Sometimes, UFC president Dana White says some peculiar things. His job is to promote fights, and he’s very good at it. But in the case of Stipe Miocic, he may have gone a little too far in ignoring what the real priorities are for some people right now.
It is pretty well-known that the UFC heavyweight champion is a first responder. He is also a father, and he has no interest in fighting during the coronavirus pandemic. When speaking to Independent, Stipe confirmed that he was still taking shifts with the Valley View Fire Department and described the process during the pandemic:
“I have a job to do, and when I go to the station I make sure I stay clean. We’re smart. We’re clean. We’re masked. We wear goggles, gloves and gowns when he have to. It’s our routine, so I’m not really worried about that.”
Miocic has been vocal about the fact that fighting the pandemic is a lot more important than fighting in a cage right now. Apparently Dana doesn’t agree though, because he wants Miocic to get back into the Octagon ASAP:
Dana White discussed Stipe Miocic today and his delay to return to fighting to book the trilogy with Daniel Cormier via UFC Unfiltered pic.twitter.com/FkE8qaJAlZ— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) May 5, 2020
“I saw a quote from Stipe recently where Stipe said ‘there’s bigger things going on in the world right now, fighting will be here forever.’ It’s not true. Fighting will not be here forever. When you’re a professional athlete, your window of opportunity is very small. So, hopefully we can get Stipe back in there soon with Cormier and get the heavyweight division rolling.”
Now Dana isn’t outright saying that Stipe’s fighting job is more important than his first responder job. But it’s pretty tone deaf to emphasize that he wants him in the Octagon because the clock is ticking on his fighting career, with all this going on. The clock is ticking on a lot of people’s actual existence right now, so that should obviously be more important.
Oddly, later in the day Dana went to Instagram to announce a Modelo charity drive for Cinco de Mayo for - you guessed it, first responders.
Miocic himself has been heavily involved in the fundraising for this initiative as well, already donating $50,000 to First Responders First. He told MMA Junkie all about it:
“They’re such an amazing company. They’re all about giving back. They’re always looking to help out. It’s amazing, and of course I was on board right away, no questions asked.”
Just another day in the odd, sometimes contradictory nature of Dana’s fight promotion methods.