UFC president Dana White is no stranger to development deals as he offered another one earlier this week to William Knight.
Knight — who is 5-0 — defeated Herdem Alecabek at Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday. But instead of a full UFC contract, he received a development deal from the promotion.
The reason? So he doesn’t get slaughtered in the UFC:
“You take a guy who’s fought for 15 months and throw him into the light heavyweight division in the UFC, that’s just (expletive) mean,” White told media (via MMA Junkie). “That’s just (expletive) mean, and we’ll move him the way we’ve done a lot of guys, including (Greg) Hardy.
“I wouldn’t want to bring a guy like that in just to get slaughtered. I’d rather let him go back out and fight in the smaller shows some more – get 10, 11 wins and see how he looks from there and try again. But we all agree that we felt that we should give him the shot.”
White: All About Exposure
As White mentioned, Hardy was given a development deal before being brought into the UFC on a full-time basis earlier this year.
Another benefit for these fighters, according to White, is that they can get exposure under the UFC before they officially fight for the UFC.
“Definitely, we could put guys in (‘The Ultimate Fighter’), we could have guys fighting on ‘(Dana White): Lookin’ for a Fight’ whenever we do a show,” White added. “The Contender Series, ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ – it’s all about getting these guys exposure.
“We take these guys that nobody knows and nobody’s ever seen or heard of before, tell their story, you watch them fight, and these things pull big numbers. Before they ever set foot in the UFC, (3.5) million people or whatever have seen them fight. That’s what these shows are designed to do: find and build talent.”
What do you think of the development deal concept?
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