White berates Arum for disparaging comments
Outspoken UFC president Dana White is a big Manny Pacquiao fan, but he’s not so keen on Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum.
White reacted angrily Monday to comments Arum made in an ESPN.com story about the head-to-head competition on Nov. 12 between a UFC show and Arum’s pay-per-view card featuring the rubber match between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
The UFC will make its highly anticipated network television debut on Fox that night in a show from Anaheim, Calif. The UFC on Fox shows are supposed to be two-hour broadcasts, but because the Pacquiao fight was already scheduled for that night, the UFC opted to go for just one hour on Fox so that its card would end about a half-hour before Pacquiao walks to the ring.
That would give the fans an opportunity to see both shows live.
Arum, though, told ESPN.com he thought the decision to go on the same night was intentional. He took a dig at the UFC by saying he’d have more competition if Fox opted to air a movie.
“There is no competition,” Arum said. “If Fox was to put on a top movie that night, it might be more competition. If Fox put on Manchester United that night, it would be more competition.”
White and Arum have always had a contentious relationship. Arum in the past has compared ground fighting in mixed martial arts to homosexual sex, while White has repeatedly mocked him for his age and referred to him as a dinosaur.
But after learning of Arum’s comments on Monday, the ante was raised. White took full aim at Arum and his stepson, Todd duBoef, who is president of Top Rank. One of duBoef’s closest friends is Ike Lawrence Epstein, the executive vice president and general counsel for Zuffa, the company that owns the UFC.
White disparagingly referred to duBoef as “Todd Arum” and assailed Arum and duBoef for being greedy and not investing in their product.
“Let me tell you what: Todd Arum went crazy when he found out that we were going the same night as them,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “He went crazy and called everyone in the industry flipping out. And Bob Arum is a jealous moron. Bob Arum had the ability to do great things for the sport of boxing. I don’t know if he wasn’t smart enough to do what we did or whatever, but when we first came out with this thing, this guy laughed at us. He said how stupid the Fertittas were and that this thing was ridiculous and it would never be a sport.
“Now, all he does is run around [expletive] and complaining about it. You had the ability, Bob Arum, to make boxing great. But the problem was, you were greedy. You’re a greedy pig, just like all the other guys who were involved in boxing. All you ever did was try to rip money out of it. You never invested a dime into the sport of boxing to make it great, to make it last, to create a future for boxing. He’s nothing but a greedy pig and his jealousy shows non-stop.”
White said he found Arum’s comments to ESPN that a movie would be more competition curious because he said duBoef called numerous television executives complaining that the UFC was going head-to-head with him.
In a conversation with Yahoo! Sports, Arum bit his tongue and said he had nothing bad to say about White or the UFC. He said he’s considering buying an ad for the Pacquiao fight that would air on Fox during the UFC show.
Arum did reiterate his position that he believed a “high-quality, first-run movie would be more competition for us. That’s true.”
But he said that since the UFC show won’t extend into the time when Pacquiao is fighting, it’s even less worrisome to him that the MMA show is going the same night as the boxing card.
“I wasn’t worried in the least, ever, but particularly not now, since we found out they’re going just one hour and won’t be on when Manny’s fighting,” Arum said. “Dana White and the UFC are of no consequence to me. I don’t worry about him. I don’t worry about the UFC. I don’t think of him for a second of a day. I have nothing against them, but they’re just not part of my world.”
White said Nov. 12 isn’t an ideal night for the UFC but also said there are few nights on the crowded sports landscape where there is no competition.
“The fact of the matter is, I love the sport of boxing and it isn’t the greatest night in the world for me, either,” White said. “But it is what it is. There are so many events out there that we have to compete with, from the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA, college football, college basketball, boxing. The list goes on and on. I mean, if we tried to tiptoe around dates, we’d never put on an event.”
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Video: Fantasy football star cements No. 1 status
• Chad Ochocinco makes a bold wager against Michael Vick
• Baseball contenders’ playoff chances tied to health