Brash, barbaric, fiery, mean, cheap, enthusiastic, passionate, cruel… UFC president Dana White has had just about every polarizing adjective in the Oxford dictionary placed in the vicinity of his name. Yes, the word sleazy has likely been in the mix before, but this week GQ magazine made it official, listing White as one of its Top 25 Sleaziest People in Sports.
GQ, citing “underpaying his UFC employees, bullying his rivals, and generally impersonating Don King” as White’s major flaws, sandwiched the UFC’s head honcho between War Machine and Lance Armstrong.
SEE ALSO: War Machine Apprehended
War Machine (formerly Jon Koppenhaver) was recently alleged to have assaulted his ex-girlfrined, Christy Mack, and a friend of hers. Mack landed in the hospital with numerous broken bones and other injuries, while War Machine fled to California before U.S. Marshals an local police caught up to him.
Lance Armstrong, of course, is the disgraced former seven-time Tour de France champion, who recently became the lightening rod for the war on performance enhancing drugs in the sport of cycling.
So how far off the handle did White fly when he found out about his unfavorable selection among GQ’s sleaze elite?
Not far, actually.
Having long been in the spotlight, by now, White has developed the Teflon exterior necessary when leading a very public life.
“You’re never going to be able to stop what people say about you, and everybody isn’t going to love you,” White told UFC.com on Thursday. “But I don’t take offense to anything. When you’re in a public position like this you’re always going to have people say things about you. Believe me, if I worried about everything that was said about me, I would have been a mess a long time ago. That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me at all, not even a little bit.”
The only thing about GQ’s sleaze slam that White took much offense to at all was the accusation that UFC employees aren’t paid well. It’s a perpetual topic of conversation, especially when a boxer like Floyd Mayweather has his paycheck plastered across the headlines or Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning’s tax return boasts more zeros than most peoples’ lifetime income totals.
But those are rare instances, and, in general, White believes the UFC compensates its employees well, and is constantly striving to do more.
“(The GQ piece) was definitely written by someone who is uneducated about the sport. I’m sandwiched between War Machine and Lance Armstrong,” White said while cracking a smile. “The thing that’s unfortunate is that it’s unfair for the UFC as a brand. UFC pays its fighters very well.
“The Fertitta brothers invested the money to build this thing and make the sport what it is today. They gave everybody the opportunity – from me to you to the fighters and lots of other people.”