Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway beat the stuffing out of 145-pound slugger Calvin Kattar, a five-round beatdown atop the promotion’s ABC debut that had UFC President Dana White worried for the health and safety of “The Boston Finisher.”
Or was he just covering his ass?
Former UFC welterweight title contender Dan Hardy was working the commentary desk for that event and suggests White, along with Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell, were putting on a show for the cameras in case Kattar suffered serious injuries (or worse).
“There is no reason why that fight shouldn’t have been stopped at the end of the fourth round,” Hardy said on the Freedom Pact podcast. “No discredit to Calvin Kattar, but he didn’t earn anything by taking that fifth-round beating. But what we did see was that clip coming out of Dana talking to Hunter (Campbell) and being like, ‘Hey, we need to make sure he goes straight to a doctor after that.’”
Watch the video clip in question right here.
“It looks like, ‘Hey, they just caught this on camera across the arena.’ The dude was mic’d up,” Hardy continued. “The receiver of the microphone was attached to the camera that was filming him from across the other side of the arena. That whole thing was staged to protect the UFC. And I watched that, and I’m like, ‘That’s just dirty.’ Actually do something to protect the fighter. Don’t do something to protect the sport or the company if the fighter gets damaged.”
Not surprisingly, White did not agree with that “bitter” assessment.
“Do you know how many fights a week I say that to Hunter or (UFC chief medical consultant) Dr. Davidson?” White said at the UFC 280 post-fight press conference (via MMA Junkie). “‘No interviews, no nothing, that guy goes straight to the hospital.’ Everybody should have been concerned about Calvin Kattar that night. I can tell you we’ve never staged anything ever.”
White claims he was mic’d up as part of a UFC documentary filmed during COVID.
“I don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks, so you don’t have to worry about me staging anything, and I definitely don’t give a fuck what Dan Hardy thinks,” White continued. “Dan Hardy’s a guy that was mistreating a woman who worked here, and that’s why he was fired. So obviously he’s bitter, and I’m assuming that’s why he would say something like that.”
Hardy, who retired from competition in the wake of heart complications back in late 2012, was cut from the promotion following “an argument with a female employee” in early 2021, which came on the heels of his Herb Dean meltdown at UFC Fight Island 3 in Abu Dhabi.
“Mistreating a woman, Dana White?” Hardy responded on Twitter. “How dare you accuse me of such a thing. Clear proof that you were told lies about what happened and why they steered all of the ‘Dan Hardy’ questions away from you. It’s absolute bullshit. No surprise though, that he’s been told lies by the people around him. Dana White still thinks I approached Herb Dean FFS.”
I doubt we’ve heard the last of this feud.
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