If UFC President Dana White has his say, UFC fighters won’t be giving interviews other than the weeks leading up to their next bout, and, presumably, right after they step out of the cage.
White, who addressed controversy over Matt Mitrione‘s rant against Fallon Fox on “The MMA Hour” during a teleconference in support of UFC on FOX 7, said the UFC heavyweight “didn’t even need to be doing an interview.”
“I’m going to talk to these guys,” he said. “The only time these guys really need to be doing interviews is leading up to fights.”
To White, such a solution appeared the easiest way to prevent a situation he called “a pain in the ass,” and which forced the industry-leader’s hand in taking action against Mitrione, who called transgender fighter Fox a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.”
On Monday, just hours after Mitrione gave his interview, the UFC released a statement condemning Mitrione’s comments and announcing the promotion had suspended him indefinitely for violating a recently instituted code of conduct.
Several media outlets, including MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), took Mitrione to task for his behavior. CNN.com also picked up the story.
Mitrione has yet to comment publicly since his suspension. He deleted his Twitter account several months ago, and he has not posted on his Facebook fan page since his comments about Fox. His comments came on the heels of a 19-second win this past Saturday at UFC on FUEL TV 9 in Stockholm, which snapped a two-fight losing skid for the heavyweight veteran of Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
For White, who is no stranger to controversial interviews, it was a situation that could and should have been avoided.
“It ended up being a nightmare for him,” he said. “What was the point of doing that interview? There was no point in it. Now, it’s caused him a bunch of headaches and problems and caused us a bunch of headaches and problems for no reason whatsoever.
“He had just fought; he wouldn’t fight again for another few months, and he’s still over there enjoying himself in Sweden. What was the point of doing that interview? What was the upside in that interview? There was none.”
Fox (2-0), who is set to fight Allana Jones (2-1) on May 24 at CFA 11, has yet to respond to Mitrione’s comments.
(Pictured: Matt Mitrione)