John McCarthy has countered Dana White’s claims of the best fighters being in the UFC.
The success of Bellator vs RIZIN has sparked discussions about other cross-promotional MMA events. Scott Coker and Bellator have led the way by being open to working with any other promotions. Meanwhile, Dana White has no interest in co-promoting. He had this to say during Paddy Pimblett’s podcast Chattin Pony:
“If somebody’s really that good, and they’re in another promotion, they’re going to be here anyway.”
It’s fair to say no other MMA promotion is close to being superior to the UFC. With that said, there are specific fighters outside of the UFC that would be competitive against their champions. Former UFC referee and current Bellator commentator ‘Big’ John McCarthy has provided a counterargument to White’s claims.
John McCarthy responds to Dana White’s comments
John McCarthy disagrees with Dana White’s comments. McCarthy believes the legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko is a primary example. During an episode of the Weighing In podcast, the Bellator commentator responded to White’s claims of the best fighters being in the UFC by saying this, which MMAFighting quoted:
“Sorry, it’s already been proven that that’s just not true, and there’s a lot of guys out there that …look, this guy’s good, he deserved to be fighting against guys in the UFC. But he decided, I don’t want to put up with some of the things that are there, and decided, ‘I’m not going there. I’ll continue to fight, and I’ll continue to fight where I want to fight and I’ll make my money this way,’ and they have.
McCarthy is on the Bellator payroll, but he does have a solid argument. Several Bellator fighters could beat a handful of ranked UFC fighters, including Johnny Eblen, Vadim Nemkov, and Usman Nurmagomedov. The Bellator commentator continued by directly referencing White’s comments:
“I’m not saying [White is] wrong. But to say that all the good ones are going to end up here anyways, that’s not true. He’s not lying, but he’s not looking back and saying that one, this one [didn’t go to the UFC].”
Outside of Bellator, other promotions are willing to co-promote. Chatri Sityodtong and ONE Championship are currently out of the question, but PFL and RIZIN are open to working with other promotions. Only time will tell if 2023 features any MMA spectacles like Bellator vs RIZIN.