Messages Involving The UFC Brass Expose Aggressive Negotiation Tactics

The UFC executives find themselves somewhat over the coals this week, as deal making correspondence among their team is brought to light.

It is a surprise to no one to hear the “news” that Dana White and the Fertitta brothers are tough negotiators. But, the emails and text messages that were obtained by Bloody Elbow this week displayed a level of deception that further exposed the umbrella of disrespect in the UFC.

Through the ongoing Zuffa antitrust lawsuit, the public previously learned about former matchmaker Joe Silva’s questionable business practices. But, as the lawsuit continues and more information gets revealed, it is clear that this is just the way the higher ups at the UFC handle certain scenarios.

Just one example that paints an accurate picture of the situation was the thread of messages in which White praised Lorenzo Fertitta for the approach he took in preventing Gilbert Melendez from leaving the UFC for Bellator MMA.

“Bro, u know i love u to fukn death as it is but what u pulled off this week with Melendez and “other dude” is fukn BAD ASS! Fukn cut throat nasty business like u see in movies!!” – Dana White

“We gotta keep taking these f—rs oxygen till they tap out. We have sacrificed too much to let anyone get traction now,” – Lorenzo Fertitta

“I agree! U r 100% correct and i LOVE IT,” – Dana White

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Further unredacted emails have also been released surrounding Nate Diaz’s pay. In this back and forth, it is clear that Joe Silva and Fertitta purposely lowballed Diaz, and even planned to punish him by matching him with a tough fighter on the prelim card for his last fight if he refused to play ball.

“Do we let Strikeforce pay him $48,000 + $48,000 or do we give them what they want?” Joe Silva asked White and Fertitta. “He was making 24+24. I offered 27+27 30+30 33+33 36+36.”

“He should be willing to take less money from us,” Fertitta responded, before bringing up Diaz’s multiple performance bonuses from his fights.

“I lowballed them on purpose the first offer knowing they would turn it down. How about I come back with 29+29 32+32 35+35 38+38,” Silva wrote. “If they turn it down I put him in a prelim against a really tough guy for his last fight.”

A separate, yet just as concerning, topic involved in the antitrust lawsuit is the contracts that the UFC has drawn up that allow the organization to extend deals during negotiations. In the below email, Joe Silva was asked by Vladimir Matyushenko’s team if there are any other options in matchups other than Jon Jones for them to discuss. Silva responded by threatening to extend the fighter’s contract and leave him on the sidelines.


The full batch of the uncovered text messages and emails can be found at

Dana WhiteGilbert MelendezJoe SilvaLorenzo FertittaMMANate DiazUFCZUFFA