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Morning Report: Luke Rockhold blasts ‘tyrant’ Dana White: ‘It’s very mafioso tactics in negotiations’

Luke Rockhold
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This past weekend, Francis Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic to claim the UFC heavyweight championship. The win should have set up a superfight between Ngannou and light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones, however, immediately following UFC 260, UFC President Dana White began throwing cold water on that idea.

Following Ngannou’s win, Jones sent out a Tweet saying “Show me the money,” perhaps referencing the failed negotiations last year between him and the UFC for an Ngannou superfight. White was quick to use that Tweet as an opportunity to call into question whether Jones really wants the fight or not, which upset Jones tremendously.

Jones isn’t alone though. White has used this tactic with countless other fighters, including former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold who recently discussed the negotiation tactics of the UFC on the Rippin’ It podcast.

“Fighting is like a mafia,” Rockhold said. “It’s very mafioso tactics in negotiations. They try to f*** with you. I’m not having any of it. If you don’t know your worth someone will tell you your worth and it’ll be less than your worth. So know your worth and leverage yourself too.

“Once I lost the world title, Dana White came up to me and tried to beat me down mentally and I was like ‘F*** you,’ straight up. I was like I’m going to go do my own thing, if you’re going to try and offer me this bulls***. You know who I am and what I did. So that was the only reason I went out and got a modeling contract, so I could leverage myself.

“I went back and within a year I got the fragrance with Ralph Lauren and then you’ve got Dana and them crawling back to me like ‘Hey Luke, what do you want to do? Can you fight here? Do you want this amount of money? Do you want that?’ and I was like ‘Yeah, that’s right motherf***er.’”

Rockhold didn’t stop there though. The former champion continued to lay into White and called for government reforms as the only way to stop this sort of thing from happening.

“We don’t have a governing body, that’s another problem too,” Rockhold said. “They have governing bodies everywhere else but we’ve got an egotistical guy that’s a bit of a tyrant. No one - he is going to try to fight you and you’ve got to put your f***ing ass on the line. Stand your ground and you’ve gotta take risks, otherwise you get treated like a b****.

“It’s unfortunate. A guy like that, he thinks he can fight, he thinks he’s a fighter. I don’t know why he’s trying to belittle all the fighters when you’ve never fought a day in your life. I understand you’re a promoter. We need a governing body to really give people what they deserve, because he doesn’t play the game right.”

Rockhold has not had the easiest relationship with the UFC, especially White, in recent years, with Rockhold and White butting heads on promotional strategy and in contract negotiations. It hasn’t come to a head much lately though as Rockhold has been absent from the sport for two years and before that, he was on a two-fight losing skid. However, Rockhold recently revealed he’s planning a summer return to the cage and with it, he says he’s planning to reclaim the middleweight title.

“I’m 36. I don’t want to be in this game that long,” Rockhold said. “I want to make one more run. I want to put my pedal to the metal, do it. I want to go hard, I don’t want to dance around. I want to go get this title back. 1-2 fights, I’m there.

“My last two fights, I went up a weight class for the first time in my career and I fought Jan Blachowicz, who is now champion. My fight before that was against Yoel Romero, a world title fight where I killed myself to make weight. He cheated, missed weight by three pounds and I lost a close fight there. So my last fight at middleweight was for a world title. I’m right there. I know I stepped out but these guys are bums and I think I can come in and wreck house.”

That is, of course, if he and Dana White can come to terms.


Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards booked for UFC 262 in five-round non-title fight co-main event.

Darren Till forced out of upcoming main event fight against Marvin Vettori at UFC card on April 10.

Francis Ngannou understands Jon Jones’ money demands: ‘For a mega fight everyone would like to have mega pay’.

Tyron Woodley coach Din Thomas: Only real game plan at UFC 260 was, ‘don’t back up to the fence’.

UFC legend Anderson Silva books boxing match against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 19.


What the Heck.

Fight Motion: UFC 260

Road to Bellator 255.

ONE Championship on TNT Preview.

Anatomy: ONE Championship on TNT.

Masvidal heating up.


The Bash. The final episode of The Bash, wish discussion on UFC 260 and Jon Jones.

The Man and the MITH. Discussing UFC 260, Jon Jones, and Tyron Woodley.


Do it.

Petr Yan just gonna Tweet Through It.

Well this is adorable.

O’Malley got a target.

Tim Kennedy is returning.

Chael gonna live the gimmick til he dies.

Fight posters.

Forrest’s new commercial.


Nate Diaz (20-12) vs. Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC); UFC 262, May 15.

Rafael Alves (19-9) vs. Damir Ismagulov (19-1); UFC 262, May 15.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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