UFC executives are continuing to discuss their reaction to a story on the MMA blog CagePotato that the promotion alleges gave the misleading and incorrect impression that UFC president Dana White was betting on the UFC 145 headliner between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
The UFC demanded a formal retraction and CagePotato obliged.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta spoke to USA TODAY's Sergio Non about the story and the promotion's response.
"We had a flurry of people contacting us through e-mail, Twitter. Rashad throwing a complete fit ... and then Dana having to call him to calm him down. If (people) thought it was just satire, we wouldn't have had that reaction," said Fertitta.
"Dana had to talk to Rashad on the phone for 30 minutes to calm him down, to tell him, 'Are you crazy? There's no way I would ever bet on a fight or bet against you,' " Fertitta says.
More from Fertitta after the jump...
SBN coverage of UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans
Non asked about the "satire" defense:
Fertitta: But it didn't even read like a joke. It didn't read like a joke at all. If you look at the article, when you first read that, it sounds like that they were in a room with Dana, talking to him, and he says, "Oh," and he kind of made a mistake and said something, and said "Don't print that."
He also dug into the implications of CP retracting the piece:
USA TODAY: They issued a retraction on their website. Does it satisfy your demands?
Fertitta: We're currently evaluating whether it's sufficient or not. Like I said, there's been a massive amount of fallout in the wake of them putting out something that is completely reckless in the way that they did. I don't understand how anybody could defend what they did. It's a very serious allegation.
For them to even joke that Dana made a wager of that magnitude on one fighter versus another fighter is something that could have tremendous negative implications for the industry, for our company and a lot of different things.
As is often the case Fertitta's more measured responses put a more reasonable perspective on the UFC's position. Obviously CagePotato made a botch of the story with a bad attempt at humor but hearing directly from the UFC about the negative ramifications of a single unfunny post on a medium-size web site certainly makes their side more sympathetic.