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Fans And Media Divided After Dana White Releases Video Looking Back On 2020

Fans And Media Divided After Dana White Releases Video Looking Back On 2020

2020 was a huge year for the UFC.

In a 12-month period plagued by the coronavirus pandemic, the premier mixed martial arts promotion flourished under the pressure and produced television and social media figures that trumped every other sport on the planet.

Whether it was moving entire events to countries half way round the globe or putting on shows every weekend without fail, UFC president Dana White should be commended for his efforts.

But it seems White has left some MMA fans and members of the media divided after uploading a video to social media which looked back on the year that was.

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The five-minute clip celebrates the UFC's unparalleled success during COVID-19 but also takes a little dig at the critics who doubted White's bold 2020 plans.

The video features some big-name MMA reporters accompanied with quotes and headlines from their publications that disputed the UFC's vision to tackle the coronavirus head on.

Even former UFC referee John McCarthy was thrown into the mix.

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But as we now know, the UFC did everything in its power to protect the wellbeing of the athletes while allowing them to continue earning money during the tough times.

And when it finally came to reviewing his company's 2020 achievements, White couldn't forget those that doubted him along the way.

"I'm not afraid of the media," he said in the clip's voice over.

"Why should anybody listen to the media? Who are these people? What makes them experts? What have they ever accomplished? They criticise me for even trying to find a way forward because it's easy to criticise from the sidelines when you risk nothing and do nothing. But we need to fight this thing. Step up. Instead of panicking, let's find solutions.

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"The media are not in the news business. They're in the clickbait business. They think negativity sells and gets clicks so that's what they deliver. Negativity is their product. But I'm not going to let that stop us. Any time there's great success, it's surrounded by negativity, but here's the reality. None of the media people know anything about this business."

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UFC president Dana White. Credit: PA
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People are divided over the video.

And unsurprisingly, the journalists and reporters who featured on it aren't best pleased.

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As for UFC fans, they seemed to respond to it positively on social media with many flocking to the comments section to praise White.

Donald Trump Jr tweeted: "Proud to call Dana White a friend."

And fellow Republican Richard Grenell wrote: "Zero job losses. Thank you, Dana White for focusing on the physical, mental and economic health of your employees. This is leadership."

While American sports journalist Clay Travis added: "Dana White dunking on the MMA coronabros. This is fabulous."

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As for the reporters who White references in the video, it didn't take long for them to respond either.

The Guardian's Karim Zidan replied: "UFC President Dana White runs propaganda ad listing journalists, including myself, who rightfully questioned his decision to run events during early stage of the pandemic. Looks like he has learned a lot from his buddy Donald Trump."

While Fightful.com editor Sean Ross Sapp said: "That ridiculous Dana White video makes me very happy that I don't cover MMA full-time anymore. What a weird thing to produce."

The UFC chief's powerful video has certainly ruffled a few journalistic feathers.

As for White himself, he's now on vacation with fights set to kick off in mid-January when he returns to the head office in Las Vegas.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Fight Island, reaction, UFC News, MMA News, Pandemic, united states, Coronavirus, Social Media, UFC, Australia, MMA, Dana White, Covid-19

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Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.