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Dana White: Who Needs Managers

Posted on 02/15/2011

Remember this utterance:

“What the (expletive) do I need to be in the back for if I’m (a) manager?”

It’s kind of ironic. When that kind of statement comes out of a promoter’s mouth, it provides justification for the existence of a manager in the first place, doesn’t it?

That was part of the tirade launched by UFC president Dana White against Loretta Hunt, the reporter from another website who chose to pursue a story that explored why managers and agents of fighters in the UFC were being denied credentials giving them access to the dressing room area.

First of all, when you examine it, the statement itself is complete bullshit, and Dana White has to know that, which is probably the reason he instituted that rule to begin with. If I am the manager of a fighter, I am back there if I want to be. Period. Anyone who has been involved in this sport, or boxing for that matter, knows that if somebody has an agenda, there are all kinds of sneaky things that could take place in the dressing room area. And there are things I am there to make sure of…..

Like allowing my guy, OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE, watch the opponent’s hands being taped by his trainer.

Like making sure my guy doesn’t have to have his gloves on too early on the night of the show.

Like making sure my fighter HAS a dressing room in the first place.

Like making sure my fighter has all the things the promoter may be obligated to supply in that dressing room area, whether it be towels, ice, gauze, whatever.

Like making sure I am with my fighter in the event he gets knocked out or otherwise hurt, because some managers care about their charges.

Like making sure some asshole – whether he’s from the UFC or not – isn’t trying to say something to backstab me with my fighter.

Like making sure they’re not trying to make a deal behind my back.

Like making sure somebody isn’t screwing me in some other way.

Managers in the backstage area do not constitute unnecessary traffic. I understand that there are a lot of hangers-on and opportunists who don’t do a thing for some fighters. However, if there is a contract there is a contract. Apparently those who provide representation of fighters constitute something troublesome for the promoter of the show.

Another White quote:

“Hey Loretta, if you’re going to write a story, you (expletive) moron, at least make sure it’s (expletive) true and you have some facts.”

Maybe it’s not as documented as it should be, but has it been proven not to be true? Hasn’t White in fact confirmed that she is on the right track, by his reaction? Loretta’s story seems to make perfect sense to me, all the way down to the quotes from one athletic commissioner, who points out that if a manager wants to apply as a second, he (or she) can. However, short of that, the commission doesn’t have any control over who the promoter gives a pass to, so that is pretty much left up to the UFC’s discretion. I’m not a big fan of entourages, because almost without exception, they are useless. But within the parameters of that discretion, it doesn’t seem unreasonable at all that if an individual has a written agreement for representation with a fighter, that individual could have access.

Knowing that the UFC does not want that to happen – and of course we know that from the quote at the top of this story – should tell you something. Anyone with some experience will tell you that when there is a mechanism in place to separate someone from his “client” in an atmosphere where business is known to be discussed, that is justifiable cause for concern.

Of course, Monte Cox, who was also quoted in Loretta’s piece, has a good point as well, as he said, in so many words, that regarding people talking to his fighters behind his back, he has to be able to trust that the fighter wouldn’t sign anything without him looking at it.

Speaking as someone who has dealt with more fighters than he wants to remember, it does take two to tango, and if a fighter can’t be trusted, he is not worth being involved with. Of course, fighters are also impressionable, and their window of opportunity is not that wide, so it’s not too hard to influence many of them.

Another quote from the White monologue, if you can wade through the dirty words:

“And if you’re going to put some (expletive) quotes in there, get some quotes from some people who at least have the (expletive) (courage) to put their (expletive) name on it.”

This is the quote Loretta Hunt used, from an anonymous source: “They’re divisively trying to split management and fighters. They’re trying to de-power the managers and agents to create a wedge between them.”

I am sure that is true, but that also provides the glitch in the story, which I consider to otherwise be very important. Most of the quotes that provided a gateway for this story to exist, although sounding very credible, nonetheless came from sources that were reticent to identify themselves. As long as fighter representatives don’t want to take a step forward, you can expect that the situation is going to continue, and that is what White and the UFC have to their advantage.

Speaking of not putting someone’s f***ing name on something, have we ever found out who really owned Xyience?

Just a thought.

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