After blasting Sports Illustrated on ESPN2, UFC President Dana White today made an appearance on “SI Now,” where he angrily denounced the storied news outlet’s coverage of UFC 162.
“I honestly thought you guys were calling to apologize because you were embarrassed at how ridiculous your show was,” White told SI Now’s Maggie Gray, who this past week moderated a panel of writers who discussed the possibility of fight-fixing at the July 6 pay-per-view event.
“Now as I sit here and talk to you, you’re even more ridiculous, and I’ll bet you this whole interview doesn’t see the light of day. If your producer’s smart, he’ll take this tape out and throw it right in the garbage so the world can’t hear what I’m saying to you right now.”
SI, of course, did release the interview as part of the show, which covers a variety of current topics in the sports world. On Wednesday, an SI PR rep declined to comment when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on White’s interview with ESPN2's “Highly Questionable,” where he interrupted an interview to blast the SI panel.
Gray defended the segment by saying the topic of fight-fixing had also been broached by reporters covering the event. She said the panelists were having a general conversation about its possibility and that the show didn’t have an expert on hand that particular day. (SI’s Chris Mannix, a boxing writer, was the only participant with a combat-sports background. He indicated it was unlikely that Chris Weidman‘s upset win over Anderson Silva would be fixed.)
The lack of an MMA presence on the show, which was highlighted by one reporter’s question of whether the sport was less regulated than boxing, sent White into a tirade.
“If you don’t know anything about what you’re talking about, you probably shouldn’t talk about it,” he bellowed. “That sounds like a really good idea. That’s why you’ve been getting smashed by fans and why I smashed you yesterday at ESPN. Because if you’re going to talk about something, you might want to do your homework and know what you’re talking about, or at least you might want to have at least seen the fight so somebody on that panel would have had half a brain to say, ‘You know what, I saw the fight. The guy was viciously knocked out. How could that be fixed?’
“The conclusion of your roundtable should be that you guys should do your homework and understand exactly what it is you’re talking about. And if nobody watched the fight that day, you should at least know the sport is regulated. At least know some general things about the sport. At least do your homework.”
White eventually calmed down and spoke about the rematch between Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC) and Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) that’s scheduled for Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas. Gray even invited him to appear in person on “SI Now.” Whether he takes that invitation is anyone’s guess.
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