UFC president Dana White has been in a very public war of words with two of his biggest stars, Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal. The conflict boiled over to ESPN’s First Take, where White was a guest to promote the first events and to reveal the location for Fight Island.
Co-host Max Kellerman asked White about the uproar about Jones and Masvidal and the surprise retirement of Conor McGregor. White addressed them, but was then challenged more deeply about labor inequity by co-host Domonique Foxworth, a former NFL player that has served on the NFL Players Association Executive Committee.
After a bit of back and forth, Foxworth tried to throw the show back to host Molly Qerim Rose, who wanted to talk about the upcoming fights, but White would have none of it and continued the argument with Foxworth.
“That seems like a group that needs unionization in order to have the leverage to get the things that they want. I know Molly has a question for you, but that wasn’t a question. I was just trying to make a point,” said Foxworth, when trying to get the show back to Rose.
“Oh no, no. I want you again,” White said, blocking the toss back to Rose. “Welcome to the fight business my friend. So, right now, we’re in a pandemic. We just signed a contract eight months ago. Do you see me saying, ‘Oh this is going on and that’s going on, I have to pay you less money’? No, I’m paying them exactly the same amount of money no matter what is going on. In the history of this company, I’ve never asked a fighter to go backwards, ever!”
(Video courtesy of ESPN First Take)
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