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Morning Report: Dana White issues a message to fighters -- ‘if you want to hand pick fights,’ don’t sign with UFC

Dana White
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Last month, UFC President Dana White was having issues with featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez reportedly turning down fights offered to him by the UFC. White even went so far as to inform Rodriguez of the promotion’s intent to release him over the situation. But the resolution of that issue last week and Rodriguez’s return to the UFC has seemingly emboldened White to take a hard line stance about fighters wanting more agency over their careers.

On the most recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast, White talked about dealing with fighters who refuse certain opponents, discussing why he doesn’t like it and suggesting that more fighters could be getting released over it soon.

“Listen, I get into these things where this is the fight business and the UFC is the elite of the elite in mixed martial arts,” White said. “You get into these situations where you get these guys that don’t want to fight certain people and if you don’t want to fight certain people, this probably isn’t the place for you.

“I’m looking for people that want to be world champions that want to f**king fight the best in the world, and if you’re not that guy, then there’s plenty of other places where you can go and make money. This place isn’t for you.”

“That’s what I’ve run into with a few guys. You’re going to see more of it. There’s more coming today. I’m not f**king around anymore here. If you don’t want to fight, don’t sign here. If you want to hand pick fights, don’t sign a contract here. This isn’t the right place for you.”

During his stewardship of the UFC, White has frequently butted heads with fighter who have wanted more control over their careers; most notably, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture who had friction with White over various contract disputes. But for all the issues White has had with fighters, having fighters want to cherry pick opponents is one he says he never had to deal with before.

“Very rare that this happened in the old days,” White said. “Guys came out and fought whoever they had to fight next and that was the way it went. These new guys come out and want to hand pick fights and do this stuff, that’s not gonna work for you here.”

And like his previous disputes with fighters who were unhappy with some aspects under the UFC banner, White even had a suggestion for those fighters who do want to have a say in who they fight: go get paid somewhere else.

“You’re here to fight and you’re here to become a world champion” White said. “If that is not what you are here for, this is not the place for you. You can go many other places. They’re paying guys great money out there right now and a lot of times you can go out there and make more money than you’re making here. Knock yourself out because that’s where you belong. You don’t belong here.”


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Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



Thoughts on the early morning weigh-ins?

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