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Opening Round: UFC vs. ESPN

Just when it seems like all is right in the MMA world, something happens.

The latest “something” to go down involves the UFC, company president Dana White, and ESPN.

ESPN, the cable sports giant, recently produced a segment for Outside The Lines dealing with the idea that the UFC has created a monopoly in the MMA world by buying out the other promotions around the world to become the only source of fighting for those in the game.

To follow up, a reporter for ESPN, Josh Gross, put together an editorial about fighter salaries, dealing mostly with low pay for the non-main event competitors in the UFC. Gross has come under fire before by White and the UFC for revealing results from a season of the Ultimate Fighter.

As you can imagine, White is upset, taking to his Twitter account to defend himself, his company, and his ways.

This is a difficult road for the UFC to take, as finding a spot on any and all ESPN shows would only help make them a bigger force in the sports world. UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones was recently featured on several ESPN telecasts, while numerous others like UFC welterweight title-holder Georges St. Pierre and White himself have been featured in the past.

However, at the same time, if the UFC feels that the way they were shown is wrong and does not really display how things happen, then they have every right to answer ESPN. White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Frank Fertitta, and the rest of the UFC have fought off numerous naysayers and challengers in the past, so this is nothing new for them.

With the backing of FOX, which is likely a main reason for the attacks by ESPN (ESPN is owned by Disney, which also owns ABC, which is a main competitor of FOX), the UFC is headed in the right direction with – or without – the support of ESPN.

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

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