While he maintains a legion of MMA fans, UFC President Dana White’s brashness and outspoken demeanor lend themselves to creating feuds within the sport. White has been at odds with a whole host of MMA (and otherwise) personalities from fighters to promoters and just about everywhere in between. Currently, he is engaged in a back-and-forth with old enemy Frank Shamrock, who ditched the UFC arguably at the height of his career for less-strict contracts with other promotions.
Shamrock appeared on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani recently and stoked the old feud by making comments indicating that it is White’s proclivity for being abrasive that has kept MMA from progressing further and out of New York. White responded while making the media rounds in the days before UFC 121, calling Shamrock a “two-faced lying chump” and questioning his legitimacy in the MMA world after offering a list of other less-than-flattering ways to describe the former UFC champion.
Now it’s Shamrock’s turn again and “The Legend” told MMAFighting.com that it is this sort of vitriol from White that he was pointing to as evidence of his detriment to MMA.
“Wow and false, is all that I can say about Dana’s comments that I am a two-faced liar and further, what a bully and terrible example of combat sports meets corporate America,” Shamrock said.
White told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that Shamrock had flown to his office in order to clear the air with him sometime before this newest round of their feud engaged, and Shamrock revealed that he believed his mission to have been accomplished.
“We parted with nothing more than a clear understanding of our different views and brands,” he said.
Shamrock told MMAFighting that he believes MMA will continue to flounder where and when it matters if attitudes like White’s continue to pervade the sport.
“Dana’s recent comments on AOL are ridiculous and insulting and I am sad to see them associated with our sport,” Shamrock said. “We will never be a true sport, or art for that matter, until we are free to speak our hearts and minds. I was being genuinely honest about my beliefs and dreams and did not attack, insult, curse or become angry with him in any way. And yet in return, I was attacked, ridiculed and bullied, and finally, my character questioned publically.”
All in all, Shamrock said that he will continue to do his best to help people see MMA for its positive qualities and not for the qualities he believes that White bestows upon the sport. He also issued a personal challenge to White (not the first that he has received), daring him to try his bully tactics on the mat.
“My comments in reply to Mr. White’s insulting tirade is that mixed martial arts breeds confidence, builds character and creates strong diverse communities whose foundation is honor, respect and discipline, and Dana White, I refuse to be bullied by you, and further, I respect a man who truthfully stands up and fights for his family with honor.
“Anytime you want to become a real man and not a bully, you let me know,” he went on. “I would [be] happy to oblige you with [a] personal introduction to Shamrock MMA.”