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Dana White calls ACA promoter’s timidity cancellation ‘incredibly unprofessional, but f****** awesome’

Dana White’s Contender Series: Diaz v Pyfer
Laura Sanko and Dana White
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC President Dana White left commentator Laura Sanko alone on camera after walking off the backstage set of Dana White’s Contender Series, frustrated by a night of lackluster fights.

So White can relate to the actions of one international promoter, even if he wouldn’t have done the same.

Reacting to ACA founder Mairbek Khasiev’s mid-fight decision to cancel his ACA 141’s co-headliner between UFC vet Rashid Magomedov and Ali Bagov, White laughed and said, “that is f****** awesome. Props to that guy.

“Highly, incredibly unprofessional, but f****** awesome at the same time. Was it really a boring fight? Well, that gives me some f****** ideas for next Tuesday.”

White vented at Sanko for what he said were uninspired performances in all but the headliner, where he rewarded two-time DWCS vet Joe Pyfer with contract for the only stoppage win of the night.

At the post-event press conference, White was still fired up.

“I know what I want,” he said. “Listen, me, you and the rest of the world almost every Saturday sit ringside at some of the best fights you’ll ever see. We go out and we put all this time and effort into finding the most talented, unsigned guys in the world. And I don’t give a s*** what you did yesterday, two years ago, throughout the rest of your career – right here, right now, show me, show the media and show the rest of the world who you are. Who are you? Every night is not going to be your night. But f****** Tuesday night better be your night.”

White has famously written off fighters whose game plans he didn’t approve and rewarded even losing fighters UFC deals if he liked their performances. He cited DWCS’ history of producing UFC stars such as Sean O’Malley, Kevin Holland, Maycee Barber and said none of the fighters in the Season 6 opener – save for Pyfer – delivered the same energy.

White was particularly upset because he said he convinced former UFC co-owner – and current UFC stakeholder – Lorenzo Fertitta to the events, promising an exciting night of fights.

“I said, ‘I owe you one,’” White said. “You can’t get that guy to go out. He doesn’t go out – I got him out.”

As much as he professionally disagreed with the ACA promoter’s move, White couldn’t help but smile at the idea of having that amount of control over the course of a fight (the Nevada Athletic Commission, of course, would prefer otherwise if it took place in their state).

“Believe me, there’s been days that I wanted to throw a chair in there,” White said. “But yeah, you’ve just got to sit there and take it – or get up and go to the back and sit in your room. One of those two things is probably what the guy at ACA should have done. But good for him.”

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