Dana White said something along the lines of having to deal with all the fighters is a nightmare because of all the egos involved. Granted the sport is that of fighting and the question is who is the better fighter. It is in our DNA to try to be the alpha male. But sometimes, a fighter needs to keep his ego in check. It is a difficult thing to do, but the higher road is the one that will serve a fighter better.
Here is a recent example, and no fighter is going to be named because they have already acted on their actions in a more positive light. After winning a hard fought, three-round decision, a member of the media thought it was unrealistic that the fighter won with the score cards that he did (they were 30-27 across the board) and this member went on to say that he thought the opponent won the fight 29-28.
This lead to the victor of the fight lashing out at the member of the media accusing him of pandering to his more known opponent. The fighter went on a diatribe going so far as to question this member of the media’s credentials and stated that just because one calls himself a professional, doesn’t mean he is one.
Two issues with this. One, he still won the fight regardless of what the member of the media stated. And two, he went after a person who writes for a living in a medium that favored the writer. Not saying the fighter couldn’t hold his own with the written word, but do you think it would be wise of Usain Bolt to challenge Michael Phelps to a swimming race or Phelps to challenge Bolt to a running race? No.
Of course word got out rather quickly about what was going on and the member of the media was quick to retort. The writer flat out stated that the professional fighter himself chose to not act like a professional and instead resorted to childish and bully like actions.
The fighter went on to mention that if a potential sponsor saw the words written about him not winning the fight that he could realistically not gain that sponsor. The problem with that logic, is that in the way he defended himself, by going on a rant, he hurt himself even worse than a writer giving their opinion on the scoring of the fight. And of course, let’s keep in mind that scoring a fight is just that, an opinion.
Had the fighter kept his ego in check and gracefully talked to the writer, things might have turned out differently. Instead we have a situation that went from a tiny blip on the radar to massive earthquake.
Another example is back at UFC 100 when Brock Lesnar defeated Frank Mir. He went on to say that he was “going to go home and drink a Coors Light instead of a Bud Light because Bud Light won’t pay him nothing.” Oddly enough at the post fight press conference, Lesnar was sitting there with a Bud Light. Why?
Because according to Lesnar, Dana White gave him a verbal whooping like never before and it put him in his place. Lesnar then apologized at the post-fight press conference and was suddenly very humble. It was a complete 180 and one that was much needed.
Sponsors seek out fighters that will represent their brand well. And while a fighter might say they don’t care how they come off, someone giving them a check certainly does. Just ask NBA star Kobe Bryant about McDonalds or Lance Armstrong about Nike.