UFC president Dana White has denied claims from Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza that the promotion issued a waiver stating fighters could lose their purse if they criticized coronavirus protocols.
Espinoza claimed on Saturday that fighters at UFC 249 had to sign a waiver stating they could lose their “whole purse and bonuses” if they said anything negative about the promotion’s COVID-19 measures. The New York Times and Yahoo Sports later confirmed the existence of the waivers.
It's because they were required to sign a document which says that they can lose their whole purse and bonuses if they say anything negative about the COVID protocols. https://t.co/97v9ZduOxF— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) May 9, 2020
Talking at the post-fight press conference for UFC 249, White refuted Epinoza’s claims and labelled him a “creepy little f—ker.”
“That’s not true,” White said. “First of all, there’s something in the contract for disparagement. There’s a disparagement clause in there that’s in all of our contracts. Isn’t that creepy little f—ker a lawyer? Isn’t that creepy little f—king goofball a lawyer? (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
“Does he not know what disparagement means? If you disparage the company. I’m not even a f—king lawyer, and I know the answer to that question. It’s disparagement. It would be like if you came out and said, ‘They never tested me, the UFC never tested me for the coronavirus.’ But if you came out and had something critical to say about the testing that was true, that wouldn’t be disparagement.”
The UFC implemented strict measures for COVID-19 testing in the lead-up to their UFC 249 event. However, despite their best efforts, Jacare Souza and two of his cornerman tested positive for the virus. His fight with Uriah Hall was pulled from the card, but the event stil took place.
White then continued his tirade towards Espinoza.
“What f—king law school did he go to? I can’t stand that f—king creep, if you couldn’t tell,” Whtie said. “Look at him. Creepy little dude. What the f—k does he know about our contracts? What does that guy know about our contracts? And if you do, I thought that guy was a lawyer. Wasn’t he [Oscar] De La Hoya’s lawyer? I don’t know either, whatever.”