Lorenzo Fertitta reacts to controversial caption posted onlinePosted on April 19, 2012, 05:41 PM by Mike Drahota
Last Saturday, a highly controversial caption appeared online that while perhaps intended as humor, seemed to insinuate that UFC President Dana White was such a fan of Jon Jones, that he had bet an exorbitant sum of money on him to retain the title at UFC 145 in Atlanta, Georgia. Understandably, number-one contender Rashad Evans reacted with anger upon hearing these allegations. While the site did issue a retraction, there still has been much fallout that could ultimately have legal ramifications. Obviously, with a title fight of this magnitude, White and the Fertittas want it go down without a hitch. Lorenzo Fertitta had some strong words to say about the subject via usatoday.com:
“We just got back from the fight in Stockholm. You've got to understand, Rashad's entire team -- his entire camp -- was in his ear telling him they read this online and that Dana bet half a million dollars against him. This was a real issue. This isn't just some kind of slap on the back, funny little joke. This was reckless reporting on their part.”
His words would suggest that although a retraction and apology were soon to follow, the dust is still not settled on this touchy subject. When asked if he thought that the retraction had satisfied his demands, he replied very specifically:
“We're currently evaluating whether it's sufficient or not. Like I said, there's been a massive amount of fallout in the wake of them putting out something that is completely reckless in the way that they did. I don't understand how anybody could defend what they did. It's a very serious allegation. For them to even joke that Dana made a wager of that magnitude on one fighter versus another fighter is something that could have tremendous negative implications for the industry, for our company and a lot of different things.”
It would seem that the top executives at the UFC have spent a great deal of time trying to smooth this situation over. The comments and accusations made came at a tenuous time for the organization, in the wake of the news that Light Heavyweight champion would be sponsored by the UFC for his upcoming bout against Evans. Jones is the first fighter to find himself in this situation. This only adds fuel to the raging inferno of hype surrounding this fight, and only time will tell what the overall ramifications of the comments will be.