One of MMA’s biggest stories are the domestic violence allegations that Mike Perry’s ex-wife Danielle Nickerson has made against the UFC fighter. Despite the evidence against Perry, which includes the audio recording of police 911 and court records, the story felt distinctly underreported. Most notably, the MMA access media available for UFC 254 on “Fight Island” apparently failed to do any follow-up work with the chairman of the promotion, Dana White. Even though Perry got a reservation again, on the main card at UFC 255.
All of this was demonstrated at the recent press conference, where no questions about the allegations against Perry were asked.
These allegations reflect the culture of UFC history as much as they do about Perry himself. After all, he’s just gotten out of a briefly continued promotion suspension for a drunken brawl with customers at a Texas restaurant. As such, all questions should have been 100% acceptable for the UFC 254 pre-fight press conference. Questions about domestic violence should be addressed in front of a broad audience, especially in light of White’s firm position on the issue:
“We’ve been human beings letting these guys, other guys make up for what they did and come back,” White said, of fighters who broke the law and / or the conduct policies of the country. ‘UFC. “There’s one thing you never bounce back on and that’s getting your hands on a woman. I’ve been like this in UFC since we started here. You don’t bounce back by putting your hands on a woman.
Members of the media present did not do their job. This is not the first time, but as it is every time these situations arise, each is embarrassing.
Despite White’s claims above, the promotion hosted (and continues to host) several fighters accused of domestic violence and allegations against them. In particular, playing an ongoing role in the public rehabilitation of former NFL star Greg Hardy. To many, it seems like they can ‘bounce back’, especially when control isn’t following.
By not even asking for the standard, canned statement, members of the media showed the hold the promotion had over them. But, if there is any fear of losing credentials to future events – which many in the media arguably have – I would ask if those credentials and access are worth the credibility they cost. .
Even if it’s just the fear of being “the only one” to take a stand; that White will choose the one who is brave enough to bring up the subject and engage in a rant against them live and in public. Should it even be a fear? White’s boastfulness and red-faced antics are well known by now. The media should expect this kind of refusal as part of the process to have the audacity to ask a legitimate question.
Did White act out an investigation of Perry or make a vague statement about a third party investigation? Probably. But the job is always to ask and find out.
The longer the media waits to ask questions about Perry, the easier it will be for the story to fall by the wayside – replaced by another minor transgression that’s more comfortable for wringing your hand. Leon Edwards’ removal from the UFC rankings seems like a perfect opportunity to move on to a topic that doesn’t have a significant impact. And that is exactly what the UFC wants, that these allegations be brushed aside, not discussed. But domestic violence should be too great to be easily dismissed.
If the media doesn’t pressure White and the UFC on the matter, it creates a climate that suggests a certain level of comfort in the face of domestic violence among fighters. And silence can so easily turn into approval. No one should want to be seen as accepting it as part of MMA culture. If the UFC is comfortable with these things, that’s their choice. But the media should always be prepared to back down. That’s what has to happen with allegations like the ones against Perry.
However, “Platinum” was not the only ball dropped during the UFC 254 presser. The other thing that went unmentioned came when White, who vocally and visibly supported Donald Trump’s candidacy for Donald Trump’s re-election, spoke out. told the gathered media how he hoped that much of the “bullshit” the UFC is going through right now would disappear after the presidential election. .
Not a person tried to ask White what he meant by this statement and what he hoped to change and who he hoped would change it. And it’s not like this is White’s first time making this statement. But, instead of pushing back, the media dropped him like shit in a punch bowl. He was setting there. Everyone has seen it. No one dared to mention it.
There is still time to resolve both issues. White is likely to appear at the UFC 254 post-fight press conference, where there will likely be ample opportunity to question him again, on the spot. Until then, however, those present at “Fight Island” should consider how much their jobs involve being the unpaid public relations wing of the UFC.