When the UFC first announced its partnership with the Fox network, many MMA fans were excited to see the sport go mainstream. Hardcore fans of the sport have always believed it would eventually compete with the likes of the NBA and NFL, and the move to Fox seemed like the first step towards that direction.
However, with the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s increased exposure, UFC president Dana White is getting back to “Vince McMahon” mode.
Instead of focusing on the awesome product that he has always given to fans, White is letting the mainstream media dictate his actions.
UFC fighters have been under more scrutiny due to the partnership with Fox, with every tweet and comment made, twisted into a headline story.
While many of the criticized comments weren’t tastefully made, the false morality in many people’s reactions is just as distasteful.
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Forest Griffin got things started when he made his infamous rape comment, and Rashad Evans kept things rolling with his Sandusky reference towards his next opponent, Phil Davis.
Miguel Torres is the newest MMA fighter to make the news with his comments, but he is the first to get axed from the promotion.
“If a rape van was called a surprise van more women wouldn’t mind going for rides in them.” Torres tweeted. “Everyone like surprises.”
White’s decision to release Torres for his comments will rub many hardcore fans the wrong way. It comes off as pandering to the mob, and not a genuine attempt to clean up the UFC.
It’s not as if the UFC has a moral code that fighters are given to follow in the first place, and saying crazy things have always been a part of combat sports.
If White really wants to clean up the sport (don’t really think the UFC needs to be cleaned), he needs to set the rules down and enforce them evenly.
If White didn’t feel the need to fire Chael Sonnen for calling Brazilians “a piglet tribe of savages,” I just don’t get why he felt the need to get rid of Torres.