When the UFC revealed plans that TUF 9 would shake things up a bit by pitting fighters from the US against fighters from the UK, the idea was welcomed by most. One of those who don’t like the change of pace however might surprise you. Yep, Dana White, the man who micromanages and controls nearly everything the UFC does, hated the idea from day one.
“I said from day one I hate the UK v USA idea.
“It’s dumb, I don’t like it — it’s not USA v the UK, we’re looking for the best fighter in the world.
“We put on a card one time, the USA v Canada, it was f***ing retarded.
“I don’t care if you’re from the UK, Croatia or Brazil because at the end of the day, when Michael Bisping comes to America — Americans don’t boo him.
“But with the exception of that, you never saw guys from one country cheering a guy from a different country.
“That’s what’s changing in what we’re doing.
“We’re looking for the best fighters in the world — this country versus that country is irrelevant.”
Not that I’m against the new direction TUF 9 is going in (hell, any change is welcomed if you ask me), but I have to agree with White here. I could care less where a particular fighter comes from, and I think most hardcore MMA fans feel that way. Only one of my top five favorite fighters is American and I’m as red, white, and blue as they come. That said, I do see where having an UK team on TUF could help their expansion efforts there.
What’s really interesting about this story though is that Dana absolutely hated the idea, yet the UFC is still going through with it. Everyone assumes that Dana is the one that always calls the shots, but most of us seem to forget that even he has a boss, Lorenzo Fertitta. Looks like Dana got overruled on this one, or perhaps things don’t work behind the scenes quite the way we’re led to believe. Not really a big deal, but I am a little surprised he publicly aired out his feelings on it.