UFC president Dana White recently took the time to throw a few jabs the way of HBO's Larry Merchant for the commentator's post-fight interview-turned-argument with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. White said that HBO should fire the "senile" Merchant for his actions.
Merchant recently responded to the situation, giving his opinion of White and the UFC to Boxing Scene.
"Let's see, anyone who can make a multimillion dollar business out of street fighting has to be respected." Merchant opened up during our recent conversation. "My opinion is that anyone is allowed to put up a tent, put on a show, and invite people to come. And obviously he's had a lot of success. Good for him."
On MMA's appeal:
"I don't watch it. I don't get a so-called sport in which you can have a 6-2 record and be called a world champion. I just don't appreciate the finer points of MMA."
On Dana's criticism:
"It's a free country. I'm a commentator, and if I'm commenting and observing on others than how can I not be open to others observing and commenting on me?"
There will certainly be MMA fans who get mad that Merchant took a few shots at the sport. But he's an 80 year old man who has been involved with boxing for most of his life. He is not the target audience for the UFC and it's not crazy to think that the sport doesn't appeal to him.
Merchant is not everyone's cup of tea and he has certainly been out of line at times in his career. But I've always enjoyed that he isn't there to sell the fight or fighters, that's not his job. He does go too far trying to establish his own narratives on fights and can be overly negative much of the time.
He was "over the line" with Floyd after the fight to a degree, but again...he's 80 years old. I think Larry just doesn't have it in him to be pushed around by a guy like Floyd and he'd just as soon get into it with him and get fired than back down.