Dana White has long been known for delivering harsh public criticism to fighters under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner who fail to live up to his standards in some shape or form.
The most recent example was Francis Ngannou, who lost a lackluster decision to Derrick Lewis in the UFC 226 co-main event. After that performance, White claimed that Ngannou’s struggles were due to his ego.
“I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and his ego just was so out of control,” White said at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference. “Before the Stipe fight he took off and went to France, didn’t really train for that fight. And you see the results. Then he comes back and he did train…ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
Ngannou later revealed that he hasn’t had any contact with White since the event and that he was hurt and surprised by the UFC president’s comments. Former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub addressed White’s tendency to trash athletes within the Las Vegas-based promotion on his “Below the Belt” show.
“I can’t understand why he does this to fighters,” Schaub said. “He’s notoriously done this for years and years and years where he just talks s--t about the guys. And they’re not doing well. Those guys just lost the biggest fight of their lives, they’re gonna have to pay. And they’re not feeling good about themselves and then the boss, who you’re looking for any amount of approval and it would go so far, you’re the captain of the ship, when you’re s----ing on all the employees on the ship, it doesn’t make people feel good. When you try to lead by fear, it doesn’t work.”
“People go, ‘Dana’s worth whatever, 400 million dollars,’ that’s fine. To me, that doesn’t mean you’re a successful leader,” he continued. “That doesn’t mean s--t to me. There’s a lot of working wheels that go into making that deal happen. It’s not just him getting it done. What he’s done with the sport is great. He took that torch, ran with it, got it done, sold the company, it’s a major sport now. That’s great. We should tip our hats to him for that.
“But if you think that with the platform I have I’m not going to criticize you for s----ing on these fighters who don’t have much, financially, they don’t have a platform, they have to literally punch other men in the face to make a living. And for you to bring men and women down like that is insane. You’re never going to get a free ride here. Ever. Ever, ever, ever, for as long as I have this microphone in my face, you will always get criticized for that. Always. It’s not cool.”
Of course, Schaub and White recently had a back-and-forth exchange on social media that began with the former fighter critiquing the transition of some kickboxers to MMA. Rising UFC star Israel Adesanya took offense to Schaub’s remarks, and then White jumped in and blasted the ex-fighter. In turn, Schaub responded with a post insinuating that he and White were “Eskimo brothers.”
According to Schaub, his beef with White is just a prime example of the type of thing the UFC boss does on a regular basis. He believes someone in White’s position should take the high road in most situations.
“Why be mean about it? Why be a bully in this day and age? Why continue to s--t on people? You’ve won, man. You’ve won,” Schaub said, “You’re the CEO of a billion-dollar company and you’re trying to talk s--t to somebody who retired four years ago on social media. What are you doing? What are we doing?
“Imagine somebody else, the head of a corporation, they’d lose their job. Talk s--t to people like that. What the f--k are you doing? What are you doing? It makes no sense. It makes zero sense.”