Let’s be honest, the first week of 2023 has been awful in MMA news. Mostly terrible stuff that I don’t want to talk about. I’ve (for the most part) already said my piece on the Dana White situation and don’t particularly want to continue talking about it, at least not right now. Instead, we will (mostly), be focusing on all other things.
How come in your article you didn’t mention 1 time that Dana’s wife slapped him first? This doesn’t seem to fit the “I hate Dana and the UFC” narrative. Don’t be a journalist. Your job is to do it correctly. Suppose to cover EVERYTHING that happened. You don’t want it to be what you think.
— ViceVersaBiotch (@ViceVersaBiotch) January 6, 2023
I thought a lot about whether or not to engage with this, because on the one hand, treating it as anything other than something worth total scorn and derision validates it to some extent. But, this has been such a pervasive sentiment in the MMA community among those who are least capable of critical thinking that I ultimately decided to answer it.
The most basic answer to this is “because it wasn’t relevant.” Anne White striking Dana White “first” has absolutely no bearing on whether or not him hitting her is acceptable.
It’s not. Full stop.
White acknowledges it and makes no attempt to use it as an excuse. Nobody else can. This is a sign that you are firmly committed to beating women. To those individuals, I am sorry and ask for your help. Sincerely.
More importantly though, and the real reason I wanted to answer this, is because Anne White’s slap was NOT the beginning of the situation. She is CLEARLY not the aggressor. In the video, Dana White is restraining his wife, she turns to leave, and he grabs her wrist, which then precipitates the slap. White is the aggressor. It doesn’t really matter if he was not. Anne White slapped her husband, without any provocation. That IN NO WAY excuses him from hitting her back. But that is not at all what happened here.
I will add, that due to the angle of this video, it is impossible for us to know what happens following Dana White’s initial slap. However, it sure doesn’t look good. And leaving that aside, I will simply say this: The immediacy with which Dana White struck his wife gives me great concern. For me, it’s difficult to see a situation where I would ever strike a woman. White struck without hesitation. That’s concerning.
Last but not least, domestic violence is an extremely serious issue. You can see the results of this case just days later. Look at the f****** statistics. One in four women experience it during their lifetimes. One in two female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner. Treating this incident as if it’s no big deal, as if “she had it coming” or whatever idiotic rationalization one wants to offer, only increases these very stats.
Anne White is the victim here. You don’t have to believe it, but you can tell others.
On a happier note
Does the addition of Jake Paul make it more, or less likely Kayla Harrison remains with the PFL beyond 2023? Is there a scenario where PFL and Harrison mutually agree to part ways before Harrison fights twice for the organization in 2023?
— ADRUWO (@ADRUWO1) January 5, 2023
It’s gotta be more. It has the potential for being a real game-changer in the PFL.
Jake Paul is not an MMA fighter. Sure. But Jake Paul is one of the biggest names in combat sports, and the PFL now, at the minimum, gets to draft off that notoriety. More likely, though, is that he does end up fighting for the PFL, and that is going to draw eyeballs and interest. It will be on the PFL to convert that interest into a more lasting fanbase, but I actually think they are uniquely well-suited to maximize Paul’s presence within their brand.
The PFL’s league structure makes it easy for sports fans to understand. Plus, it insulates Paul from the other regular dealings of the company. Their Super Fight division and divisional seasons are theirs. Bellator would often bring in old stars to increase interest and help their younger talent. Only instead of the desiccated husks of Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, PFL is going to be working with a 25-year-old superstar. This is a great deal.
All of this is to state that the PFL announced that it was a promotion and has legitimate ambitions for more. That makes them a dramatically more appealing place for any talent to sign (or re-sign) with, including Harrison. If nothing else, the Super Fight pay structure — splitting 50 percent of the revenue with the fighters — gives them a much bigger carrot to entice Harrison back with. “Hey, you can get in on 50 percent revenue sharing of a PPV with Jake Paul on it, instead of sharing revenue from just a regular PFL show, which probably amounts to $12.”
This signing, along with the fact that PFL has distribution via the best streaming service to their target audience and Bellator’s continued underperformance, suggests that there could be a new No. 2 MMA organization could be right around the corner.
More Jake Paul
Who do you think will be Jake paul’s first victim…who do you think he fights in his PFL debut
— rubenssj_ (@Thajuice408) January 5, 2023
While the idea of Diaz joining full-time the PFL feels a little far fetched, a deal to have an MMA fight with Paul after Paul has defeated him in boxing makes perfect sense. Diaz could be allowed to promote with the PFL’s own brand. It would make good business sense and Diaz will “get one back”. It would be a huge fight, everybody would win a lot of money and Paul’s loss would not matter. He is a winner for MMA, which means he can fight in his next MMA match.
Last Dana White thing
Are you happy that Dana’s Power Slap league is going to air on TBS one week later than originally intended?
— Aivarioha (@TheAivarioha) January 6, 2023
Abject cowardice by TBS.
Everyone involved in the decision should lose their jobs. They’ll show Dana White and his Power Slap League not even one month after Dana White was caught on camera slapping his wife. Anybody with any common sense would stop this from ever starting. What a nightmare.
Should Chito Vera fight Sandhagen? What does he gain from this fight? What does it mean for him to lose?
— Anthony Alcala (@bcarter939) January 5, 2023
He gains nothing at all, save the paycheck, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t do it. Because bantamweight seems to be such a popular weight, and UFC seem to want to give Henry Cejudo a title shot, Vera would have to wait until late this year to get a shot at a title shot. Sean O’Malley is going to fight the winner of Aljamain Sterling vs. Cejudo, and so at the earliest, Vera would be stuck waiting until late this year, more likely until 2024. He is a prizefighter. He fights for a living. It is an excellent fight that only enhances the “Chito” reputation.
What could have been
What happens to a fight after an injury? Is it a loss that never gets remade and how sad is this for you? (Tony vs khabib, Cruz vs barao, etc)
— Conor O’Swerdz (@ConorOSwerdz) January 6, 2023
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is the only correct answer here.
I’m not one of the people that was particularly drawn to this matchup. Tony would have been absolutely destroyed by Khabib, as he was one the easiest matchups of the division. It was a great moment that we will never see again in this sport. Two men on 12-fight winning streaks, in the best division in the sport, polar opposites yet equally compelling — that stuff doesn’t come around all that often. We missed out on the greatest (on paper) fight in the history of the sport. It was simply too good to be true.
Is Justin Gajthe overrated? He’s 5-4 in the ufc got smoked badly in both title fights and his best win is a sub . 500 UFC fighter in chandler. I’ll hang up and listen thanks
— Teddy (@tammy246810) January 6, 2023
No. Justin Gaethje rules.
First, Gaethje’s greatest win was Tony Ferguson. Tony was on a 12-fight winning streak. It was Gaethje that sent him tumbling into the abyss.
Second, his losses are to Khabib, Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, and Eddie Alvarez (back when Eddie still had some juice). Those are totally fine losses, particularly when you factor in that Gaethje had real chances to win all of them.
Most important, though, is this: In 10 UFC fights, Gaethje has 10 performance bonuses and THREE Fight of the Year awards. He also finished third in 2017 and fifth in 2020. Although he isn’t considered the greatest lightweight fighter of all time, he was the most exciting in history. It’s impossible to overrate him.
What hurts more, getting punched in your face or kicked in your leg?
— Wander (@_PiggyPie) January 5, 2023
If we’re talking about a single shot, I’d rather be kicked in the leg. When we are talking about multiple shots I would prefer to be punched in my face.
But body shot towers over both. One of the most painful things in life is being rocked around the middle.
If you could pick any past or present UFC fighter to be the next president of the UFC, who would you pick?
Also, which is your favourite out of Jiri v Glover and Condit v Lawler?
— Sam Tromans (@SamuelJTromans) January 5, 2023
Daniel Cormier is the clear choice. DC seems smart and loves to fight, as well as being a decent person in every way. He’d probably screw up a bunch, but it’s hard to imagine a more universally respected figure to take that role.
As for the second question: Carlos Condit against Robbie Lawler is my pick for the greatest fight ever, but Jiri PROCHAZKA vs. Glover Teixeira are No. 2. The iconic image of Condit and Lawler both draped over the cage after the final bell, with nothing left to give, that seals the deal for me. If only they had gotten the decision right. [Ed. Note: If only…]
Who are the top 5 (UFC fake rankings) lightweights at the start of 2024? Can do this same format with mens bantamweight too
— Krabs ( , ) (@KRYPTOKR4BS) January 6, 2023
Champion Islam Makhachev
- Rafael Fiziev
- Charles Oliveira
- Justin Gaethje
- Dustin Poirier
- Beneil Dariush
Champion – Henry Cejudo
- Merab Dvalishvili
- Sean O’Malley
- Petr Yan
- Marlon Vera
- Adrian Yanez
At lightweight I expect Islam to retain his belt and then defeat Dariush later in the year, Oliveira probably gets stuck with a fight against Fiziev and loses, Gaethje beats Poirier in a rematch, Dariush only fights the once and since he loses to Makhachev, doesn’t advance any in the rankings.
At bantamweight I believe Cejudo defeats Sterling, then O’Malley. By the end of the year, he’s angling for a featherweight title shot. Vera beats Sandhagen but then loses to Yan. Merab beats Ricky Simon sometime in the spring, then fights Yan at the end of the year and wins, setting himself up for a title shot.
Thanks for reading and thank you for everyone who sent in Tweets! Do you have any burning questions about things at least somewhat related to combat sports? Then you’re in luck, because you can send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew, and I will answer them! Doesn’t matter if they’re topical or insane. Send them to me and I’ll answer the ones I like the most. Let’s have fun.