Dana White Disputes Notion That UFC 284 Headliner Hasn’t Been Properly Promoted

While it may seem like the UFC 284 main event hasn’t received the attention it deserves, Dana White says that simply isn’t the case.

The event features a showdown for the lightweight belt between two of the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighters in Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski. In a recent interview with RSports Russia, Makhachev voiced concerns that more promotion for the pay-per-view could have been done.

“I see that it is not such big promotion,” Makhachev said. “Dana White himself has some problems. He does not pay much attention to this fight. Here in Perth, everyone knows about the fight and is looking forward to it. And in terms of pay-per-view, yes, more could have been done. I only saw Volkanovski once, in Sydney. A tour could be organized around the world. A [news] conference could be held in America.”

In many cases, the week-to-week grind of the MMA schedule limits the focus on any one event. However, White claims that Makhachev’s interview was potentially mistranslated or taken out of context. He also believes that Makhachev may be disconnected in part because of where he lives. In an interview on The Jim Rome Show, the UFC president claimed that UFC 284 is trending to be one of the top pay-per-views in organization history.

“Yeah, that’s not true,” White said (H/T MMAFighting.com). “First of all, I’ve talked to Islam. First of all, who interviewed him? Who translated for him? I mean, the guy speaks Russian. Taken out of context.

“First of all, he lives in Dagestan. What does he know about what’s going on for the promotion of the fight? He doesn’t know anything,” White added “It’s going to be one of the top-five biggest fights of all-time. First of all, the event sold out. Right? You couldn’t get a ticket if you wanted to get a ticket in Perth. And this thing is trending right now to be the biggest pay-per-view event in Australia, which, it’s like six percent behind the Conor McGregor [vs. Dustin] Poirier 3 fight. It’s probably going to break the record. So to say that the fight hasn’t been [promoted], that’s just ridiculous. That’s what you call some internet BS.”

Tthe UFC, of course, does not release buy rates for its premium events, though occasionally industry estimates will provide a reasonable idea of how well one has sold. Whether UFC 284 proves to be one of the top sellers ever remains to be seen.

UFC 284 takes place at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on Saturday. In addition to the Makhachev-Volkanovski headliner, the event will see Yair Rodriguez square off against Josh Emmett for the interim featherweight crown in the co-headliner. The main card airs on pay-per-view via ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while prelims begin on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT before moving to ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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