ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong isn’t a fan of the way UFC president Dana White has conducted himself and his business.
Sityodtong has helped develop the sport of MMA on the international scene, attracting top talent including former UFC fighters Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson to Singapore. He’s also developed innovative ways of holding fights, including a special rules fight coming up between Johnson and Muay Thai kickboxer Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
Some around the sport have been turned off by White’s personality and approach to the fight game, including the way his fighters are treated and compensated.
During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Sityodtong spoke about his grievances with his MMA business counterpart.
Chatri Sityodtong Jabbed Dana White And His Knowledge
“I think he is an outstanding businessman,” Sityodtong said. “I don’t necessarily agree with the way he does things, but obviously he’s built UFC into a phenomenal company, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts. But I don’t think he knows anything about martial arts, I don’t think he knows anything about fighting. I think he’s a fan, so I have differences. I come from the martial arts community, I come from the martial arts background and how I treat my athletes, they are my peers. I come from the community, it’s very, very different.
“I think if you’ve never been punched in the face or choked out, you can disrespect people publicly [with your comments]. But if you have had lifelong hard training—I just say we have stylistic differences. I don’t particularly respect the way he talks down to athletes.”
Sityodtong’s comments come after ONE Championship posted a video of him training MMA, with a caption alluding to a possible fight with White. Sityodtong went on to call the post not a serious offer and more of a tongue-in-cheek jab at his business rival.
Sityodtong and other MMA leaders have taken issue with White, and it’ll be interesting to see how White responds to his harsh criticism.
What do you make of Chatri Sityodtong’s comments?