The new season of TUF begins tonight(!!!), featuring the first group of heavyweights since Season 2 when Rashad Evans won the show. But unlike every season preceding this one, the two coaches are not going to be fighting a few weeks after the finale – Rampage has signed on to revive Mr. T’s BA Baracus in the A-Team remake, thus robbing UFC 107 of a TUF coach showdown and it’s hometown star power (did you not know Rampage is from Memphis?).
Because of this, Dana White is not a happy camper. Here’s his thoughts as transcribed by MMA Convert:
I hate it, I hate it so bad I can’t even tell you how bad I hate it. I’m so mad at Rampage over this. Rampage is a guy that we’ve obviously taken under our wing over the last few years, we really like him and we’ve really done a lot of good things for him. And for him to do this to me and to pull out and do this goofy A-Team movie man, I’m not happy about it all…They’re not paying him jack. He’s giving up literally millions of dollars to play Mr. T. If you think he’s going to go in there and say, “I pity the fool,9 D and he’s going to become a huge serious of that role, gimme a freakin’ break…Rampage is somebody I consider a friend, he put me in a bad position and I’m not happy about it. He hurt himself, he hurt us. Sometimes, seriously, you have to save these guys from themselves. What he’s doing makes no sense whatsoever. So we’ll see how this whole thing plays out and what happens. But I’m mad at him, I don’t even want to talk to him right now. Lorenzo’s talking to him, not me.
It’s difficult to disagree with Dana about any of this. You pretty much buy the WFA to get Rampage and Lyoto. You refuse to disown the guy after he gets arrested for melting down in public. In fact, not only do you refuse to disown the guy, you give him a chance to avenge his most embarrassing losses on the biggest card of the year. Then, when he does that, you give him a fight three months later, and promise him a title shot if he wins it. THEN, he turns DOWN the title shot, the MOST coveted thing in the game, against the OTHER great fighter you got for buying WFA, and your response to THAT is to give him the SECOND most coveted thing in the game: a coaching slot on TUF. And after all this he decides to fuck up all your best laid plans. Frankly, I’d be pissed, too.
And before anyone starts with that ‘he needs to feed his family’ or ‘he doesn’t owe you anything’ bullshit, two things: one, there is simply no way possible that Rampage is making more money doing this than he would be fighting Lyoto Machida – period – and two, nobody is saying Rampage is bound by the fan’s wishes. He’s a free man and can do whatever he likes, be it fighting or acting or believing in a piece of shit book that elevates shallow materialism into a spiritual pursuit. Just don’t act like I’m supposed to be fuckin’ happy for him.
I think the people saying ‘OMG HOW CAN I CARE ABOUT THESE 16 HWS IF I KNOW THE COACHES AREN’T FIGHTING’ are full of shit – after all, the heat was still on when they recorded the damn thing, and I’m not going to let this fuck with my enjoyment of the show – but if this was something Rampage wanted to do, he shouldn’t have agreed to be a coach on the show.