UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar took a bad beating from former champion Max Holloway during their headliner fight in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of 2021. While it did show Kattar’s unique level of grit and toughness, it did draw concern from UFC president Dana White.
White, at the time, stated that referee Herb Dean should’ve stopped the fight in the fourth round. The fight lasted through all five rounds with Holloway winning a landslide decision.
“He took so much f—king punishment in this fight, I’m freaking out a little bit, man. I don’t like it,” White said of Kattar at the time.
“This reminds me of the kind of fight where the fight’s over, and then he walks in the back and f—king dies. I think that f—king Herb Dean should’ve stopped it in the fourth round. He was wobbling all over the f—king place. He should have stopped the fight right there.”
UFC veteran Dan Hardy, who was on broadcast duties that night, recently spoke about White’s show of concern for Kattar, which he believed was not at all genuine.
“What we did see was that clip coming out of Dana talking to Hunter (Campbell) and being like, ‘Hey, we need to make sure he goes straight to a doctor after that.’
“And it looks like, ‘Hey, they just caught this on camera across the arena.’ The dude was mic’d up. The receiver of the microphone was attached to the camera that was filming him from across the other side of the arena.
“That whole thing was staged to protect the UFC. And I watched that, and I’m like, ‘That’s just dirty.’ Actually, do something to protect the fighter. Don’t do something to protect the sport or the company if the fighter gets damaged.”
White was asked about it during the UFC 280 post-fight scrum, and of course, he didn’t hold back with his response.
“I can tell you this: we never staged anything, ever. We have a documentary that we filmed during COVID. That’s why I was mic’d.
“Do you know how many fights a week I say that to Hunter or Dr. Davidson? ‘No interviews, no nothing, that guy goes straight to the hospital.’ I don’t give a f—k what anybody thinks. So you don’t ever have to worry about me staging anything.
“And I definitely don’t give a f—k what Dan Hardy thinks. Dan Hardy is a guy that was mistreating a woman who worked here. That’s why he was fired. So obviously, he’s bitter. And I’m assuming that’s why he would say something like that.
“Should I have been concerned about Calvin Kattar? Yeah, exactly. Everybody should’ve been concerned about Calvin Kattar that night.”
Hardy was reportedly fired by the UFC in 2021 for an alleged “incident” involving a female employee. “The Outlaw” later clarified that it was “forthright but not aggressive, and specific to work.”
In another interview shortly after, he claimed that the said employee was “being obstructive” in helping him do his job. He also reiterated that he “wasn’t aggressive,” nor was he “insulting towards her.”