UFC is in a lot of hot water after GQ chose to market Dana White’s attempt at a ‘fun interview’ with legitimate concerns regarding athlete compensation.
This latest interview comes on the wings of backlash over pricey Cash birthday gift Dana White was filmed giving to NELK boys Kyle Forgeard.
UFC is a prized possession of Hollywood’s top management agency Endeavor (renamed from William Morris Endeavor/WME) and one of the only properties keeping them afloat. As per Deadline Endeavor swung to a net income of $42 million from a loss of $517 million a year ago. UFC is one of the rare parts of Endeavor that was profitable even with the Pandemic – Owned sports properties, which includes UFC, saw revenue of $332 million up 28% from the 2021 quarter.
Former Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold expressed his disdain with how UFC compensates athletes all through media week.
“The company is f*cking growing, and they’re implementing other little stupid-ass bonuses – $5,000 here, $5,000 there. $50,000, man? We’ve been stuck on this motherf*cker for 20 f*cking years. I mean, back when GSP was fighting Jake (Shields), I mean, what was it? $100,000? F*cking it was growing.”
Opting not to post Rockhold’s scathing interview goes against what UFC president Dana White’s been saying for years.
“One of the things that we’ve never done here at the UFC is stop people from expressing how they feel about certain things inside or outside the octagon,” White said.
“Even if it’s me, if it’s about me. Who’s more about free speech than we are? We literally let our people do or say whatever it is they do. It’s normal.”
This is what White told media when they questioned his lack of will to censor some of Colby Covington’s harsh comments.
Of course this Rockhold situation is not the first time the UFC has censored someone. Notable example of censorship was Demian Maia’s retirement bout.
Maia faced Belal Muhammad back in Jun of 2021. Due to the amount of attention Palestine conflict was getting at the time Maia wasn’t even given a chance to say goodbye in the octagon nor give an interview – and this is after a UFC career that spanned for 15 years?! All so Muhammad couldn’t shout out Palestine and ruffle feathers for the promotion.
Not to mention the recently introduced Flag ban.