The battle lines have been drawn in the sand and UFC president Dana White wants to make it clear that his beef is with Showtime, not his MMA counterparts, Strikeforce.
“I’m not anti-Strikeforce; I don’t dislike those guys,” White said at Thursday’s UFC 102 pre-fight press conference. “I dislike Showtime. I don’t like their attitude. They think they’re better than they really are. They’ve been second rate at boxing, second rate at programming. Now they think they’re great at mixed martial arts, and my fight is with them, not with Strikeforce.”
White’s stance on Strikeforce has changed quite a bit since the San Jose-based organization first inked mixed martial arts’ most coveted free agent, WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, earlier this month.
“(Signing Emelianenko) will put (Strikeforce) out of business,” White previously stated. “These guys have no money and they have no distribution. Four (expletive) people watch Showtime. Their last fight they put on, do you know how many people watched that fight? 245,000 people watched that fight.”
At one point, the brash President had even called his MMA rival “Strikefarce.”
It’s not unheard of for White to lash out at a competitor, just ask Affliction Entertainment and EliteXC, but based off of yesterday’s presser, White has definitely adjusted his radar.
“They got their ass kicked always by HBO at boxing, yet they tried to stay in it,” he said. “They got their ass kicked with HBO in programming, and they’re still around. Their going to get their ass kicked in mixed martial arts too. Just not by HBO.”
As of now, the UFC has two shows slated to pop off in November, UFC 105 on the 14th in Manchester, England which will be followed the weekend after by UFC 106 in Las Vegas, Nevada.