Responding again today to questions of whether the main event of UFC 162 was fixed, UFC President Dana White ranted at conspiracy theorists and then targeted one of the most respected institutions in sports reporting.
“Who’s going to throw a fight by getting viciously knocked out?” the UFC executive ranted during an appearance on ESPN2's “Highly Questionable.” “You know how stupid you’d have to be to even think that?”
“Speaking of morons, Sports Illustrated had this group of people together, and they actually – Sports Illustrated! – had this panel saying, ‘Yeah, so I heard over the weekend, this fight might have been fixed.’ First of all, these people looked like they covered tennis – not fighting – and you could tell none of them even watched the fight.”
White was referring to a panel of reporters that mused on whether Anderson Silva took a dive against the newly minted UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman during a segment on the web series SI Now, which covers hot topics in sports.
“For somebody like Sports Illustrated – people are supposed to be credible journalists – to go out and say something that stupid when they never even watched the fight, it’s just a testament to how bad reporting is getting these days,” White continued. “It’s more about the shock factor than the fact factor.”
It’s not the first time White has let expletives fly on the topic. Immediately after the pay-per-view event, which took place July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, he said people who thought that Weidman’s knockout was predetermined were “f—ing idiots.”
Yet for several days, the topic hung in the air, which likely prompted the SI panel to address the situation. None of the journalists, however, were MMA reporters for the storied news outlet.
Reps for SI.com declined to comment.
As White pointed out on ESPN2, if the fight was fixed, it would have been far smarter to have Silva tap to Weidman’s submission attempts prior to his fight-ending KO, and under better odds. Weidman was a 2-to-1 underdog, leaving the payout slim for upset-minded bettors.
But as he also noted, the fight’s unexpected outcome could very well explain why some fans and MMA observers have gone a little sideways trying to explain it.
“This is just one of those moments where people are just f–ing going crazy,” White said.
For complete coverage of UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.