Dana White Clashes With Australian TV Host Who Accuses Him Of Staging UFC 223 Bus Attack

By Nathan Zur Nov 14, 2018
On Tuesday, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White appeared on Australian news program “The Project” to promote the upcoming UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide as well as UFC 234, which will take place next February in Melbourne and is headlined by Australia-based New Zealander Robert Whittaker.

The interview with White went smoothly until one of the hosts of the program, Waleed Aly, decided to turn the focus on the altercations between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov with Aly insinuating the UFC staged the April bus attack in Brooklyn, in which McGregor threw a loading dolly at a charter bus full of fighters, including Nurmagomedov.

“Alright Dana, I need you to level with me… we’re talking Conor McGregor, we’re talking Nurmagomedov and that whole saga,” Aly said. “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,” Aly continued. “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?”

White responded that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has summoned both fighters to a hearing next month as a result of the melee.

“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,” White said.

“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,” White added. “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.”

Aly doubled down, claiming that during the incident back in April there were cameras strategically placed to capture McGregor throwing the loading dolly at the bus.

“You don’t suspend them, you don’t do anything,” Aly said. “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.”

A clearly agitated White again defended the promotion, stating the reason the cameras were there is because as part of the UFC’s promotion they run a five episode ‘UFC Embedded’ series tracking the fighters in the week leading up to event. White also clarified that McGregor did get punished as he went to jail for his involvement in April.

“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, [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!”

Aly pushed the UFC president for clarification that the organization stages events like this to create drama.

“I get it, the state suspended him and you said, ‘Come back and fight again,’ that’s what happened,” Aly said. “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.”

Again, White didn’t agree with the accusations made and explained that the UFC don’t issue out suspensions as they’re sanctioned by the commission to ensure there is clear governance between the promotion and their fighters.

“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.”

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