UFC President Dana White tries to distance himself from the MMA fighter known as ‘War Machine’


Dana White, seen here at a press conference in San Jose, California, in July. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

UFC President Dana White wants nothing to do with the man now legally known as “War Machine.” Born Jon Koppenhaver, the 32-year-old MMA welterweight was arrested Friday in Simi Valley, California, after being wanted by Las Vegas police on seven arrest warrants for alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend, porn star Christy Mack, and another male.

 

War Machine fought just two times under the UFC brand, according to White, so he does not understand why the fighter is being described as an “ex-UFC fighter” in headlines. He spoke out Friday during a promotional event for UFC Fight Night 47 in Bangor, Maine:

“It’s horrible, man. Horrible. And every time I’ve got to see, ‘Ex-UFC fighter’ when the stories are written. He fought twice [in the UFC], six years ago! He’s a current Bellator-Viacom fighter. I had my staff calling these reporters, [who] are like, ‘We don’t know what Bellator is,’ and I said, ‘Ever heard of Viacom? That’s who he fights for. He fights for Viacom. Not the UFC.’ “

War Machine first got into ultimate fighting in 2007, when he competed on season 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” a reality show made by the UFC. He went on to compete in the octagon shortly thereafter and racked up a 1-1 record. He never appeared in a UFC match again.

In June 2013, War Machine joined Bellator, a competing company that was acquired by Viacom in 2011, which he was no longer affiliated with on Aug. 8, the same day he is accused of the assault that left his ex-girlfriend and another male in the hospital.

White is convinced Bellator doesn’t have the sexiest ring to it, however, nor the search-engine clout that comes with the UFC brand.

“They want clicks, they want readers. How unfair is it?” White said at the press conference in Maine.

Unfair, maybe. But also technically correct.

Here’s White’s full statement regarding the War Machine controversy, which starts at about the nine-minute mark.

War Machine is currently being held in a California jail, but the Las Vegas Police Department is in charge of the criminal investigation, according to a Simi Valley Police Department statement.

(H/t: MMA Mania)

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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