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Dana White Sounding More and More Like a Boxing Promoter

Dana White preached to his choir again today. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Dana White preached to his choir again today. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Today's UFC 134 press conference featured all the usual quotes and nonsense and silliness and serious statements, and then Dana White for whatever reason, decided to go at boxing a little bit. Our friend Luke Thomas of SB Nation MMA covered the press conference, and tweeted this quote:

Dana White: MMA is the kind of sport that once you start watching it, it's hard to go back to boxing. I'm going to take heat for that one.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


I laughed, because it's the typical Dana White boxing bait that he throws out there looking for extra attention. Well, OK, fine, I'll take the bait.

I suppose White would argue that, say, Pacquiao vs Mosley was boring. And there it was, promoted as a big event. Well, it was a big event. A lot of people bought the PPV. It made money at the gate in Vegas. And yes, the fight sucked.

But I also saw the MEGA HUGE GREATEST BIGGEST EVENT IN UFC HISTORY! main event with Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields. It was boring as all hell. Every bit as dull as Pacquiao vs Mosley. There have been a good amount of weak UFC main events and lame UFC cards in the last couple of years. But to hear UFC fans or Dana White tell it, it's non-stop action and the excitement never ends. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As the sport of MMA has evolved, the quality of the fighters and athletes has gotten better, and, well, it's gotten kind of ho-hum. Many fights look the same. Most aren't memorable, they just happen. More truly lousy fights happen, even though today's top fighters are better than the top fighters of years past. Many have figured out how to win without taking serious risks during the fight, including some top stars.

So let's call a spade a spade on what White's tactic is here. If you can't really say you've got something exciting, say another guy has something boring. White will probably find himself more and more in need of convincing UFC fans that they have a truly thrilling product in the coming months and years. If the excitement can't really, truly be delivered on a consistent basis, it can at least be promised, or he can always go back to "hey boxing sucks, right you guys?" and receive the cheap pop.

Sounds pretty boxing promoter-ish to me.

It's not like it's something we don't hear pretty regularly. But the trouble is that Dana probably knows better, while Michael Wilbon doesn't. The act is getting a little stale, and as a casual UFC fan these days, I'm more concerned with getting those exciting fights from the company instead of slaps at a different sport. It's been a great year of fights for the sport of boxing and we've got a great schedule coming up. UFC might be more popular in the States, but their constant claims to actually being "better" entertainment are getting a lot more questionable.

Lucky for Dana, a healthy portion of his audience will just go along with anything he says. Another thing he has in common with successful boxing promoters -- an ability to sell whatever he wants and talk over the naysayers.

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