Dana White is not just a promoter and he's not just the guy that runs the largest and most successful MMA promotion in the world. He's also a fan. Most of the time, that's a good thing. It feels good to know that we as fans can connect with the President of the UFC on a very visceral level. For the most part he wants what we want and he's done an amazing job of giving it to us. He's outspoken like most fans and sometimes that's great. But sometimes it's not.
See, we as fans have something that he does not. Lack of accountability. We can whine and complain all we want about the sport and nothing is going to happen because of it. This is not the case with White. The media and fans all hang on to every word he says, which makes it all the more surprising that he never seems to hold anything back. He's made so many disparaging comments about fighters after poor performances that it's counterproductive to his ability to promote them in the future. He did it to Kenny Florian following UFC 118 and now he's done it to Frank Mir following this past Saturday's UFC 119. From an article at ESPN:
"I have no clue about Frank," said White, before offering a clue. "To talk the stuff he does, and then fight like he fought, that's a little frustrating. Once Cro Cop stuffed his takedown attempt, his heart fell out on the floor. If Frank Mir can't bully you, his heart shrinks to the size of the Grinch's. If he can't take you down, his heart shrinks to the size of a pea."
Might we have seen the last of the 31-year-old Mir, a UFC fighter since 2001, in the Octagon? Could White cut him?
"Sure," said White, wiping some candor off his chin. "You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job."
White wanted to clarify later on his Twitter that he wasn't actually going to cut Mir, just that it's possible for guys who put in poor performances and ESPN was just being stupid:
"...actually ESPN being stupid. To end this shit I did not say I was cutting Mir. Reporter said "could u" I said of course I could. It was VERY clear I was not."
I can see both sides of the argument here but that's not what's important. This is an alarming trend from the UFC President that really needs to come to an end. How does he find it productive to speak so poorly of the talent that make up his roster? Did Mir and Cro Cop have a barn burner of a fight that excited the masses? No, they didn't. Nobody is perfect and nobody can go out and have their best performance every single time out there. What's funny is that Mir ended the fight in the third with a beautiful knockout via knee to the face. It wasn't enough to please the boss.
I get it that Dana wants guys to go out and put on a great show for the fans. When the fans are displeased with a particular show, White is always the first guy to say that they're right. He expresses his displeasure so vehemently in order to maintain his rapport with them. It's a smart way to keep the fans relatively happy even when they're upset. He just ends up going way to far in his criticism of his fighters. Saying that Frank Mir has no heart if he can't bully you is over doing it.
Frank Mir is a main event level fighter but he won't be for long if Dana keeps speaking so poorly of him.