Reporter: “There was an article in the New York Times today that was very critical of the execution… (interrupts)
Dana White: ‘F*ck that guy. F*ck that guy. You know what happened with that guy? That guy, who has never covered the sport before, was writing a story about Endeavor, and then UFC was one of the, ya know… And what do you think happened when this guy and this paper covered the UFC when they had never covered it before? What do you think happened? The f*cking story was huge. They did killer traffic. Now they’re writing stories, three a week, and they're posting live results. I don’t give a sh*t what that guy thinks, what he has to say, or what he writes. Good for him, he’s pulling good traffic.”
Reporter: “Do you not worry about…?” (interrupts)
White: “I don’t give a f*ck”
Reporter: “Fair enough.”
White: “Don’t give a f*ck.”
UFC president Dana White had quite an animated reaction when a reporter asked White about what he thought about a recent article in the New York Times article that was critical on the way the company conducted its controversial ‘UFC 249’ event last weekend.
The writer of the article voiced his displeasure with how the event was produced, most notably in regards to the lack of enforcement towards social distancing and ‘contact-based greetings’ between the fighting teams before and after the event, and even the way the media covered the PPV, as the writer didn’t like how fighter Justin Gaethje shook hands with commentator Joe Rogan moments after the fight.
White said the writer of the ‘f*ck that guy’, and mentioned how the only reason the newspaper was covering the UFC was because they had written about UFC’s parent company, Endeavor, days earlier and had enjoyed a spike in interest from their curious audience, and was looking for even more eyeballs.
Some members of the mainstream media have been critical on the UFC for hosting the event during the coronavirus pandemic. Chicago sportswriter Jay Mariotti called White a ‘snake’ and a ‘liar’ on Fox Sports Radio's The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker, and said that he had 'no regard for human life.'
However, some in the media have praised White as well, with Clay Travis saying White is an 'American hero' for getting his league back up and running before anyone else could, and remaining unbothered by the immediate PR blowback.
The UFC became the first major sports league in the United States to return to live events since COVID-19 put all sports leagues, and much of life itself, on lockdown.