Dana White recently shared a present with Kyle Forgeard, a member of the Nelk Boys. Ariel Helwani shared his opinion on the most recent episode of On The Nose segment.
White gave Forgeard a $250,000 cash present in a plastic bag for his birthday. This was something Forgeard tweeted about. The incident got a lot of attention from both fans and competitors.
Ariel Helwani acknowledged that the outrage was appropriate. However, but he also supported White. Ariel Helwani :
“A lot of people very upset about that, and I’d imagine rightfully so. My big takeaway was like the whole thing was just… his look was creepy… it’s a bizarre thing.”
“The thing is, Dana White is not the UFC. Like the guy has his own money, right? He’s allowed to do whatever he wants with his money, he could go buy eight lamborghinis. So I don’t think you can critize him for it. It’s just bizarre, like give the kid a nice watch.”
Given that receiving a bag holding $250,000 for your birthday is unusual, Helwani’s description of the present as weird is appropriate. Helwani’s partial defense of White was especially noteworthy in light of their shared past.
Helwani also pointed out the many instances of UFC champions receiving little compensation. He said:
“There’s no doubt that it’s a weird look like if you’re a UFC fighter, especially a champion who’s not making that much. A Deiveson Figuerido.”
“I mean we could go Figuerido we could go Carla Esparza we can go Valentina Shevchenko… we can even go Mr. Francis Ngannou who’s not even making a million dollars for his fights. You can watch that and be like ‘golly this is a little bit weird.’ ”
In his most recent episode, Helwani also said that he still has little respect for the UFC president. Dana White’s joyful gift teaches Helwani that he is basically in his own universe. The difference in age between White and Forgeard, he said, was another factor that made their conversation odd.
Helwani added: “My takeaway was, are these people so far removed from reality that they think that this is like a nice gift for someone?… Also, like, a 50 something year old guy giving (the money) to a 20 year old something kid?”