UFC president Dana White has been roasted by fans after posting a bizarre video that painted him as the saviour of American sport in 2020.
The highly-successful administrator shared the video to his Twitter account on Tuesday morning (AEDT), congratulating himself on a year in which he managed to keep the Ultimate Fighting Championship running despite the COVID pandemic.
“As we roll into 2021, I just wanted to remind everyone there’s ALWAYS a solution to every problem!” White wrote.
“So, cut through all the bullshit, and don’t let these people that don’t matter tell you how to live your life.
“It’s up to YOU to take care of your business, your family, your employees, and those you care about!”
The video detailed how the UFC was able to rise above every other sport in America by going ahead as the pandemic spread across the world.
It showed how despite condemnation from journalists, commentators and health experts, White stuck to his guns and eventually organised fights to be hosted on the UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
“The media said I was risking people’s health to line my own pockets. I didn’t do this so I can make more money,” White said in the video.
“I have plenty of money. I did this so my fighters can make money and my employers can continue to make a living and feed their families.”
“Our events were successful in every way, shape and form that an event can be successful.
“I’m proud of my crew. We pulled this thing off. That’s what we’ve always done and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
The 51-year-old also spruiked the success his company experienced in 2020, including a 33% increase in viewership and no job losses in the business.
“A lot of people did not want this to happen,” White said.
“But what we’re really good at is proving people wrong. That is what we do at the UFC.”
The blowback was instantaneous with many fans and journalists immediately questioning the publicity stunt given its timing with America still reeling from the pandemic.
Just last Friday the country experienced a record 250,000 cases in one day, as well as 2,800 deaths.
Writing for MMA Mania, journalist Jesse Holland was bemused by the “self-congratulatory” announcement.
“Sure, 1.7 million people are dead, over seven million folks lost their jobs in the United States; but hey, UFC store sales are at a record high, increasing 135 percent!” Holland wrote.
“Still not impressed? Live viewership was up 33 percent!”
The response was also scathing on Twitter as many fans reminded White that UFC fights are much easier to organise than football and basketball games.
“I always thought the UFC could pull it off because it’s in its own bubble by nature but if your implying every business could do what the UFC did you’re wrong,” one fan wrote.
“Congrats on not having to deal with team sports with dozens of players that are based, and play in, specific cities. You did a fantastic job and should be proud, but settle down a bit: you aren’t as awesome as you think you are,” wrother another.
However other fans were totally totally supportive of White and his hype video, with many thanking the UFC president for keeping the sport running against all the odds.
“LOVE THIS. Huge fan of what you are doing Dana. Looking forward to watching in 2021,” one fan wrote.
“Thank you for providing weekly entertainment when all other professional sports leagues were looking for excuses to not play or cut their season short,” another said.
“MMA might seem like a small part of life but it gave us something to look forward to each weekend in this hell year!”