UFC president Dana White is done dealing with Showtime for good.
Last summer, White teamed up with Showtime to promote the epic crossover fight pitting UFC champion Conor McGregor against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match that ended up as one of the biggest sporting events in history.
White seemed to get along with the executives from Showtime including Showtime Sports general manager Stephen Espinoza, who was part of the production for Mayweather vs. McGregor from start to finish.
White teaming up with Showtime came just a few years after he butted heads with the network following the purchase of Strikeforce, who had an exclusive broadcast deal with them already in place. When Strikeforce was finally dissolved and the fighters brought over to the UFC, White seemed very happy to never deal with Showtime again until the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight became a reality.
Now in the aftermath of that event where Showtime recently put out a press release stating that Mayweather vs. McGregor did 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America — making it the second biggest pay-per-view in history — White isn’t buying their numbers or the validity of how the fight actually sold that night.
“Think about this and I don’t give a s–t about Showtime’s f–king full of s–t press release they put out — it’s the biggest fight ever,” White told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. “Ever in combat sports history. The thing did over 6.7 million buys and if the service didn’t drop, we would have gotten closer to 7 million. It was the biggest event ever. It was the biggest boxing event ever without a boxer, there was only one boxer involved in the fight.
“I still question [the numbers]. The way that they handled that press release and what they did — I didn’t trust them before and now I despise those f–king guys. The Showtime guys, I’ll never work with them again. Ever.”
White’s comments come months after Espinoza acknowledged that Showtime might get involved in the bidding to secure the UFC’s television rights, which are up for renewal with the new broadcast rights starting in 2019.
Obviously, White is virtually taking them out of the race by stating that he’ll never work with Showtime again after what unfolded at Mayweather vs. McGregor.
“I’ll never work with Showtime again,” White said.
Chances are White will get his wish considering Showtime hasn’t dabbled in mixed martial arts since Strikeforce left the network, although they still maintain broadcast rights to the back catalog of fight cards from the former San Jose based promotion that still air on the network.