Dana White's Ill Communication

November 21, 2008

Ivan Trembow makes an excellent point about the growing incompatibility Dana White seems to have with any role that involves a bargaining position with other entities:

It wasn’t the first time that Fertitta has been forced to play “Good Cop” after one of White’s outbursts directed at fighters or their managers. Who had to handle Randy Couture’s recent contract negotiations? Who had to handle Tito Ortiz’ last few UFC contracts? Who had to handle the negotiations to buy Pride FC? Who would have to handle any potential future negotiations with Fedor Emelianenko after all of White’s public insults towards Fedor and his camp? Lorenzo Fertitta.

Fitch also said to MMA Rated on Thursday, “Communication kind of broke down with Dana [White], so we talked with Lorenzo [Fertitta]. I just got off the phone with him, and we came to an agreement. We’re going to move ahead, and I’ll be back in the UFC… we felt Dana was being a little bit hot-headed and was threatening us right off the bat. It didn’t seem like a professional way of doing things.”

Such a heavy hand at the bargaining table can have some effectiveness with fighters, but White’s communication skills haven’t curried him any favors in other aspects of the business. White’s mantra of “They need us we don’t need them” is full of bluster but somewhat effective when used against fighters, but Dana has used this same line of logic when speaking about sponsors like Coca Cola and others. A network TV deal is another area where White’s people skills may be a hindrance, with NBC rumored to have no interest in working with the UFC.

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