Few things we know about UFC President Dana White:
– He loves gambling.
– He loves boxing.
– He hates digital piracy of pay-per-view sporting events. At least, you know, the ones that directly put money in his pocket.
Because we know these things, it was interesting to hear White explain at the UFC 268 post-fight press conference that, yes, he was indeed watching Canelo Alvarez’s boxing match with Caleb Plant on a cage side monitor at his own event. And yes, it was primarily because he bet a hundred fucking thousand dollars on Alvarez. Nevermind that that’s probably more than anyone on the prelims made for actually fighting in a cage before his very eyes. For White, it’s goddamn pocket change.
But, some intrepid reporter asked, did White actually pay for the Alvarez-Plant pay-per-view? His answer, after a moment’s pause, was yes. But you really need to hear his tone of voice to get the full picture.
You hear that? That was the sound of a man inviting some wild speculation. And so, without further ado, let us oblige him.
Reasons to Think Dana White Did Not Pay for the PPV:
– The shit was on Showtime, which White has publicly beefed with for years. To pay Stephen Espinoza and his crew $79.99 for their product, all while he had his own LIVE UFC TITLE FIGHTS happening right before his eyes, that might have been too much for his pride to bear.
– History has shown us that White does not exactly live his life by the golden rule. Just because he thinks it’s wrong for people to pirate the UFC’s content does not necessarily mean he thinks it’s wrong to pirate anyone else’s content.
– All that shit he was going on about when it came to cracking down on digital pirates? It was all pretty much bullshit. He never even talks about it anymore. He went from ‘we’re watching your house and listening to your phone calls’ to total silence on the topic. Meanwhile, UFC PPV streams are still easily available. (Or so we are told.) So maybe, if he learned anything at all from that experiment, what he learned is that you can feel free to watch pirated streams with impunity, since no one is going to do a fucking thing.
Reasons to Think Dana White Did Pay for the PPV:
– He’s so fucking rich, why wouldn’t he? Seriously, he could have paid for every single person in Madison Square Garden that night to get their own personal paid stream of that fight, and he’d barely even notice the blip on his bank statement.
– He is 52 years old, which already puts him in the increasingly out of touch demographic when it comes to technological expertise. Add to that the fact that he is, once again, gluttonously wealthy. What you have there is a perfect recipe for a man who does not know how to do shit for himself. This is especially true when it comes to technology. Ever watched a 52-year-old college professor try to run a power point presentation? Now imagine that same fucker is so rich he can pay someone to change the batteries in his remote control. Honestly, do you think White could even reset the clocks in his own house for the end of daylight savings? No way. Now imagine him trying to find an online stream of a boxing match he wants to watch.
– To add to the above point, no way he did any of this himself. He told a UFC staffer to set it up. And do you think that person wanted to take a chance on having some pirated stream crap out just as Alvarez was putting it on Plant? White has absolutely fired people for less.
– Let’s not act like there isn’t some chance that he might actually believe enough of his own bullshit to worry that Stephen Espinoza was watching him and waiting for him to turn on the illegal stream, just as White himself has threatened to do to others. Not worth the risk. Better to just buy the damn thing.
Reasons to Think Dana White Genuinely Does Not Know If He Paid for the PPV:
– Again, rich guy bullshit. You think White was sitting there at cageside, going to Showtime.com on his computer, and entering his credit card info? Not a fucking chance.
– Here’s what probably happened: White told a UFC underling that he wanted to watch that fight while his own fights were on. He did not specify anything beyond that. He said it the way Captain Picard gives an order on the Enterprise, with that “make it so” energy. Then, sure enough, a screen appeared before him at cageside. Other people did the boring work of pressing buttons and entering numbers until, lo and behold, a fight started playing on that screen. No way he troubled himself with any of the tedious details about how it all happened. He spoke a desire into the world and, as so often happens when you’ve grown monstrously rich off other people’s labor and literal blood, the wish was granted. Chances are he never even thought about whether or not he’d paid for it until someone asked.
– Come on. Think about it for even just a couple seconds. Doesn’t that scenario above just feel like the most accurate one?
Conclusion: That pause before answering? That totally unconvincing tone of voice when he answered in the affirmative? That was White taking his best guess. Sure, he paid for it … probably. But if I had to speculate wildly, I’d say he actually had no fucking clue.
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