White slams JDS-Klitschko possibility

Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko
Dana White: Dos Santos could KO Klitschko, but why bother?
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


Mixed martial artist vs. boxer has become one of the great ongoing story lines in combat sports. It’s come to fruition a few times, and almost without fail, the athlete in his home environment has won handily. Still, that hasn’t halted future callouts, including one from former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who recently renewed his claim that he could beat boxing heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Sure, we’d probably pay to watch it, even if Klitschko doesn’t exactly incite excitement with his plodding style. But UFC president Dana White? Even though he’s a boxing fan, let’s just say he’s not a Klitschko fan, and even if he feels dos Santos has a chance, he’s not interested in letting him take it.

Klitschko's "embarrassing" win over Alexander Povetkin

“Who knows? Maybe Junior dos Santos could go in and knock out Klitschko or something. To say, 'Absolutely not, it could never happen.' We couldn't say that,” he said at Thursday’s UFC 166 media day in Houston. “Anybody could get caught on any given night. Anything can happen. I don't want to see it. I don't want to see this sh-t, f--king running at him and grabbing him. It's embarrassing. I wouldn't want to put Junior in there to do that. Listen, if Klitschko fought, if he actually fought -- what he does isn't fighting.”

White was, shall we say “critical,” of Klitschko’s most recent performance, a 12-round unanimous decision over Alexander Povetkin that was also slammed by many in the boxing media. His performance was heavy on pushing and clinching -- one boxing site counted 36 clinches through just the first three rounds -- although he did score four knockdowns en route to victory.

White called the performance “disgusting” and “embarrassing,” and said that Klitschko should have been disqualified. Taking his rant further, he basically alleged that the reigning champ was killing the division, saying it was “lost.”

The UFC president is not interested in JDS vs. Klitschko.

“I saw the Klitschko brothers in Los Angeles one time. They're f--king monsters. They're huge,” he said. “But how are you going to fight a guy that doesn't want to fight? That guy doesn't want to fight anybody. He wants to grab you by your f--king head and lay on you. Literally, to the point it's embarrassing. Where he runs and grabs on to you. It's f--king disgusting.”

Klitschko earned $17 million for the fight, so there’s no question that if dos Santos wanted to fight him, he’d have to do it in a ring, on Klitschko’s home turf. But as long as White is UFC president, there’s little chance he’ll send one of his guys to provide a spark where there is none. Anyway, dos Santos has his hands full with Cain Velasquez on Saturday night.

“Normally in boxing, like when Tyson was in there, heavyweight matches were exciting,” he said. “I don't know who wants to watch that sh-t. It's literally embarrassing. It's f--king embarrassing. Those guys are an embarrassment to the sport of boxing.”

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