Dana White Responds to Streep’s MMA Diss
The MMA world was taken aback on Sunday night, when actress Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes acceptance speech included an unexpected dig at the combat sport. Many fighters and media members have responded unfavorably to Streep’s comment, and now UFC President Dana White has chimed in.
In a politically-charged speech directed at Donald Trump, Streep added a slight at pro football and MMA.
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said. “And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
Speaking with TMZ Sports, UFC President Dana White was predictably unrestrained in his response to the actresses’s comments.
“It’s not going to be everybody’s thing,” White said, “and the last thing I expected is an uppity 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts.”
White is famously friends with president-elect Trump, and he was asked whether or not that relationship played a role in Streep’s dig at MMA.
“I don’t know, maybe; maybe she did, I’m not sure. [WME-IMG boss and UFC owner] Ari Emanuel is definitely Hollywood and he makes movies and TV shows and wasn’t a Trump supporter either. But, I don’t know.”
One of the elements of Streep’s comments that angered the MMA community was the implication that the sport is not diverse, which White further refuted.
“If you really look at who follows the UFC and is in to mixed martial arts, it’s everybody,” White said. “Like I said: I don’t expect an 80-year-old woman to be a big fan of mixed martial arts. And listen, everybody’s into what they’re…I’m not a big fan of golf. Doesn’t mean people should stop watching it. If you don’t like it, change the channel.”
Finally, White dismissed Streep’s labeling of MMA as “not an art”:
“Of course it’s an art. These fighters, these men and women, are so talented. They train their whole lives to become the best in the world. And the people who get into the UFC are the elite of the elite. Saying something stupid like that is like saying she’s not a talented actress, which she is. She is a very talented actress.
“We have fighters from all over the world. We do fights in tons of foreign countries. She’s not educated about the sport and it was a completely uneducated comment.”