Use Google to locate more current locations of the transmigrated video below. Search term: Dana White threatens to fire Anderson Silva on Jim Rom Show.
That aside, here is the long and short of this story: Dana White’s threat to fire Anderson Silva from the UFC in the wake of UFC 112 went way over the top. Sure he may have been echoing Anderson Silva’s post-fight apology – but there is a difference between Anderson saying that he is sorry for not putting on the best show for fans and Dana White saying he will “cut him” if he ever fights like that again. Say what?
We at Cyberaxis think White may have been carried away by a locker-room-rah-rah-chest-thumpin’ moment with Jim Rome. Point: Jim Rome is a talking head who riffs off of his brain stem and thrives on this kind of s*it. This rabble rousing. Dana White should have known that. The end result of the cave-banging was Dana trying to show off the size of his club – the one he hunts wooly-mastodons with – instead of articulating a well thought out position. This unilateral management by public statement is ill suited for the organization the UFC is becoming, nationally and internationally. Testosterone-driven dialogue is never good except in jock-infested locker rooms.
There are only two options for Dana White: either he adapts to the growingly buttoned-down dynamics of a growing UFC or he gets chastized by circumstance at some point. As hard as it is to believe at this point, the UFC and MMA of which it is representative, is bigger than the face of its enterprising lights. And the Fertittas will not be staying in the shadows forever.
The threatening tack White took with Silva is rarely a winning gambit. Not in a situation as nuanced as Anderson Silva’s. (And while mulling this over, we should never forget that we are talking about an athlete who, pound for pound, is considered the greatest fighter on the planet. Sure he has his weaknesses, but they pale in comparison to his brilliance; his record. ) Dana White’s threatening tack with Anderson Silva was wrong besides being unenforceable except in extremis. Yes the Paul Daley sucker punching of Jeff Koscheck met that extremis criteria – but one cannot help but feel that Dana White threw out the baby with the bathwater even on that one. Remember the art of proportional response. Proportional retribution. It’s what the boys move and groove on.
The fit Dana threw following Anderson Silva’s octagonal antics was par for the course, besides being justified and totally in character with the man MMA has come to know. It certainly did nothing to detract flavor from an event that was already brimming with it from Silva’s Oscar winning dance around fellow goombah, Demian Maia.
Fans cheered Darth Dana when he went postal against Silva in his post fight interviews. That was his realm and by all means his right. However there is a difference between Dana saying that he was as mad as hell and wasn’t gonna take it anymore more, and drawing a line in the sand and daring a fighter of Anderson Silva’s stature to cross it. The latter is the figurative equivalent of blowing one’s wad in front of cameras. It smacks of posturing that one associates with schoolyard fights.
Notice that that posturing met with minimal cheers from UFC fighters exactly because it clearly crossed a line – besides showing Dana up as someone who had not internalized the art of proportional response – a trait that should be de rigeur for people within an organization as near-monopolistic as the UFC. A good measure of power (real and abiding power) is the amount of restraint that he who has it demonstrates in its exercise. Dana White’s threat and associated posturing fell well below that standard.
At this p0int in the story of the UFC, Dana should be concerned about not adding to the missteps he has already taken. Any fraying at the edges of an organization that, with the exception of the Jackson-B.A. Baracus spat and Dan Henderson resignation, runs like an increasingly well-oiled machine, doesn’t help the cause. Remember the Randy Couture affair? Players, cognizant of the stakes involved and the dangers of untrammeled power, will not be comfortable with Dana drawing a line in the sand the way he did with Anderson Silva. If Silva is Spartacus, then guess who else is Spartacus?
Perchance you have the time, here are some of the reasons Dana White’s position with Anderson Silva is problematic:
The Art & The Artistry: When it comes to the performance of MMA art in the octagon, Anderson Silva, Sui Generis should be left alone. Dana White should not even be in the neighborhood where this stuff goes down. Despite his glistening dome, Darth Dana is still a suit – and that means not a fighter. Someone ought to put it out there in fluorescent braille.
Anderson’s clowning was entertaining and even excusable, but the apparent reluctance to engage was not. (But what if Silva was dog tired and just trying to psyche out his opponent?) There is MMA science (the nuts and bolts of the sport) and there is MMA art (the soul that brings it closer to its performance kith and kin) and then there are rules. Anderson Silva technically broke no rules. Let’s get that clear. The guys who for example argue that the Nevada Athletic commission would have possibly cited Anderson for lack of optimal engagement, were just riffing off the cuff and trying to foment a pseudo-scandal. If the case came up for “arbitration”, people who want to crucify Silva would have a hard time proving he actually broke any rules. Psyching your opponent out is not against the rules.
If Dana wants to dabble in the minutiae of how fighters deport themselves in the ring, where is he gonna stop? Are head-games gonna be allowed? How about a little trash talking before and during the fight? Can a fighter say something about an opponent’s mama or his race? It’s taunting right? The subject devolves into silly minutiae on short order without the fries. You get the point.
Headspace & Headgames: No fighter should be be placed in the position that Anderson Silva was post UFC 112 – unless he is totally OK with it. People will argue that he disrespected the sport by his performance, but we challenge you to find unanimity among the pros and pro-commentators of the sport. There is anecdotal evidence that Anderson Silva may have stone-walled Dana because when asked how Anderson Silva had responded to Dana’s complaints in their 45 minute talk, White wasn’t definitive about how well his spiel had been received by Silva. “We will see how well I got through to him in his next fight”(paraphrased) was all White would say.
If he thinks he can just invade Anderson Silva’s head space willy-nilly, then Dana has got a thing or two coming. That tack plays well neither to Anderson’s child nor Anderson’s adult – if one wants to look at it in terms of the transactional analysis of Eric Berne.
UFC & Black House (The Other Elephant In The Room): The people in-the-know see the hypocrisy of trying to crucify Silva when Dana should have been kicking himself in the shin for not finding an opponent who could kick Silva’s butt eons ago. Oh yeah, he was trying to get Vitor Belfort who happened to be a Black House compadre at the time. If we go back a tad we can be justified in asking just how enthused these goombahs were about fighting each other back in the day. Uhhm, lets see – the planned Belfort/Silva fight was postponed on three different occasions for about the same reason – injury or the need to recover from injury or surgery:
UFC 108 – 1/2/10 – postponement of the fight due to Silva’s lack of recovery from an surgery.
UFC 109 – 2/6/10 – postponement of the fight due to Silva’s lack of healing progress.
UFC 112 – 4/10/10 – Postponement of the fight due to Belfort’s own injury (Oi vei)
How about Dana tackling THAT problem, or what it appears to be – and even better still, going beyond it to find someone who can “bring it” to Silva the way Machida brought it to Evans?
copyright© 2010 cyberaxis.wordpress.com
Dana White needs to apologize to Anderson Silva (Matt Fleischer, True/Slant)
Dana White’s hate list – 50 people who have enraged the volatile UFC chief (The Bleacher Report)