The UFC head honcho hit out at Bellator chairman Bjorn Rebney
Dana White has revealed that he has no problem with the fighters involved in the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association, but has warned them that they are opening themselves up to having another hand put in their pocket.
Some big names in the sport, including TJ Dillahsaw, Cain Velasquez, Georges St-Pierre and Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone were involved with the launch of the association, but its first few weeks have been rocky, to say the least.
Cerrone stated that he was unaware that he had been included on the board for the association, and that he should have spoken to White first, but that "retirement, pension, health care, [are] things I think we need."
Speaking to Tim & Sid on Sportsnet, Dana White said that in the run up to UFC 206 in Toronto, he has spoken with Cerrone over dinner and that he said he was sorry for his involvement with the organisation.
"Cerrone apologised to me for going up there; [he said] 'I didn't know about it, I didn't know that guy was involved, I didn't know enough.'
"I was saying about Cowboy, and he doesn't disagree: He’s never won a title in the WEC or the UFC, he’s headlined three events in his whole career. The guy is going to make $1.3 million from fighting this year, and that doesn’t include his sponsorship, which could put him anywhere from $1.6 million to $1.7 or $1.8 million. I don’t know what the number is, that’s his business not mine, but how much money do you think you should be making Cowboy?"
"We have a health insurance plan now for the fighters," White stated, addressing one of the MMAAA's concerns."If anything happens in the octagon, they're fully covered [...] but outside now we have a deal for training, because a lot of guys get hurt in training. Is it the greatest policy ever? No. But let me tell you something, don't ever be mistaken on why insurance companies are in business - to make money."
"When we talk about post-fight," White added, "Cerrone and all the other fighters, you're making a million something [dollars] this year, that is your retirement. You can't live off the sponsorship money and throw a million in the bank? And do that for the next couple of years and hopefully invest the money wisely? That's all of our situations, we're all in that same situation. "
White stated that there were no hard feelings from his side for any of the fighters involved, and that he has massive respect for them all, but he reserved some very harsh words for Bjorn Rebney, the Chairman of Bellator and the man driving the newly-formed fighters' union.
"There are three unions out there right now, and what they're really doing is they're trying to put their hands in guys' pockets, and they're all fighting against each other!
"These are all grown men and women we're talking about. When you're a fighter or a professional athlete or a celebrity, or whatever it is, someone is always trying to put their hand in your pocket. As grown men and women, you can choose who puts their hand in your pocket. You can do whatever you want to do. But at the end of the day, the big fail on this thing is putting 'Bjork' Rebney in this thing."
White stated that 'Bjork' - as he repeatedly called him - is "such a dirty, scummy human being that he had to leave boxing and come to MMA, that's how bad this guy is. One of the classiest, smartest, legendary guys that you will ever meet in your life is Sugar Ray Leonard. Ask Sugar Ray what he thinks of 'Bjork'. The guy's so dirty...do you want that guy's hand in your pocket? The answer is no."