Dana White rarely misses an opportunity to take a shot at Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza, but he exploded on Saturday night after hearing comments made on social media about UFC fighter contracts during the coronavirus pandemic.
The controversy started after Espinoza took to Twitter on Saturday night claiming that UFC fighters “were required to sign a document which says that they can lose their whole purse and bonuses if they say anything negative about the COVID protocols.”
It's because they were required to sign a document which says that they can lose their whole purse and bonuses if they say anything negative about the COVID protocols. https://t.co/97v9ZduOxF— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) May 9, 2020
A story was later published by Yahoo! Sports regarding a non-disparagement clause added to the contracts for participants competing at UFC 249 that could potentially punish the athletes for comments made about the promotion or the testing protocols put in place to protect them.
At the UFC 249 post-fight press conference, White addressed the non-disparagement clause as well as Espinoza’s comments regarding the fighter contracts.
“That’s not true,” White said, refuting Espinoza’s claims. “First of all, there’s something in the contract for disparagement. There’s a disparagement clause in there that’s in all of our contracts. Isn’t that creepy little f*cker a lawyer? Isn’t that creepy little f*cking goofball a lawyer?
“Does he not know what disparagement means? If you disparage the company. I’m not even a f*cking lawyer, and I know the answer to that question. It’s disparagement. It would be like if you came out and said, ‘They never tested me, the UFC never tested me for the coronavirus.’ But if you came out and had something critical to say about the testing that was true, that wouldn’t be disparagement.”
White and Espinoza have been involved in a contentious relationship for more than two years after they worked together in 2017 to help build the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor.
The two promoters begrudgingly worked side-by-side throughout a media tour as well as the fight, which resulted in one of the most successful pay-per-views of all time.
Since that time, White has never held his tongue regarding his true feelings about Espinoza. He certainly didn’t hold back when the executive’s name came up again following UFC 249.
“What f*cking law school did he go to? I can’t stand that f*cking creep, if you couldn’t tell,” Whtie said. “Look at him. Creepy little dude.
“What the f*ck does he know about our contracts? What does that guy know about our contracts? And if you do, I thought that guy was a lawyer. Wasn’t he [Oscar] De La Hoya’s lawyer? I don’t know either, whatever.”