Luke Rockhold had very unflattering comments about the UFC and company president Dana White during UFC 278’s media day on fight week. The former middleweight champion slammed his employers about fighter pay and how the current owners let White “run the show and suppress the sport.”
“The company is f—king growing and they’re implementing other little stupidass bonuses. $5,000 here, $5,000 there … $50,000, man,” he said. “We’ve been stuck in this motherf—ker for f—king 20 f—king years. I mean, back when ‘GSP’ (Georges St-Pierre) fought Jake (Shields), what was it, $100,000? F—king there was growing.
“When Lorenzo and Frank [Fertitta] were running the show, there was real grounding wires. These guys don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just letting Dana [White] run the show and suppress the sport.
“They need to grow, this whole f—king thing needs to grow together. Our lives are on the f—king line. Health care needs to be taken care of, our f—king health needs to be taken care of. Mine has not been taken care of.”
The UFC didn’t upload Rockhold’s rant on its official YouTube page in what seemed to be its stern response. But during the post-fight presser, White himself let these comments slide after Rockhold’s Fight of the Night performance against Paulo Costa in the co-main event.
“He’s entitled to his own opinions and his own… whatever it is that went on this week,” White told the media. “But, let me tell you what: I’ll never say anything about him, I totally respect him, and after that war tonight, normal humans like us that are sitting in this room have no idea what those two went through tonight in that Octagon. And we never will, thank f—ng god.
“For both of them to dig as deep as they did and put on an absolute dogfight like they did, I’ve nothing but respect for both of them. Are they both a little nutty? Absolutely. But hey, nothing but respect.”
The 37-year-old Rockhold lost via unanimous decision and subsequently announced his retirement during his Octagon interview with Joe Rogan.