When asked about Bellator’s suspected plan of putting Rampage Jackson against Roy Jones Jr on PPV, Dana White basically rolled his eyes and said “It sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it?” before betting the fight would fall apart. Later on he expanded on Bellator’s recent thrashings, a marked contrast from the slow and steady build we’ve seen from the promotion over the past four years.
They have no fucking clue what they’re doing. When they’re in this business, right, and things are going well, you start grabbing for anything. You have a bunch of guys who don’t know anything about fighting at the network. Networks acquire content. They don’t become promoters. Nobody wants to watch them on free TV. They’re pulling terrible ratings. If they want to get into the pay-per-view business, get ready to lose some money boys. Real money.
If they want to get Roy Jones, it’s going to cost them a ton of money. And maybe they get it, but at the end of the day, how many buys do you think that fight does? I don’t know what kind of deal they’re going to come up with with the cable systems, but, they’re grabbing for whatever they can get, you know what I mean? I hate to smash these guys because I still like some of the people over there. And there’s some of the people I don’t like.
One person he definitely doesn’t like is Philippe Dauman, the president and CEO of Viacom.
Phil Dauman – he calls himself Philippe, his name is fucking Phil from Jersey, okay? He believed that he built the UFC. And that’s how you end up there. And I love sticking it to him too because I wanna piss him off. I want him to spend more money and stay up at night thinking about how he’s gonna beat us. Spend some money, Phil. Dig into this big pockets you got and start paying those fucking guys. Spend some more money. Cheap bastard. Take it out of your 60 million dollar bonus this year. Fix that thing. Fucker. I love fucking talking about him.
I think his ego is gonna wanna keep this thing going and he’s gonna wanna try and beat us. Normally when stuff doesn’t work on network television or cable television you yank it. You know what I mean?
Now take the things Dana rants about with a big grain of salt. Bellator’s ratings aren’t bad at all for Spike TV and the network obviously understands that a bit of patience now in building up a brand can pay massive dividends in the future. And as far as ‘taking what they can get’ when it comes to cable systems – THEY ARE A CABLE SYSTEM. One of the big advantages of being one of these media monoliths is the ability to strongarm decent deals for themselves in all areas of the business.
Consider this the start of Dana White’s psyops war against the promotion. He’ll have a very public opinion about everything ‘Viacom MMA’ is up to, and of course he’ll also take shots at Phil every chance he gets. If he can goad the promotion into spending way too much money trying to compete with the UFC, that’s pretty much a guaranteed road to insolvency and destruction. Which would be too bad because before Viacom got involved, Bellator was running smooth and steady under the capable captainship of Bjorn Rebney.
Now things are starting to get silly – pro wrestling crossovers and boxing matches and over the hill fighters coming in. Combine that with dumbass decisions like moving Bellator to the Friday night death slot and I don’t have a lot of faith that Bellator will still be around in two years.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor