Dana White is known for being one of the most fiery and passionate executives in professional sports, just ask American premium cable service, Showtime.
The UFC president is livid with how the network handled the release of the pay-per-view numbers for Conor McGregor's highly-anticipated boxing match with Floyd Mayweather last August, and not only did he question the legitimacy of the 4.3-million buy rate for North America revealed in the recent press release from Showtime, he vowed never to do business with the network again.
"Think about this, and I don’t give a [expletive] about Showtime’s [expletive] full of [expletive] press release they put out - it’s the biggest fight ever. Ever, in combat sports history," White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports on Thursday. "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 [expletive] guys. The Showtime guys, I’ll never work with them again. Ever."
White's claims check out in regards to the superbout's worldwide take, although its North American totals fell short of the domestic record of 4.6 million viewers owned by Mayweather's 2015 superfight with Manny Pacquiao.
Showtime exec Stephen Espinoza took the relative high road in reaction to White's frustrations:
McGregor couldn't resist the urge to get in on the social media jabs aimed at Espinoza, tweeting:
"Shut your weasel mouth. Who gives a [expletive] about the North American numbers when we are the GLOBAL KINGS you shmuck. WORLDWIDE. No.1!"
Espinoza responded via an interview on Sirius XM radio, stating his network can’t release inaccurate numbers just to satisfy the UFC.
“Dana has got a certain style and it’s very successful for him,” Espinoza said. “The one thing I’ll point out — I don’t want to get too much into a back and forth — but we’re a public company and there are regulations, there are legal requirements. We can’t put out press releases giving fake numbers. We have shareholders. We have millions of shareholders.
When we put something on it, when we say, 'Here’s a Showtime Sports press release from Mayweather-Pacquiao or Mayweather-Mayweather,' that has gone through lawyers and everyone has looked at it. It’s factual.”
McGregor earned roughly $100 million for coming out of his element and hanging in 10 rounds with the heavy-handed Mayweather.
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