LISTEN UP

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Bushido Talk. Discussing their favorite fights and fight moments in MMA.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

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Making good.

Mamas boy

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sam Sicilia (15-8) vs. Marcos Galvao (18-8-1); Bellator 189, Dec. 1.

Alexis Dufresne (6-3) vs. Amber Leibrock (2-1); Bellator 189, Dec. 1.

Jennifer Maia (14-4-1) vs. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (10-0); Invicta FC, Dec. 8.

Mizuki Inoue (12-4) vs. Janaisa Morandin (9-0); Invicta FC, Dec. 8.

Vanessa Porto (18-8) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark (7-4); Invicta FC, Dec. 8.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2013: Lyoto Machida made his middleweight debut, knocking out Mark Munoz with a head kick at UFC Fight Night 30.


FINAL THOUGHTS

That’s all for today folks, see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

What level of interest do you have in boxing?

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    I don’t care about boxing.
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