ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 16: Fighter Rashad Evans poses after a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
This isn't over folks, not by a long shot.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight number one contender, Rashad Evans, blew a gasket earlier this week when his camp mistakenly informed him that promotion president Dana White had bet $500,000 on Jon Jones, who defends his title against "Suga" at the UFC 145 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 21, 2012 from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Team Evans had misinterpreted a caption by mixed martial arts (MMA) website CagePotato.com, who made light of "Bones" recent sponsorship deal with the UFC, one that drew the ire of a small portion of the fight community for its perceived favoritism and/or conflict of interest.
See the caption in question right here.
The world's largest fight promotion demanded -- and received -- a retraction from CagePotato, but as Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta explains to USA Today, it may not be enough to combat the fallout from the "reckless" post.
His comments, after the jump.
"We had a flurry of people contacting us through e-mail, Twitter ... Rashad throwing a complete fit ... and then Dana having to call him to calm him down. If (people) thought it was just satire, we wouldn't have had that reaction. Dana had to talk to Rashad on the phone for 30 minutes to calm him down, to tell him, 'Are you crazy? There's no way I would ever bet on a fight or bet against you.' It didn't read like a joke at all. If you look at the article, when you first read that, it sounds like that they were in a room with Dana, talking to him, and he says, 'Oh, and he kind of made a mistake and said something, and said 'Don't print that.' We're currently evaluating whether [their retraction] is sufficient or not. Like I said, there's been a massive amount of fallout in the wake of them putting out something that is completely reckless in the way that they did. I don't understand how anybody could defend what they did. It's a very serious allegation. You've got to understand, Rashad's entire team -- his entire camp -- was in his ear telling him they read this online and that Dana bet half a million dollars against him. This was a real issue. This isn't just some kind of slap on the back, funny little joke. This was reckless reporting on their part."
CagePotato editor Ben Goldstein, who described the situation as "silly," offered his apology but also promised legal action of his own if the UFC continued to pursue his dot com for "satirical captions."
No harm, no foul?