How Dana White Handled the Lyoto Machida Over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua Decision

via www.mmaconvert.com

Interesting behind the scenes account from the new Esquire profile of White:

Visibly angry with the decision — Who cares what I think? I'm only the fuckin' promoter! — White retreats with his entourage to his private dressing room, where he is joined by two financial officers from Zuffa. Along with Lorenzo Fertitta, White decides who should win the bonus money for best submission and the rest. Bonus checks for all the fighters are written out by hand. When they get to Shogun's check, White orders the accountants to "pay the taxes." Meaning, essentially, that he wants Shogun's previously contracted payday to be doubled.

With a check for $250,000 in hand, White goes off looking for Shogun.

When the defeated challenger sees the boss enter his dressing room, he rises shamefacedly from his bench — his body language says defendant about to be sentenced. His manager stands stolidly at his left elbow; his entourage surrounds him in a semicircle.

White hands Shogun his check. He points to the amount. "Tell him that's the real number," White instructs the manager.

"Thank you, thank you very much," Shogun says in heavily accented English. Back home in Curitiba, Brazil, his wife is expecting their first child. He looks appreciative — if not exactly satisfied.

"We paid the taxes," White reiterates. Maybe he didn't understand? He points to the check again. "That's the real number there. That's take-home pay."

Shogun listens to the translation. He ratchets his proud, chiseled jaw one crank higher. "Okay, thank you," he says. "Thank you very much."

"I know it doesn't erase what happened."

Resigned: "No, no problem."

"But it's gotta make you feel a little better." White elbows the fighter playfully in the triceps — I just gave you an extra hundred grand, dude, lighten up!

Shogun breaks down and smiles for real. White regards him appraisingly. "Do you want a rematch?"

No translation is necessary.

This is Dana White at his best, trying to make things right for a fighter who got screwed by the system.

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