Much like the fighters who bloody up the octagon on a regular basis, UFC fans are quite an uproarious bunch, so it was not surprising at all when many of them decried bossman Dana White's decision to once again raise the prices of pay-per-view events going into the highly anticipated UFC 257, which will be back on Fight Island. But for everybody who is flippantly saying they won't pay it, and will instead opt to find a way to stream it illegally, Dana White is coming after you. In theory, at least.
After Dana White shared an Instagram post promoting the upcoming rematch brawl between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, one sarcastic fan thanked White and implied he'd watching the fights via a pirated website. That led to the UFC boss issuing a direct threat to that fan and others, complete with double fist emojis.
Dana White's response was equally threatening and vague AF, since he didn't indicate exactly what he has in mind for curbing illegal streaming of UFC PPV events. Whatever it is, though, he seems pretty confident that some form of vengeance is potentially in the cards. Not only does he imply he's going to "catch" the fan in question – and with three exclamation marks, no doubt – but that there's some kind of surprise punishment will be dished out after the fact. You can tell he meant business, too, because he fully spelled out "fuckers' while the fan had quasi-censored his own "fuxk" above it.
I will go on the record to say I doubt the surprise he's talking about involves someone popping out of a cake. Although that would be a pretty cool way to start off the McGregor-Poirier fight. But what's Dana White actually planning here? Is he going to sic Amanda Nunes on people like he wanted to do with Jake Paul? Or maybe he'll just sic Jake Paul on people...
The world of online pirating has long been a thorn in the side of scripted entertainment projects, from blockbuster movies to epic TV shows, and it's had a measurable effect on the industry over the years. The same can easily be said for pirated sporting events such as UFC PPVs and NFL games, though they don't get quite as much coverage as other forms. and Dana White has taken steps to keep such behavior to a minimum in the past, such as bringing in companies to monitor social media for posts about illegal feeds, and to seek out websites sharing links to such feeds.
Such strategies aren't always successful, and there will always be someone else out there finding ways to host links without drawing the attention of Dana White & Co. But it's certainly possible that White has found a new and surprisingly effective strategy to take down illegal streamers (i.e. "u mother fuckers") going into 2021. I guess we won't know until it gets here, though.
To be sure, not a lot of fans seem to be giving Dana White's threats any weight, since it's not the first time he's spoken out against such behavior. Plus, UFC fans seem to be quite fond at ruffling White's feathers, along with those of just about anybody else in the company. Probably still isn't that smart to antagonize him about pirating his shit in such a public forum, though, even if it does suck that the prices are going up only a year after the last increase.
UFC 257 will go live on ESPN+ on Saturday, January 23, starting at the usual time of 7:00 PST, with prelim fights starting up a couple of hours earlier. While waiting to see all the action, head to our Winter and Spring 2021 TV premiere schedule.