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Dana White vs. Twitter



Prior to the UFC 190 event last week, a WWE fan sent the UFC President, Dana White a message on Twitter that said the WWE “beats” the UFC because the Network includes pay-per-view events for $9.99 a month. The outspoken UFC president responded saying, “fake s–t should be $9.99” and after a few more messages were exchanged, White reiterated that it was “fake.” Obviously, there was a disrespectful tone and it launched a series of tweets from pro wrestlers defending the industry.

First, Dana White is the figure-head of a nearly billion dollar company, why is he even responding to a Twitter troll? Clearly the troll is an idiot that was trying to start a disagreement and has posted that was the point since the controversy started so some random moron gets to feel important for 15 minutes because Dana took the bait. The Fertitta’s and Dana White deserve a lot of credit for taking an underground sport and transforming it into main stream events. I’ve been watching mixed martial arts for years and until a decade ago, one of the few ways to actually watch the events was to rent VHS tapes. That being said, Dana White should know better than to argue with random people on social media and it portrays him in a negative light.

Anyone reading this knows that pro wrestling is a predetermined sport, but it’s certainly NOT fake and there IS a difference. There are real risk and real injuries in pro wrestling, the same way there are injuries in mixed martial arts. MMA fighters train before each fight and pro wrestlers travel to different cities to preform a few times a week. It’s not an apples to apples comparison, but it’s not about one being “better” than the other and there are athletes in each sport. If he intended it or not, Dana White’s comments were disrespectful to the pro wrestlers that sacrified themselves to give the fans their money’s worth and the performers that sustained serious injuries during their career.

Was it fake when Droz was paralyzed? Was it fake when Mick Foley got tossed a legitimate 15 feet off the cell? Was it fake when Stone Cold got dropped on his head? There are many examples and the bottom line is, pro wrestling might be scripted, but it’s not fake. Foley had an extremely interesting point during his stage show about the similarities of MMA and pro wrestling, when someone gets knocked out in MMA the fight stops, but that’s not the case for pro wrestling.

While the WWE has PG programming toward a younger audience, there’s still a similar demographic for each product and there have been frequent mentions of both on their programming in recent years so it doesn’t seem like it would be a wise decision for Dana White to burn any bridges. For example, the Ronda Rousey appearance at Wrestlemania gave the WWE something special for the event and publicity after the show, and it also indirectly promoted the UFC because Rousey was featured at a show for some fans that might not typically watch MMA so it benefits each promotion. It’s somewhat disappointing that Dana White made comments that seem to look down on pro wrestling because much of the success of the Zuffa organization is because they promoted the UFC similar to pro wrestling.

There’s a reason the Ultimate Fighter reality show started the MMA boom a decade ago, as it let fans know who the fighters were outside of the octagon. More specifically, the countdown shows are used to show the “character of the fighters, not a scripted character in the pro wrestling sense, but their real life background so the MMA fans can identify with them. Many of the themes represented in pro wrestling are scenarios that take place in real life. For example, the legendary “Minotauro” Nogueira, who sustained a tremendous amount of punishment in his storied career, lost a decision at UFC 190 and it was later announced that he retired, but he will continue working with the promotion in an ambassador role. Granted, there wasn’t a stipulation before the fight, but it’s similar to Ric Flair’s WWE retirement, as the aging legend exits the sport. The trash talking, stare downs, and scuffles at the weigh in are all pro wrestling tactics used to promote UFC PPVs, which works well for them.

I don’t think Dana White was trying to bury the pro wrestling business, but his comments were disrespectful and you can’t blame the pro wrestlers that defended the industry because they sacrifice themselves to entertain the fans. It’s ironic that the UFC’s biggest draw was Brock Lesnar because of his popularity from “fake” wrestling and CM Punk, who could draw record numbers for the company, has said himself that he was probably signed to a UFC deal because of the name he has from wrestling so before Dana White criticizes pro wrestling, he should thank it.

-Jim LaMotta


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