Deposition reveals Dana White claims he ‘turned Ronda Rousey into a star,’ not ‘very, very bad promoter’ Scott Coker

Deposition reveals Dana White claims he ‘turned Ronda Rousey into a star,’ not ‘very, very bad promoter’ Scott Coker

  • MMA News
  • février 9, 2024
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Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) antitrust lawsuit gets more and more compelling with each new bit of information.

There have already been leaks of UFC CEO, Dana White, trashing his fighters via text, Jon Jones, in particular. In the latest release of information from the lawsuit gathered by Bloody Elbow, White put down one of his fellow promoters, Scott Coker, to help boost his star-creating ability in a deposition questioning. Specifically, White noted how Coker was only capable of “recycling” already notable names for his organizations of Strikeforce or Bellator.

“That’s Scott Coker’s MO. Scott Coker doesn’t build anybody, right?” White said. “He doesn’t turn anybody into stars. He just takes old names and recycles them. He’s a — he — he’s a very, very bad promoter. Very bad at what he does.”

Former women’s Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, was undeniably the biggest star in Strikeforce history as she helped launch the female fighters into a different stratosphere of notoriety. Therefore, UFC kept the fighters around when it purchased Strikeforce in 2012. Rousey debuted at UFC 157 against Liz Carmouche in February 2013, and from there was officially a star, not before, says White.

Question: Right. Is it your — not withstanding the fact that the UFC got some — I think as you testified earlier, some really great fighters from Mr. Coker’s Strikeforce promotion; right?

White: That we turned into stars. When you have Ronda Rousey and you can’t turn her into a star, you should probably go open a restaurant or something.

Question: And so — and so is it your testimony that at Bellator, Mr. Coker is continuing to essentially recycle has-been fighters? Is that —

White: Well, no. He — he recycles big names.

Question: Right.

White: That’s what he does. Rampage Jackson is a huge name. Tito Ortiz is a huge name. And — and basically, he re– you know, takes guys with big names and puts on fights with them instead of turning guys into stars, even when he has a roster packed with stars, and one of them include Ronda Rousey.

Question: Well, Ronda Rousey wasn’t a star at the time that she was fighting under contract with Strikeforce; right?

White: Till I turned her into a star.

Question: Right. But the point is, she wasn’t a star at Strikeforce; correct?

White: Yeah, no.

Question: Okay. So — and at this time in 2013 —

White: Just for the record, I turned her into a star immediately when she got to the UFC —

Question: Okay.

White: — her first fight.

Contradictory to these claims, White was quoted before Rousey’s official arrival in UFC saying the following.

“I think she’s a big thing now. She’s already done things that we couldn’t get done, I mean she’s been on talk shows that we could never f—ing get on,” White said while Rousey was still with Strikeforce, noting her appearances on mainstream outlets. “I heard she was the best-selling cover of ESPN: The Body Issue, that was what I heard.

“My point is, she’s one of those breakthrough stars,” he continued. “You guys know I went to the Sons of Anarchy premiere with her? When we got out of the car, the whole f—ing place erupted, like she was on the show or something … she’s ‘there.’“

Rousey’s UFC career spanned four years from 2013 to 2017 and saw her fight eight times with a 6-2 record (12-2 overall). All six wins were title defenses as the Bantamweight champion.

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