Two years ago, the ongoing antitrust lawsuit against the UFC revealed some tactics Zuffa had used to stifle their competitors at the time. Part of it is a text exchange between UFC president Dana White and then-owner Lorenzo Fertitta.
In a February 2014 text message discussion between White and Lorenzo Fertitta regarding re-signing Gilbert Melendez, Melendez’s contract with Zuffa was ending and he had come to an agreement with Bellator. In response, Zuffa exercised the right to match clause to re-sign Melendez.
Fertitta texts White: “We gotta keep taking these f-ckers oxygen till they tap out. We have sacrificed too much to let anyone get traction now.”
At his deposition, Lorenzo Fertitta testified that the term “f-ckers” referred to Bellator, while the “oxygen” referred to fighters Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez.
Content platform MMA on Point recently did a video on the aforementioned text exchange between White and Fertitta.
This caught the attention of lightweight contender Michael Chandler, who then wrote this reply (H/T Sportskeeda).
Heaven forbid a business owner who has had 10x more sleepless nights than any of his employees/fighters wants to win…
News flash...we all have matching rights in our contacts, bellator could have done the same thing to me if they wanted to pony up.
This is the business...all other sports have the same thing happen daily. Those on lower rungs will always take aim at those on higher rungs instead of just focusing on climbing. See you at the top!
Chandler has been getting quite a push from the UFC since he entered the company last September. Upon inking the deal, he was immediately signed on as a back-up for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
He also got an instant title shot after his debut win over Dan Hooker at UFC 257, which has since been deemed as Dana White privilege.