Posted by Colin Doyle May 10, 2010Photo Courtesy: Throwthembows.com
In Dana White's continuing struggle to legitimize UFC/MMA there have certainly been some ups and downs. The formula is simple enough. Don't back your boss into a corner and make him have to explain why MMA is a sport to the skeptical media/public at large. He has already had a tough enough time shedding the image of the bad old days from his company. In White's world if you represent the UFC simply conduct yourself like an athlete who respects his opponent, the sport, and the fans. If you can manage that, then the only thing standing in your way will be the limits of your ability as a fighter.
The Kosheck Vs. Daley fight is a prime example of putting the boss on the defensive. Well after the bell had sounded, Daley threw a nasty sucker punch at Kosheck. This childishly buffoon-like action undermines much of what White has worked so hard to build over the years. The octagon is not a cage where two brawlers attempt to kill each other for the entertainment of a blood thirsty crowd of violent hooligans (Even though many times it can be...). When Daley threw that punch, he threw it right at Dana White and the sport of MMA. White's decision not work with Daley again, while unfortunate for the Welterweight Division, is absolutely the right one. Daley's actions @ UFC 113 robbed the fans of the championship fight they wanted to see and the career he (Daley) could have had with the organization.
A major thorn in White's long crusade for legitimacy in the court of public opinion had been street fighting "sensation" Kimbo Slice. White sought to make an example out of Kimbo, and did so with purpose. The UFC Big knew that if he could get Kimbo to fight in the UFC he could illustrate to the varied sports critics what it means to be a real MMA athlete. Kimbo is just a bar brawler, and by comparison, his many limitations help reveal all the other facets of quality MMA fighting. (i.e. stamina and strategy, heart, etc.), which the sports media gladly ignores . White had this entire chess move planed out before Slice ever signed with his company. In fact, White's repeated call outs of Kimbo were designed to bring the fighter in so that his failure would reinforce the UFC as the number one MMA promotion and it's fighters as the most elite in the sport.
Thus, Dana White makes the omelet that is Ultimate Fighting. Which, as it turns out, tastes much better without these two (Daley & Slice) ingredients.