Recently MMA news has been abuzz with talk of a UFC 162 ‘fix’ and Dana White’s subsequent appearances on both ESPN 2 and SI.com to refute the claim. Yesterday during an interview, White was quick to blast Sports Illustrated for seemingly suggesting that the UFC is not regulated as much as boxing, and also for not doing their research in his eyes.
The UFC President was doubtful of the how knowledgeable the SI panel of experts was, noting that they are not regular MMA pundits or writers. Still, SI host Maggie Gray stood her ground when speaking with White, sticking to the stance that ultimately the SI.com panel reached the conclusion that the fight was indeed not fixed.
Here’s how White responded:
"I honestly thought you guys were calling to apologize because you were embarrassed at how ridiculous your show was. Now as I sit here and talk to you, you're even more ridiculous."
"If you don't know anything about what you're talking about, you probably shouldn't talk about it. That sounds like a really good idea. That's why you've been getting smashed by fans and why I smashed you yesterday at ESPN.”
“Because if you're going to talk about something, you might want to do your homework and know what you're talking about, or at least you might want to have at least seen the fight so somebody on that panel would have had half a brain to say, 'You know what, I saw the fight. The guy was viciously knocked out. How could that be fixed?'
"The conclusion of your roundtable should be that you guys should do your homework and understand exactly what it is you're talking about. And if nobody watched the fight that day, you should at least know the sport is regulated. At least know some general things about the sport. At least do your homework."
White is fired up about the subject, and for good reason. If Sports Illustrated sways away from basically any and all MMA coverage until something ‘controversial’ pops up, then how accurate can their opinions truly be? If panel members discussing the Chris Weidman/Anderson Silva bout don’t even know that the same athletic commissions regulate MMA as boxing, then how can their opinions even hold any sort of weight in a discussion about an allegedly fixed fight that is already shaky and without much merit?
The answer is not very much at all. I’ve found all of the fix talk surrounding UFC 162’s main event to be a bit ridiculous, as it would have been too obvious to have Silva clown around before losing. But how can you guarantee Weidman knocks him out? You surely can’t guarantee that Silva’s eyes roll back into his head like they did.
And like White pointed out, you don’t fix a fight where the underdog is sitting at a measly 2-to-1 odds. The UFC stood to lose a whole lot more than anything they could have conceivably gained with a fix. Sure the rematch is huge, but would it really compare to the now-lost superfights between Silva and Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre?
Nope, not a chance. The UFC stood to profit massively should Silva have won that fight. Anyone suggesting a fix was in doesn’t really know much about MMA or how the UFC works, and that’s why it’s kind of silly for Sports Illustrated to even bring that topic up when they rarely if ever cover MMA in day-to-day news.
Did they see how fried White was at all the UFC 162 post-fight presser and interviews? Do you think he would have been that exhausted and beleaguered had Silva had won? No, he would have been fired up and adamant about all of the blockbuster bouts he finally got to make once Chris Weidman was out of the title picture.
But that didn’t happen. So I ask you, the fans, the people who really matter when it comes to MMA, what did the UFC stand to gain by fixing UFC 162’s blockbuster main event? To me, the answer is a resounding, “Nothing!” What do you think?