The Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) newly created flyweight division has proven to be a tough sell for promotion President Dana White.
And he doesn't understand why.
In the immediate aftermath of the Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez title fight at UFC 152, he blasted the fans in attendance in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for booing what he thought was a supremely technical and fast-paced, exciting affair.
Or at least that's what he said publicly.
Now, he's left answering more questions following last night's (Oct. 5, 2012) UFC on FX 5: "Browne vs. Bigfoot" event in Minneapolis that saw John Dodson become the next 125-pound number one contender by knocking out Jussier da Silva. That's because before the finish came, the Target Center in Minnesota was full of boo birds eager to voice their displeasure.
White was exasperated at the post-fight press conference.
"Yeah, it's a little weird man. I think guys get 10-12 beers in them and expect guys to run out and do the windmill or something. It's a very important fight for both guys. Like he (John Dodson) said it was a technical fight, he waited, he got his opportunity, and he capitalized on it. That's fighting, that's the beauty of two of the best in the world going at it, you know? I don't even know what to say. Then he finished the fight and they were cheering. He gave them what they wanted to see at the end of the night. You can't just go out with that much on the line and run straight out like two freight trains and try to kill each other."
That seems to fly in the face of the philosophy he's always preached, including on the opening episode of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 when he told the contestants it's nice to win but it's better to be remembered for leaving it all out there.
As for Dodson, he was nicer about it.
"I can't sit there and hate on the fans for booing because of the fact that they got so spoiled in the beginning of the fights. There were so many knockouts, so many great back-and-forth battles, and also great submissions right before me and then I get out there and I'm being very technical, they're like 'you suck.' I had some hot blond come up to me with a smile and say, 'hey, you suck.' I was like 'yes, somebody says I suck.' That was my reaction to it. For me, I can't complain about them booing but I did give them a knockout so they started cheering afterwards."
As for why the flyweights aren't getting over, there are a number of theories but I certainly can't speak for everyone.
That's why you Maniacs need to chime in with your opinion on the matter. Are you down with the little guys? Enjoy watching them fight? If no, why not?