NOTTINGHAM, England – The UFC may forever be mired in a perpetual state of trying to please everyone, as impossible as that might be.
"Why don't you do more shows in the United Kingdom?" "When are you coming back to (insert city here)?" "How come you aren't on TV where I live?"
UFC President Dana White on Saturday reiterated what he's said before – the UFC and MMA are blowing up, big time, and fans need to take a leap of faith that things are going to work out for everyone's benefit.
"I can't tell you everything we're doing – so when I try to explain it, it's half-assed," White told MMAjunkie.com. "When I see reporters back home trying to write out our business model, and 'Here's what they need to do' – shut the f--- up. It drives me crazy. (Reporters) have no idea what's going on, and (they) try to jump in the middle and talk about what's wrong and how to fix it. These guys that start writing these stories about what's broken, it drives me nuts."
When asked if the UFC could do more shows in the U.K., which White acknowledges has been a recent criticism of the company, he said ultimately more shows will be able to take place in Europe, for example, without taking away from shows in the United States – and it all can be done within the promotion's deal with FOX.
Currently, the UFC's FOX broadcast deal calls for four shows a year on FOX, eight on FX (including a pair of finales for "The Ultimate Fighter") and six on FUEL TV. UFC on FUEL TV 5 took place Saturday in Nottingham, England. Apart from the 18 shows on the FOX family of networks, the UFC, of course, does pay-per-view cards as part of its primary business model.
"You have to sit back and just watch," White said. "We're changing everything up. Things are going to be done completely different than they were. The answer isn't do less shows.
"When we were doing five shows a year, when we were doing eight shows a year – you can't grow the sport with five or eight shows a year. You can't bring in enough talent, enough guys can't make money. You can't cultivate all these different markets. You have to have fights. To get it done and do it the right way, you've got to have the TV deals."
And while White couldn't go into details on what might be brewing down the road with those TV deals, the fact the UFC is expanding into India and China, further into Brazil, landing TV deals in new parts of the world – it all appears to bode well for the MMA consumer.
And White continues to believe being on TV, especially with FOX in the U.S., is key to all of it.
"Everybody's like, 'This FOX thing was such a … this and that,' The FOX thing is the greatest thing to ever f---ing happen to this sport, and the greatest thing to ever happen to us," White said. "It will be all flushed out in the next three or four years. It's going to be great – just a lot of work."
For more on the UFC's upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.