Photo by Daniel Herbertson
At some point, an intervention may need to be staged to bridge the gap between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and Dutch mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Golden Glory.
On Aug. 3, 2011, MMA Mania reported that Zuffa had officially released Marloes Coenen, Valentijn Overeem and Jon Olav Einemo, as well as Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem, who had been allegedly cut the day prior. All four fighters are affiliated with (and managed by) Golden Glory.
The original story that came out had White stating that all of the fighters were cut because of "different business practices" that were being used by Golden Glory and their respective management.
To further complicate matters, Golden Glory's Bas Boon recently came out and publicly disputed White's original claims. Boon has said that Golden Glory would be more than happy to allow its fighters to paid directly and that he's uncertain as to why the fighters were actually released.
Confused? Allow Uncle Dana to set the record straight:
In a video interview with NBC Sport's Ariel Helwani, White responded to Boon's recent comments. Here's what he had to say:
"One thing I wouldn't do is go out there and lie to all you guys. If the deal was something other than what it was, I wouldn't go out publicly and say, 'These guys wouldn't do this.' You know what I mean? I'm not trying to fight with Bas Boon. I don't dislike Bas Boon or any of the Golden Glory guys. There's never been some kind of situation where there was some kind of fight between us and Golden Glory. I have no resentment whatsoever towards Golden Glory. I've seen Bas Boon a million times. He's a nice guy. We just had different business opinions on how things should be done. He knows and I know and everybody over there (Golden Glory) knows...even the fighters. I don't give a s--- what they tweet, what they take pictures of or what they say. They f------ know exactly how it worked and we would not do it that way. Now if Bas Boon is saying that this is the way that we can do it, then we can absolutely positively make a deal and we can get this thing rolling again."
White went on to talk about the recent communications he has had with Boon, primarily via e-mail.
"Bas Boon sent me an e-mail, right before I came here to Milwaukee. It was basically a simple e-mail, showing me something that a reporter had said. Nothing negative. Just a question he felt should be answered. I said, 'I've been busy. I'm going to Milwaukee. We should talk in the next couple of weeks.'"
In closing, Dana proclaimed loudly that he wants the Golden Glory fighters, particularly Alistair Overeem, to be fighting under his company's banner, allowing that the deal is done according to Zuffa standards and practices.
"I was in Ireland and I bumped into Alistair and Semmy Schilt there. I walked over. Talked to them. Said 'hi' to them. Took pictures with them and everything else. I got no problem with those guys. No problems with them at all. To be in a position where Alistair could come over and fight in the UFC? Why would I not do it? I chased Fedor (Emelianenko) around...forever, when I told you guys publicly that I didn't think he was the best. Pound-for-pound or otherwise. I was willing to prove it. Let's get him over here. Let's offer him a deal. You think I'm gonna chase Alistair Overeem and don't want him fighting here? You think I want him to go somewhere else? No. Everything I told you guys, last week, about the way things went down was one hundred percent absolutely true. If they (Golden Glory) have changed their mind and, believe me, it took an awful long time to come out with a press release and say, 'Oh ya know, this was the truth.' You guys asked me the question that night. Everybody was blowing me up. I was on the phone telling everybody: 'Here's the deal. This is what's happening and here's why we (Zuffa) can't do a deal with them.' It didn't take me two weeks to come out with a press release. The facts are the facts. It's the way it went down. I said it publicly, which they're probably not used to, either. The Japanese don't come out and talk s--- like I do. I tell you guys the truth and the way that it is. It's the way it went down. If they've changed their mind, we can absolutely make a deal and get their guys in the UFC."
What do you think, Maniacs? Who's to blame in this situation? Does it even matter anymore? Do you still want to see the UFC go after "The Reem?" Sound off!