Other than the aforementioned Helwani, there may be no other person in MMA to have outraged White more recently than former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm’s longtime manager Lenny Fresquez.
After Holm devastatingly knocked out popular superstar Ronda Rousey at 2015’s UFC 193, Holm was the talk of the MMA world with a massive pending rematch with Rousey set to be arguably the biggest fight in MMA history. But Holm and Fresquez decided they wanted to fend the belt before Rousey returned. So Holm took on consensus No. 1 contender Miesha Tate in the co-main event of UFC 196, and things got messy there.
After losing one round on the ground but otherwise winning the fight standing, Holm gave up a fifth-round takedown and was subsequently locked in a fight-ending rear-naked choke by Tate. Afterwards, White spoke up to ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell with his brash opinion of Fresquez, noting that he “wasn’t smart:
“The sad part about that is, listen, he’s an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart, and he’s not. It’s one of those things. I feel bad about it. I feel bad for Holly. I don’t know if Holly really knows what she lost. I think she has so much faith in the people that surround her, she feels like, ‘Well, they got me this far.’
“We had this meeting, and Holly wasn’t even in it. Holly, that’s your life. You should be in that meeting. Don’t leave it to these people. Anyway, Holly made a lot of money. She accomplished great things, she beat Ronda Rousey. But it could have been so much bigger for her, and the sad part is, I don’t think she even knows it.”
Tate also chastised Fresquez for calling her a “tune-up fight,” and based on the results, it’s hard to argue with that view. Holm will now attempt to rebound against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of July 23’s UFC on FOX 20 from Chicago, but it could have been so, so much bigger.