We're in the eye of the storm right now when it comes to the fallout from Dana White's Ultimate Fight Night 18 video blog that included a rant about a female blogger and a gay slur. Things have calmed down but that's only because the MMA media/blogs whacked away at the topic for roughly two weeks and it's been replaced by a new set of hot issues. But that doesn't mean the mainstream media or casual MMA media have had their complete say on the matter. ESPN's E:60 will have a feature on the whole vlog episode on May 12. And now Deadspin's Drew Magary and Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim, folks who cover the sport from a distance, have laid the smack down on White and his impact on the future of the UFC (0:47 mark):
"I think that was really a misstep for UFC," said Wertheim, who wrote Blood in the Cage and penned the first MMA story to reach the front page of SI. "Things like that really set back the organization. You can't deny how far UFC has come under his leadership but it's things like that can set the whole organization back."
Big Daddy Drew, the host of the Deadspin podcast, says the organization has outgrown the leadership White can provide. BDD thinks it's time for a more friendly ambassador instead of a [expletive] who spouts off all the time.
"You sort of need him in the beginning. The guy was great in the critical growth period," said Wertheim. "This organization is going to grow no matter what but it's really essential that it convinces old media, television executives, ad buyers and athletic sponsors that this is not cavemen."
Wertheim also comments on the lack of print and magazine coverage for MMA, pointing out that the majority of newspaper editors are 55-plus. He thinks that dollars will ultimately force the old guard to cover the sport just like it did with NASCAR. Wertheim commends Yahoo! Sports for it's coverage and placement of MMA content.
Listen here for the entire 18-minute discussion on MMA.
Audio from Deadspin