Another week, another UFC champion getting thrown under the bus by Dana White. This time it's welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, who had his second stinker of a match in a row. His fight with Demian Maia had the entire Honda Center jeering for at least 15 of the 25 minutes, and by the end of the fight a shockingly large portion of the crowd had pulled out their phones and turned on the flashlight function, either as a kind of protest or just out of sheer boredom.
White ripped into Woodley during the post-fight press conference, and this is where I'd normally defend the fighter and question why his promoter is trashing him to the media. But in this case, what is White supposed to say otherwise? He's defended technical battles that the fans haven't appreciated before. But in this case he called Woodley out for taking no risks in the fight, and it's hard to argue that White's opinion isn't valid.
White's brash 'call it like it is' attitude is a big part of why he's such a divisive figure amongst fans, but I've always appreciated how he'll admit when a fight sucks. As a single act of solidarity with the people who payed $60 and up to see or attend this event, I can get behind his comments about Woodley. But consider this: the UFC is currently or has recently been on the outs with the following champs: Demetrious Johnson, Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, Tyron Woodley, Jon Jones, and Stipe Miocic. There's plenty of non-champs on that list too, but I don't have all day to list them out.
Sure, some of them screwed up. Some had disappointing fights. Some have unreasonable expectations regarding pay. But White's method of dealing with these issues doesn't seem to be making anything better. For the most part, it just seems to be making things worse. Perhaps its time the UFC president tries a new method of working things out, one that doesn't involve slagging his fighters in public.
A Bad Idea
What the hell was with Joe Rogan interviewing Daniel Cormier minutes after he got his head kicked off and then pulverized into the canvas with ground and pound? The guy had just regained consciousness. He couldn't even remember why the fight was stopped! Obviously it was a big, important fight and the story between Jones and Cormier had developed to the point where a statement from "DC" might have provided extra closure. But it was clearly a mistake.
Daniel Cormier's post-fight interview was rough pic.twitter.com/CK1PPr1SD2— TotalProSports (@TotalProSports) July 30, 2017
According to Dana White, the production team told Rogan to skip the interview but Joe went for it anyways. Immediately afterwards he seemed to regret it, questioning his decision on the broadcast. He'd vehemently sworn off putting fighters who'd been knocked out on the mic previously, and doing it again with Cormier is a good reminder as to why. Let's hope we don't have to witness that again.
The Two Sides Of Jon Jones
Jon Jones is back as champion of the light heavyweight division, and we're already seeing the return of the humble gracious Jon as well ... when he feels like presenting himself that way. Anyone paying attention to the media build up to UFC 214 saw the two different sides of Jones: the gentle side that claimed he regretted the childish way he acted after he beat Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, and then the dick who couldn't help but laugh and remind everyone of exactly what he did.
Immediately after beating Cormier this time, Jones did a 180 regarding his feelings for DC, calling him a good man and worthy champion. It was quite a departure from the "Bones" we've experienced in interviews and over social media these past several months, and I just didn't buy it. It reeks of the same "get some fans" vibe we witnessed after Jones dumped an unconscious Lyoto Machida onto the canvas and his coach Greg Jackson had to urge him to act decently for the cameras.
It's clear that Jones is sick of being the bad guy. He'd rather be the good guy for a while and enjoy some love from the fans, love they'll happily give him because he's a pleasure to watch in the cage and undeniably the greatest martial artist in the sport today. And that stuff he said about Daniel Cormier in the cage was the right stuff to say. Does it really matter that much if he didn't actually mean all of it? It still left us with more warm fuzzies than the truth, so I guess I’ll take it.