by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The war of words between Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White and EliteXC live events president Gary Shaw continued on Wednesday when, during a media conference call, the feud was brought up and Shaw had strong words in response to what White said recently.
“All I’m saying is, and I’ve said it all along, there is a differentiator. If you fight for the UFC, you can’t be bigger than Dana White and the UFC,” said Shaw.
“If you fight for EliteXC, as a fighter, you’re bigger than Gary Shaw. It’s about the fighter. It’s not about me. Whether it’s Kimbo, who was signed to us, or any other fighter. I believe we represent some of the greatest fighters in the world. I believe that Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva could knockout any heavyweight in the UFC.”
Speaking about Antonio Silva, Shaw also confirmed that he will fight on the Feb. 16 card facing Cage Rage heavyweight champion Gary Turner in a bout that could showcase two of the best up-and-coming big men in all of MMA.
Shaw also had some complementary things to say about the UFC and what its done for the sport of mixed martial arts, but was quick to point out the exclusivity they keep with their fighters.
“Now, I’m not disparaging the UFC. They have some great fighters and great fights. They have a good brand,” he stated. “They do a good job marketing their brand, but they don’t own MMA. They don’t own the space. They have a brand.”
“You know what, if you hold up the belt there, all you are is the club champion. Until Dana White is willing to fight his fighters against other brands; all they are is club champions.”
The open challenge was extended to White and the UFC to put their fighters against the fighters from EliteXC, and while Shaw made a strong gesture, a co-promoted show between the two organizations will likely never happen.
“I extend the challenge and always have. It’s like Kimbo; you want to fight him? Call us up, you can come in the cage and fight him,” said Shaw. “You want to fight Jake Shields, fight Jake Shields. We’re proud of the people we represent. Robbie Lawler, I could go down the whole roster.”
Despite the challenges and compliments towards the UFC and their fighters, Shaw was quick to once again point both barrels at UFC president Dana White.
“For Dana White to try to convince the fans that he owns all of the best fighters in the world. To say that this is just a starting point for fighters and then they’re going to go to UFC. He is full of (expletive),” said Shaw with conviction. “Let him fight our fighters.”