When the Viacom-owned Bellator announced that they were going into the PPV business in November with a show headlined by Tito Ortiz vs. Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, UFC president Dana White offered a blunt assessment.
"They have no f—-ing clue what they're doing."
Not long after, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney fired back, without ever using the word UFC or the name Dana White.
"The one thing that I've always said about pay-per-view is that you can't force feed pay-per-views down people's throats month in and month out," said Rebeny. "You can't do it as a repetitive vehicle."
"Our point of difference is that we're real sports competition, and when it boils down to world title fights, when it boils down to crowning our champion at 170, or 55 or 45 or whatever weight class, guys are going to earn the right to fight for that championship and they're going to have to beat the champion... We're not sitting around waiting for some wrestler to lose two fights straight and then bark his way into a 205 world title fight. That's just not the essence of what we do."
At the UFN 26 press conference, White was dismissive.
"I saw Bjork was talking some smack, I'm like, dude, just shut up and run your business," said White. "That's what you should have done when you started and you had some legs to stand on. They're hurting."
“I’m sure you guys saw... when they did their press conference, all they talked about was me,” said White on Thursday. “What are they going to talk about? That fight? ‘Well, you guys have lost your last 10 fights, uh, how do you think this fight is going to go? Well, I can tell you this, one of us is going to win. Somebody’s ‘O’ has got to go.’ But it’s the opposite of what you normally talk about."
"Obviously they need money, good for them. Let them do their thing."
"How's your competitive spirit feeling? My video blog does more f---ing viewers than their television show does. I'm not feeling very competitive."
The average views for the season of Fight Master televsion shows to date are:
Episode 1: 432,000
Episode 2: 545,000
Episode 3: 676,000
Episode 4: 505,000
Episode 5: 441,000
Episode 6: 629,000
Episode 7: 398,000
For anyone interested in head by head comparison with the Bellator fight shows, the average views for the last half dozen events are:
Bellator 92: 741,000
Bellator 93: 748,000
Bellator 94: 713,000
Bellator 95: 901,000
Bellator 96: 480,000
Bellator 97: 697,000
The playlist for Dana White's vlogs shows that the views for the last couple of years range from a low of around 160,000 to a high of 878,390, with an average of well over 200,000. At first glance, it does not appear as if Dana's vlogs usually get more views than Fight Master. However, White often does two, three, or even four vlogs for each card, which could indeed mean that his vlog does more views than Bellator's show, on a show by show basis.
The success of Dana's vlog is a testament to the power of the internet, the power of the UFC brand, and the remarkable power of Dana White.