Politics and combat sports – Different worlds in parallel universes
Dana White and Bob Arum have reignited their rivalry, stemming from Dana's recent appearance at the RNC in support of Donald Trump.
Politics and combat sports – if you ever needed two opposites to repel, these two topics would certainly fit the bill. While the North American people wish they could see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don boxing gloves and fight till the fat lady sings, it looks as if the promoters from the world of combat sports are ready to enter the world of politics.
Rest assured, neither of the two scenarios would be pretty.
Couple of days ago, Dana White spoke at the RNC in support of the Republican nominee.
Not to be outdone, Bob Arum –the legendary boxing promoter, who also happens to be legendary for his disdain of Dana White and MMA, took the center stage during a presser for the upcoming boxing Pay Per View, and laid into UFC and Dana White.
Arum also took the opportunity to lend his support to Hillary Clinton, as the media personnel watched in amusement.
“People asked the difference between MMA and boxing – I said, well in boxing, we have lot of minorities, African Americans, Hispanics… Jewish promoters and people like that. Pretty much, we’re democrats.” I guess Arum hasn’t watched any of the MMA promotions, or for that matter, the UFC when he suggested that UFC isn’t home for fighters from around the world.
It is never a good idea for promoters to bring politics into the conversation, and vice versa.
Dana White hates the idea of federal oversight pertaining to the UFC, while Bob Arum brought up the topic of UFC “buying out” the lobbyists to ensure that the Ali Act isn’t extended to MMA. While both the promoters have had their differences in the past, politics and combat sports are like different worlds in parallel universes.
Dana White’s appearance at the RNC couple of days ago doesn’t imply that all the fighters support Donald Trump.
What Dana does in his own time is his problem; numerous UFC fighters have come out in support of Bernie Sanders when he was still in the running, while Dana has always been a Trump supporter.
Bob Arum’s claims that boxing has fighters from diverse backgrounds – hence they’re all democrats sounds not only naïve, but also unintelligent.
PEDs and substance abuse - Bob Arum adds fuel to the fire
Arum also added fuel to the fire, with major names such as Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar getting flagged for banned substances by USADA before UFC 200.
“I don’t think (drug testing) is particularly necessary as far as fighters are concerned.
Most fighters obey the rules. It’s probably more necessary in MMA because they appear to be unconcerned with the testing.
What the hell?
As long as the tests come out after the fight, right? Everybody’s collecting money. Just saying, just saying. You’ve got MMA, just sold for billions of dollars. Good luck to them. And for some reason they can buy off lobbyists so they’re not subject to the Muhammad Ali Act like promoters are in boxing – just saying.”
Dana White hits back at Arum
If you know Dana White, you know he won’t take anything lying down. White is one of the most outspoken promoters in the world of MMA – and combat sports in general. When reporters from MMAJunkie reached out to Dana, he replied in typical Dana White fashion, calling Arum “the biggest dirtbag in all of sports”.
“I remember a bitter, fat, red, alcohol-abuse-faced Arum chirping about the ‘oodles of money the Fertittas were going to lose on the UFC. Arum is the biggest dirtbag in all of sports.
I look forward to sticking around and continuing to kick his ass in every aspect of our business.”
A lot of questions have recently popped up about the timing of the Fertittas selling the UFC – just a year after partnering up with USADA. The domino effect has seen number of fighters getting popped for banned substances, which has cost UFC millions of dollars.
While Arum’s allegations to a certain extent are completely baseless, there are others who might side with Arum regarding his assessment of the epidemic of PEDs in MMA.