Dana White: UFC No Longer Interested in Signing Holly Holm to a Deal

March 19, 2014
61 Comments

holly-holms-female-boxer-mma-fighter-sweatforit1After a testy meeting over the weekend with her manager, the UFC is no longer interested in signing former world champion boxer and up-and-coming mixed martial artist Holly Holm to their organization, according to a report on Wednesday.

UFC President Dana White told UFC Tonight that negotiations with Holm’s manager were sour, and have resulted in the UFC’s disinterest in signing the fighter to a deal that would see her compete in the company’s bantamweight division.

“Not good at all,” White said of the meeting with Holm’s representation, according to the FOX Sports 1 program. “We’re not interested anymore.”

The report added that White said the organization is not currently in talks with former Strikeforce standout Gina Carano, nor are they in discussions with Invicta FC champ Cris “Cyborg” Justino.

Rumors circulated recently when UFC commentator Joe Rogan said on a local Los Angeles radio station that a huge announcement regarding women’s MMA will be made soon. Speculation ran about Carano or Cyborg being UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey’s next opponent. White, however, shot down those rumors in subsequent interviews.

White revealed last week that Carano is still technically signed to the company through her old Strikeforce contract, a deal that was acquired by the UFC when their parent company, Zuffa LLC, purchased the organization in 2011.

Justino, who also fought in Strikeforce, has been in numerous discussions with UFC officials since 2011 about signing to fight for company, but a deal has never come to fruition.

Rousey recently defeated Sara McMann at UFC 170 last month. She is without an opponent for her next fight.

Holm is currently lined up to fight Juliana Werner at Legacy FC 30 on April 4.

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  • Captain ‘Merica

    Yes, Uncle Dana thinks that Ronda is the 135 division all by herself… and not signing talented prospects is a good way to keep your cash cow as champ.

    • shakejunt

      not everything is a “dana is evil” conspiracy.

      holm is a boxer, which means she’s used to getting paid better than an mma fighter. she obviously wanted anderson silva money and her resume just doesn’t warrant it at this point.

      • whoodzzz

        the issue is around the $$$ when she fights ronda, not before.

        aka – don’t fkn pay the challenger $10k +
        10k to fight for a belt!

        besides – did the gilbert melendez thing teach people nothing? dana is a mouthpiece, not a businessman.

      • TRT-rex

        Agree. But she probably wants more like James Toney money. When he fought Randy Cotoure he got paid $500,000 to show with no win bonus. That’s the most ever to any UFC fighter. Boxers make a ton more, even the no body’s. Holly Holms manager was trying to change the pay scale I’m sure. If they UFC signed her everyone will want a raise cause she has a lot of value, and will let the fighter know what they are actually worth. Pay up Dana. It’s time to get Ronda a real challenge.

        • shakejunt

          is holm the real challenge? i find that hard to believe. cyborg is the only interesting fight other than maybe cat.

          • TRT-rex

            She is actually the only challenge right now for Ronda. Cyborg can’t get to 135 yet and neither can Carano. Cat isn’t 100% ready. So ya she is the real challenge unless you can come up with a girl in the UFC better suited to fight Ronda. They all suck.

          • shakejunt

            i forgot that beating unranked fighters with .500 or under records makes you a title threat and carano shouldn’t even be mentioned if you’re trying to talk about challenges.

            cyborg plans on moving to 135 after her thai fight and defending her 145 invicta belt so…

            cat might be ready late summer and if not then alexis davis.

          • TRT-rex

            Alexis Davis is horrible and Carano can’t make 135. You an idiot

          • shakejunt

            oh you burned me.

            you were the one talking about carano. davis is probably more of a threat than holm and is next if cat is still out.

            and what, nothing to say about cyborg?

          • TRT-rex

            I’m actually a huge cyborg fan after she passed her random and proved all her haters wrong. The issue with her is no matter what the case is, Dana and Ronda are going to make her jump through hoops to get the fight. I would count on it not happening honestly, but yes that is the best fight possible. And I never tried to burn you, I simple called you an idiot for thinking you a WMMA expert. Your not. And Alexis Davis is not a threat to anyone, you must have missed all her unimpressive UFC wins.

          • shakejunt

            so you try to retract your malice and then call me an idiot again? get off your high horse, you clownshoe.

            so what’s next for ronda, mr expert?

      • Lucas Freire

        I think that’s not the reason. Otherwise she wouldn’t be fighting at Legacy FC. Or you think the guys at Legacy are able to afford any high digits to Holm?

        • shakejunt

          legacy is building her value, ufc would destroy it as she’d be fed to ronda.

    • John Youwer

      Rhonda is nothing more than Dana’s new token bitch. Cant wait until her nasty mole face is gone.

  • Christina

    White’s ball. White’s field. White’s game. White’s rules. White’s team. I hope White can see his way to loosen up his hard line stance against Holm’s manager. The bantamweight division still needs depth. And competition for Rousey.

  • justin e

    Holm’s manager sounded very reasonable to me. They just couldn’t agree on a price. We all know dana doesn’t negotiate with anyone other than big ppv draws. With people like Holms, it’s a take it or leave it and never ever come back kind of offer. It sounded like her manager might have thought he was dealing with a normal adult businessperson. If he doesn’t want to pay her what they want that’s fine, but he always pulls this crap to scare people into taking whatever he offers without negotiation. He could just be an adult and say she isn’t worth what they are currently asking and leave it at that.

    • DAVID LEWINGTON

      Reasonable!!! OMG!! after Holly’s last fight her manager did an interview with someone (forget who) and said he was going to talk to the UFC and they wanted at LEAST SIX figures for Holly’s first fight. But he thought she has done enough elsewhere to fight Rhonda for the title and wanted SEVEN figures for that +++. The guy IS delusional , seriously unless you are a big time hard core MMA fan you probably don’t know who HH is. That means there isn’t going to be a huge PPV attraction for the fight. Plus she hasn’t even fought any top ten MMA BW fighters yet. Those are pretty big numbers he’s asking for. Yes I think it would be a great fight but Holly really should try and prove herself in the Octagon first .. BTW Dana does negotiate but not when the other guy won’t even enter the ballpark of reason.

      • gnodeb

        Talking about fighters union is unrealistic. That is why athletic commission should step up and forbid this kind of match making. It’s about sport integrity.

        Some fighters are fighting their way through the ladder and some are just keep popping up out of nowhere.

        You can not fight super bowl because you made your name at NBA. Yes, you are great and you are celebrity and you expect a lot of money… But there is a lot of teams who fights for that right and you simply should not overlook them.

      • justin e

        I didn’t say his offer was reasonable. I meant his behavior after they didn’t reach an agreement. He behaved like an adult in the interview I read. I don’t know how much he asked for and I don’t care. All dana has to say is that they want too much money and we can talk if they get more realistic. Dana is the adversarial one here.

  • Karakal

    Man this news suck. Holm loves the sport and wants to fight before she gets too old, and we want to see her peak performance with the best fighters. The problem is that money manager that is ruining it for her. This is an opportunity that Holm does not want to miss as its more a goal then a money making target! Holm should tell her manager to stfu and sign her up to the UFC regardless of the money she would earn.

    • tom

      n that mentality right there is why fighters are under paid

      • Rence

        yet when a fighter says that they fight because they love it and that the money isnt the most important thing, we always know they’re full of BS on some level. bills do not pay themselves. But the fighters who start at the bottom and only get 8-10k/fight are the ones we believe when they say that its not about the money

        • RubeKegal

          Pure nonsense. If I have to provide for my family, I can give 2 f–ks about the “love of fighting”. The “love of fighting” isn’t going to put groceries on my table.
          Often times, people who get into this sport are not the smartest people. Fighting for 4-8k is absolutely absurd. Going back to Fitch, he was the #2 ranked fighter in the world for years and was making sh*t

          • Rence

            Thats why i said that bills do not pay themselves. But the guys/gals who are only in it for the money are the ones who bitch about the pay the most. Fighters that truly love what they do are the ones that are willing to start at the bottom of the pay bracket and work their way up. They are the fighters that find a way to make it work. whether that means cutting their overhead by living with other fighters or sleeping in their gyms, not having cable or whatever. They are the ones investing in themselves and their futures by getting by on crap pay until they have worked their way up.

            Yeah there are a lot of guys fighting just because they arent smart enough for many other fields, but every guy they talk about having been a college wrestling stand out all have at least attended college if not actually having degrees. Chuck was a CPA, Franklin a teacher, etc etc.

            How can we ‘go back to fitch’ when no one brought him up in this particular thread of the convo until you said we should go back to him?

            The bottom line is that at this point in MMA’s evolution, its not a job you want if being rich is your ultimate goal yet. Sure the guys at the top are making bank but until youre good enough to be on the main card, or ideally the headliner of a ppv card, youre not going to be earning enough for a young retirement and the chances of being one of the top guys is statistically pretty slim.

        • Rence

          I have no reason to doubt you. But, her contract with Legacy (its legacy she fights for now isnt it?) must not be too horrible. That is the only reason i can think of that they would try to negotiate with the UFC the way it looks like they did. Her managers obviously thought she was worth what they asked the UFC for, and thats good. You want to get as much for your client as possible. But, if you ask for X and the UFC counters and you say no, then either your current contract is worth enough that you can afford to turn the UFC down, or you just suck at negotiation. The only legitimate reason for turning the UFC down would be if your current contract was worth more than the UFC offered.

          If anyone wants to contend then that “well she could make X times more boxing” i would simply ask why she’s not still boxing then?

          So, she’s either got a really good deal with her current contract or her manager went to the Tito Ortiz school of fight management. If she is in fact broke, then we have a better idea which it is.

      • Braeden Van Asperen

        Except fighters agree to what they are paid

  • TheCerealKiller

    Disband the UFC womans division. Stop taking up my PPV cards with this crap!

    • Seth

      “”your” PPV? lol. WMMA is more and more popular, if you don’t like it – don’t watch it. Why would even bother coming here and commenting, if you don’t like it/don’t care/don’t want to see any of it?

      • snapdad

        I have to agree with cereal killer. since the womans division and the addition of all these lighter weight classes, these ufc cards have been watered down. I miss the days of 1 card a month, but they were always stacked

        • John Youwer

          I miss the old days when the UFC was worth watching. Now its just crap.

          • carsti07 .

            I think fights like Bones – Gustaffson, Hunt-Bigfoot and the other great ones last year helped to make the sport more popular than ever. Especially the lay and pray style of many old cards improved a lot!
            + I think many here will always find s.th. to bitch about :)

      • earlsimmons

        WMMA is more and more popular. Can you please showthe statistics on this because I stopped watching and buying UFC because of this garbage bro.

        • Seth

          Then go to Viacom MMA :) They have product for guys like you :)

          People bitching about WMMA or lighter weight classes are mostly fans of heavyweight division a.k.a. stay in one place, don’t move and swing your arms like you are swimming, for 15 minutes. or a.k.a. do nothing for 15 minutes besides hugging each other.

          More and more people talk about WMMA, that’s one thing. We will have another WMMA division, that’s another. UFC wouldn’t bring 115ers if people (majority of people) wouldn’t want to watch it.

        • Braeden Van Asperen

          WMMA is pretty popular these days, and gaining momentum as the sport of MMA expands. The girl fights have been nothing but electrifying, name one boring WMMA fight that’s been in the UFC since the division began.

          Exactly you cant name any cause they have all been good, fun fights so far. The same cannot be said of the men’s divisions.

          • TheCerealKiller

            Watching unskilled amateurish fighters is not “electrifying”. If it’s so great, give them their own card so I can save my money.

            The NBA doesn’t force their fans to watch the WNBA.

          • Braeden Van Asperen

            There are several all-women MMA leagues, Invicta being the most prominent.

            You can save your money anytime you want, the UFC doesn’t make you buy their cards. You can always go watch for cheap at a bar. Saying they are unskilled and amateurish is disrespectful and sexist. Holly Holm, the subject of this article, is a professional boxer. Rousey is a WORLD CHAMPION in Judo. Sara McMann is a SILVER MEDALIST in OLYMPIC WRESTLING.
            In the fight world, those are quite good credentials, dismissing that is very unintelligent.
            There are one or two women’s fights on your average fight card, if you can’t handle 15-25 minutes of women’s MMA amongst the male fights, that’s your problem. The UFC as a fight company, has no reason to make only-women and only-men fight cards.

            If WMMA is not your thing, I can understand that. I’m not the biggest fan myself. But I don’t care for sexism or dismissal of their skills. WMMA has some of the best submissions you’ll find in MMA. Get used to seeing more women in the UFC, they are adding a new women’s division this year.
            There are plenty of lower-quality fight orgs that are all male if you can’t stand that thought. But as an MMA fan, the UFC does give the best product, and the women fights will only get better.

          • John Youwer

            Yet, still nobody really cares about women’s MMA. If it went away tomorrow, nobody would really care or give a dam. And thats a fact.

          • Braeden Van Asperen

            You don’t care about it, plenty of people do. If ‘nobody’ cared these opportunities wouldn’t exist for women

          • Fanboy

            No one is forcing you to watch it you ass, that’s what a tele control is for.

          • TheCerealKiller

            If I am paying $55 to see 5 fights, I feel I’m getting ripped off. For some people, it’s against their moral upbringing. I’m not one of them, but I don’t want to watch it. So, if it’s as great as some of you think it is, put on an all women card and watch it sink like the Titanic! It’s a separate sport, so keep them separate. It took many years for MMA to get to where it is today and I don’t want to see WMMA bring it down.

          • Bulbinite

            You moron, if you buy 5 fights for $60.00 and 2 of the fights are female fights, then you bought 3 fights for $60.00. Do you understand now?

          • Tyme_5

            Early MMA, when it was still referred to as NHB, was “electrifying” and exciting as well, but I sure as hell don’t want to watch fights that look like the ones from those days anymore. That’s what WMMA reminds me of. Sure, they go in there to bang, but there really isn’t a whole lot of technique going on, even at the top levels of WMMA. I agree with Cereal Killer as well. Give them their own show and keep them off the men’s cards.

    • TheCerealKiller

      That’s a lot of likes for my comment. Guess I’m right.

  • DamianCross

    Let’s think about this realistically, without any pro/anti Dana bias. Holm is a boxer which means she wants boxer money, say ballpark 6 figures for a one-time against Rousey. Ok, what does the UFC get out of this? Well, they get more mainstream promotion and an audience return that will do, optimistically, double Rousey’s normal numbers. Well yeah, except that they already HAVE a mainstream promotion for the fight because Rousey is doing movie promotion anyway.

    Ok, so make it a 3 fight deal and spread Holm’s money over 3 events, or give her a third of the money. Well hang on, Holm’s not an established fighter by any means, what if she loses? Then she’s out two thirds of the money she could have gotten from doing literally ANYTHING ELSE that isn’t the UFC.

    So who’s wrong? Nobody! It’s just business and neither side is in a position where its worth it to come to terms right now. It sucks, but it happens.

  • drraybrown

    This outcome, due to Holm having an adversarial representative, is unfortunate. Holm should ditch her present rep in favor of a rep who understands how to form positive working business relationships.

    Adversarial reps are a liability to their clients as proven here and elsewhere. White is a solid and balanced businessman with whom Holm could have worked out a win/win contract. Add the inexperienced, short-sighted, over zealous (usually young) rep and you get nothing. Remember the “where’s the beef” lady. Gone never to be heard of again. There are no individuals that are not replaceable in business, just regrettable losses that any good business can live without. Holm will be a regrettable loss and will be replaced shortly by other up-and-coming athletes unless she ditches her current rep and finds someone with real negotiating skills to represent her interest.

  • JOE ROGAN

    See you in the PEE WEE leagues. You missed a GREAT opportunity girl, BIG MONEY gone down the drain. Get rid of those bozos and get into the big league.

    • RubeKegal

      You’re out of your f–king mind. Aoki is making triple what he would have in UFC.

      • Lucas Freire

        Aoki fights on the other side of the world.
        He doesn’t compete against the UFC.
        Anyway, I think she’ll end up on the UFC, they’re just building hype. She’ll agree to recieve much less than what she wants to, the UFC will pay whatever they want.

        • RubeKegal

          Yes i’m aware he is on the other side of the world, taking less damage and making more money.

      • JOE ROGAN

        You RUBEKEGAL have NO F–KIN clue how the UFC pays their fighters. You just read your little blogs and see whats posted as pay. The UFC pays very well in undisclosed ways. Holly would have to prove herself, then on her next contract she would clean up. So shut the f–k up!

        • jim

          Actually Mr. Rogan, UFC pay is pretty transparent at this point, several fighters have disclosed their pay scale. From a detailed breakdown from the #2 Welterweight Jon Finch, representing the upper tier and Jon Cholish representing the lower tier.

          So in all fairness dipshit, you have no clue what YOU are talking about. 2 fighters making single digit millions is not a big deal. Unless you consider making a couple of 100K a good salary for a professional athlete.

          Considering longevity, Aoki makes more than (he most likely) would have earned in the UFC. Granted he fights lower level competition at One FC – he takes less damage and he’s growing the sport in Asia. Plus there is something to be said not selling out, honor and dignity (ala Fedor) at your place of employment. You wouldn’t know anything about that.

          Lastly about Holly Holm. Anyone with two working brain cells that watches her in and outside the ring, can see shes a marketable draw, a consummate professional and class act.

        • RubeKegal

          Rogan, you can eat the corn out of my crap. “Pays well in undisclosed ways” is a load of garbage. Why go to the UFC and make 15 to show when you can make 60K with OneFC? Askren is a former champ and what they offered him they should be ashamed of themselves. So you shut the f–k up!!!!

          • JOE ROGAN

            Ok, you have showed me the way. May I wash your testicles?

          • RubeKegal

            Yes and don’t miss the grundle Rogan

  • John Youwer

    Dana white is the don king of mma. Funny how the top two people who could beat Dana’s token b—h Rhonda cant get signed by the UFC for stupid reasons. Dana White is a d–k and its time for hm to go, for the sake of MMA.

  • Tyme_5

    So basically, they aren’t interested in signing any women who might actually be capable of defeating Rousey……

    • Manuel Lopez

      Exactly

  • AXE MURDERER

    Maybe she can fight Cyborg in a striking / stand up only fight in Lion fighting org. on AXS tv for free!

  • Manuel Lopez

    Stfu!

  • Vincent Shapiro

    Dana needs to stop treating his fighters like plantation slaves. This is getting ridiculous. Uniforms, meetings with the fighters, this is not a Wall Street Stock Firm. FYI, Dana … Those agents and brokers get a fair cut.

  • Tim

    You do know that they had a rematch and Holm beat her, right? Or are you intentionally leaving that out because it doesn’t work for your pathetic trolling attempt?