The increase in popularity of MMA across the world has seen many promotions rise and fall. Among them, the UFC has persevered and thrived. Over the years, however, the company has seen its fair share of trouble. From financial setbacks to legal issues, the promotion has been through a lot.
There seem to be some issues that the UFC keeps facing repeatedly. Fighters have spoken up many times against how the organization treats them. Payment issues have also been a recurring topic of debate. Sometimes, however, fighters have directly targeted Dana White.
The Connecticut native has been UFC president since 2001. He has played a big part in developing the sport but many remain critical of the 52-year-old's actions. Several champions and legends have had long-lasting feuds with White. Some, like Tito Ortiz, have even wanted to knock him out cold.
Ortiz's feud with White was heated and lasted the better part of a decade. In recent years, the pair have not gone after each other as severely. However, some have no love for the UFC president, even after cutting all ties with the organization.
Here are five legends who still dislike Dana White:
#5. Cris Cyborg's UFC exit and beyond
Cris Cyborg is still among the most feared names in women's MMA. Along with Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey, she is a pioneer of women's mixed martial arts. She held titles in Strikeforce and Invicta FC.
In 2017. she became the UFC women's featherweight champion by beating Tonya Evinger. However, things were rocky between her and White even before she signed with the promotion. The UFC president had previously made some egregious comments about her.
Things went further downhill after she lost to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232. White said she did not want a rematch and was afraid of losing again.
At the UFC 240 post-fight press conference, Cyborg said she did want a rematch. However, she was released from the organization shortly after she uploaded a doctored video. Since then, she has not shied away from taking jabs at White. In March 2021, she parked her own promotional van outside UFC Apex.
A few days later she took another shot at the 52-year-old.
It's clear the veteran fighter still has a grudge against White.
#4. 'Rampage' vs. the UFC president
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson is often counted among the scariest UFC fighters of all time. He has been terrorizing opponents since 1999. After joining the UFC, he quickly captured the light heavyweight title in 2007.
Jackson ended Chuck Liddell's four-fight title reign. His own title reign ended on his second defense but he remained among the best for several more years. However, his relationship with the promotion would soon turn sour. Trouble started brewing when Jackson signed on to star in the 2010 movie The A-Team. Dana White was also disappointed with his performance at UFC 144.
'Rampage' had no kind words for Joe Rogan either. He believed Rogan's commentary was biased.
Things did not change for the better between 'Rampage' and the promotion. He eventually moved to Bellator MMA in 2013.
In July 2021, while appearing on the DAZN Boxing Show, 'Rampage' said:
"Dana White has done a lot of good stuff for the sport... and he's done even better stuff for his pockets."
#3. Mark Hunt does not like Dana White
Mark Hunt has an MMA record of 13-14-1-1. Even with such a record, Hunt is considered a legend. He was a K-1 kickboxing world champion before starting his MMA career. He then fought in Pride FC and finally moved to the UFC. The 'Super Samoan' had one-punch knockout power.
The trouble began when he was booked to fight Brock Lesnar in 2016. It was Lesnar's comeback fight after retiring five years prior. USADA granted Lesnar a testing exemption. At UFC 200, the former champion defeated Hunt via unanimous decision.
Soon after the fight, 'The Beast Incarnate' tested positive for an estrogen blocker. The fight was declared a no-contest. A furious Mark Hunt then filed a civil lawsuit against the UFC in 2017. Since then, he has publicly badmouthed White numerous times. On September 24, 2021, the US Ninth Circuit revived Hunt's lawsuit.
It looks like Hunt vs. White will not be easing up anytime soon.
#2. Frank Shamrock wanted to fight Dana White
Frank Shamrock was among the pioneers of MMA. His immaculate UFC run in the '90s cemented him as a legend. He won the inaugural UFC light heavyweight championship in 1997. From 1997 to 1999 he defended his title four times before retiring at the age of 26.
'The Legend' later returned to win other titles. In 2003 he became the first WEC light heavyweight champion. Then, in 2007 he won the inaugural Strikeforce middleweight championship.
According to the veteran fighter, he was on good terms with White and UFC management. That changed soon after Zuffa acquired the promotion. Due to his experience, the UFC consulted Shamrock for advice but White and the higher-ups didn't agree with his vision.
As the rift grew, the former interim King of Pancrase parted ways with the promotion. Since then, the pair have often spoken out against each other in interviews and on social media.
Shamrock has also been notably excluded from the UFC Hall of Fame despite his accomplishments.
#1. Randy Couture's desire to reform the UFC
Randy Couture made his MMA debut at the age of 33. He then went on to become a three-time UFC heavyweight and two-time light heavyweight champion. A two-division champ, 'The Natural' has done it all. Before MMA, he was an accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler.
Conflicts with the company began in 2007. Couture briefly quit and claimed that he didn't receive what he deserved. Dana White countered by saying he had proof of paying him the proper amount. After retiring for good in 2012, he went on to work for Bellator MMA. The move further broke down his relations with White.
The 58 -year-old has always stood up for the rights of fighters. In recent years he has lobbied for the inclusion of MMA in the Muhammad Ali Expansion Act.
The UFC has reportedly spent huge sums of money lobbying against the act.