Domonique Foxworth, a former NFL player, former NFLPA president, and Harvard Business School graduate, went toe-to-toe with UFC president Dana White during an interview on ESPN’s First Take this week.
Foxworth directly called out White over fighter pay and brought the type of direct questioning that White never faces from the MMA media.
“My history in labor unions in sports in particular makes me a little biased on this particular side. If it were just those two guys, then I feel I can get on board and understand your explanation. Obviously I understand how businesses works, but there’s a long history of issues with the labor in UFC not feeling that they’re getting just payment or the treatment that they deserve,” Foxworth stated, which should have been an early warning that White was in over his head.
“Can you speak to the long history rather than specific individuals?”
White, who was obviously annoyed, immediately responded: “Does anybody feel like they make too much money? Nobody does. Listen, if we were talking about a thing where these guys had old contracts from three years ago and it’s like ‘c’mon, that was three years ago that I did this deal,’ they signed these less than a year ago! This was months ago. By the way I don’t know if you’ve noticed, we’re in a pandemic right now and no other sports are going. Oh, by the way — every other sport is arguing over money right now. I haven’t laid off one employee, I haven’t asked any of my fighters to take less money. You don’t hear me out here crying about ‘I don’t getting any gates, I don’t have this, I don’t have—-’ you don’t hear me crying about anything!
“I’m running my business, I’m paying everybody. Right now, if you think it’s easy to be a business owner right now here and today, you are right out of your mind. Okay? There’s never been a harder time to do business than right now. Guess what? I’m pulling it off.”
That’s when Foxworth threw down a savage response: “You can’t say you’re not crying anymore, you just said it’s the hardest time for business owners.”
You can check out the full exchange below.
This is one of the few times that we have ever seen Dana White pressed on a serious issue, and it didn’t seem like he was prepared for anything more than a softball question. Let’s see if the MMA media can finally follow suit.