Things got heated between Aly and White.
Things got heated between Aly and White.

Waleed shredded over tense stand-off

Dana White is used to watching wars unfold in front of his eyes as powerful human beings put their bodies on the line in the UFC.

But the president of the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion found himself on the receiving end when he was a part of Tuesday night's episode of The Project.

The man who has helped revolutionise MMA spent just under six minutes on the show. The majority of his time was spent under immense fire from co-host Waleed Aly.

White, in Australia to attend GQ Magazine's Man of the Year awards, was on the Channel 10 show to promote UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide along with UFC 234 in Melbourne next February.

He said any event held in Australia has always been remarkably well received and he's hopeful of travelling to more cities Down Under in the future.

"This country has been very good to us, every time we have a fight in the UFC it's incredible here in Australia and we want to go everywhere. We want to travel everywhere and continue to do fights all over the country," White said.

Headlining the Adelaide card will be Australia's own Tai Tuivasa, whose post-fight celebrations are just as famous as his ability to put opponents to sleep. He does the Daniel Ricciardo shoey, which involves drinking alcohol out of a shoe. But White won't be copying that anytime soon.

"I'm not interested in doing it, but sure, whatever you're into."

But from there the interview took an unexpected turn as Aly tried to force White into a corner.

Aly continually went after White over his decision to never hand out suspensions to Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov after their fight last month descended into chaos when Nurmagomedov - who won via fourth-round submission - jumped over the Octagon and tried to confront members of McGregor's camp.

The fiery aftermath came on the back of McGregor and his entourage attacking a bus full of fighters, including Nurmagomedov, before a UFC event in New York.

Here's how the exchange between Aly and White played out.

Waleed Aly: "Alright Dana, I need you to level with me … we're talking Conor McGregor, we're talking Nurmagomedov and that whole saga.

"There's the bus incident where McGregor attacks a bus full of fighters, you get really upset about that.

"Then there's the incident after the fight where Nurmagomedov's blokes come into the ring and there's a scuffle after the fight.

"At that time you were livid about this.

"I'm calling this, I can see a smirk on your face as you say this, I don't know if there have been any real punishments handed out to these guys, if they have a big price they've paid, but let's be totally honest, let's be real … you love this stuff, it's great for promotions, right?"

Dana White: "We have a hearing that's coming up in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) that's coming up in December, they will lay down fines and suspensions and whatever they're going to do.

"They're actually coming after me for the promotion of the fight, so it was a bad night and believe me everybody asks me this question.

"You know, 'This happened and it was bad, but it's good for your business', it's really not good for business when things like that happen.

"We don't need that type of stuff to sell a fight."

WA: "You don't suspend them, you don't do anything. In the bus situation where McGregor's attacking that bus, there's high def cameras ready to capture it so the vision is great.

"It just looks like you're all over this."

It was here White went on the attack, biting back and telling Aly in no uncertain terms McGregor was punished because he fell foul of the law.

Waleed Aly grilled Dana White.
Waleed Aly grilled Dana White.

DW: "We do a show called UFC Embedded where we follow the fighters around, so those cameras were there when that happened because of that.

"But do you understand, he (McGregor) got arrested … he went to jail! He had to go before the New York Attorney-General.

"So they already took care of it, what am I going to do? What's a suspension going to do?

"He was suspended, he couldn't fight because he was in jail!"

WA: "I get it, the state suspended him and you said, 'Come back and fight again', that's what happened. If that's what you want to do, great, I'm not necessarily criticising, I just want you to level with us and just say this is the way it is."

DW: "I'm levelling, that's what I do. I put on fights. This guy was arrested, he was down there because we were supposed to be talking about a fight he was going to be in, he came and attacked a bus and got arrested and went to jail.

"Now we're overseen by the NSAC, so these guys can't fight. They're both on suspension, they're going to get fined a certain amount of money. Whatever that number is that they suggest and then there's going to be a suspension held out.

"That's what Nevada does, they govern us. So what else am I going to do? Suspend them for another year? It doesn't make sense."

Carrie Bickmore: "I know you're saying that it is all real, but it feels like the fighting bit is real, but the rest of it is just a little bit of showbiz?"

DW: "Let me tell you what, reality is better than any script you could ever write. If you think that we would put our top guy in a position were he attacks a bus, hurts other fighters then gets sued by all of them and then gets arrested … we're not that good."

Aly copped plenty of criticism on social media for his approach to the interview.





News Corp Australia

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