Well, it took a few years, but UFC president Dana White (Pictured) has finally decided to badmouth Bellator Fighting Championships, his biggest stateside rival.
While most competitors enter his crosshairs rather quickly, Bellator has managed to fly under White’s radar since hitting the mixed martial arts scene in 2008. However, it appears the fine print in Bellator’s fighter contracts has forced White to unload.
“I don’t talk much about Bellator, but what they do is one of the dirtiest things you can do in the business,” White stated following UFC 152‘s post-fight press conference. “It’s dirty, it’s grimy, and it’s just despicable. I have the right to match (contracts), but once I cut a guy and let him go and somebody else tries to sign him, I don’t come back and say, ‘Oh, you’re breaking the contract. I have matching rights.’
“When you made the decision to cut him, you cut him.”
The two athletes that were most recently affected with Bellator’s business practices were Tyson Nam and Roger Hollett, who lost this weekend to Matt Hamill at UFC 152.
Bellator had signed Hollett to a contract, but they didn’t use the light heavyweight and decided to release him. However, when the UFC showed interest in Hollett, Bellator enforced a matching rights period which left Hollett hanging high and dry for a short period. Bellator ultimately decided not to match and allowed Hollett to walk.
In regards to Nam, Bellator had pretty much left him for dead until he knocked out Bellator bantamweight champ Eduardo Dantas last month at “Shooto Brazil 33.” All of a sudden, guess who can’t sign with another promotion?
“That’s one of the dirtiest things you can do in the fight business,” White added. “[Nam] is not going to make or break the UFC, but the problem is the dirty scumbag moves that these guys are pulling hurts the fighters. It’s one of the dirtiest, low-down despicable things you can do in the fight business.
“I have no beef with those guys. They’re doing their own thing and I could care less, but that’s dirty. It’s borderline criminal.”
Bellator, consider yourself on blast.