Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, found himself on Justin Gaethje’s sh*tlist after the two men exchanged words on Twitter.
Last year, Portnoy signed popular UK-based duo Molly McCann and Paddy Pimblett to exclusive deals, creating content for the Barstool Sports platform. At UFC 281, McCann came up short against Erin Blanchfield, but Pimblett scored a win for the Barstool team a month later at UFC 282. However, the win came with a massive dose of controversy as practically everyone had scored the bout in favor of Pimbett’s opponent, Jared Gordon.
Speaking with Joe Rogan, Portnoy recounted what caused the brief Twitter spat between himself and ‘the most violent man in MMA,’ Justin Gaethje.
“I thought it was a close decision,” Portnoy said on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “[Gaethje] threatened to beat me up. That’s not saying much. Your producer could beat me up. That’s not much of a threat. I’ve never been in a physical altercation in my life.
“After the fight, Paddy in the ring [says], ‘fight of the night!’” he explained. “The third round, they didn’t throw a punch. It wasn’t fight of the night, but he was talking fight of the night. Paddy’s our guy. So, we’re saying, ‘Fight of the night, fight of the night!’ He (Gaethje) got mad at us. He’s like, ‘You’re trying to steal money from the actual fighters who won fight of the night.’ We’re like no we didn’t … People littered the comments that he was out with a third-world dictator [Ramzan Kadyrov]. So, I hit him back with that. We just said Paddy was fight of the night, you were out with the [Chechen] dictator, one of the worst guys on the planet” (h/t MMA Mania).
People are telling me @Justin_Gaethje was recently seen hanging out with a warlord accused of brutal crimes against humanity so its hypocritical for him to say we look bad for supporting Paddy when he supports a warlord. I’m gonna take high road + not mention it. #daveyhighroad https://t.co/TiuBhAnnrp
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 11, 2022
In November, Gaethje was spotted in Chechnya alongside fellow UFC fighters Kamaru Usman and Henry Cejudo. The trio was reportedly in the republic at the invitation of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov. During his back-and-forth with Portnoy, Gaethje denied ever meeting Kadyrov but admitted to accepting an invitation to a birthday party for the warlord’s son.
I said people are saying it. I intentionally didn’t say it. I took the high road. But the entire internet/world are saying it. I won’t post where I saw it. https://t.co/XCMQehTHUE https://t.co/LIC24K0ish
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 12, 2022