UFC fighting with Culinary Workers Union

Readers: UFC writer Brian Martin wrote this story out of today’s UFC media day in Los Angeles:

By Brian Martin, Staff Writer

UFC president Dana White is no friend of the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 of Las Vegas.

At issue is the union’s beef against anyone with ties to UFC parent company Zuffa, which was founded in 2001 by Station Casinos executives Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta. For years the Culinary Workers have been trying to unionize Station Casinos and, through pointing out any and all negative aspects of the UFC to advertisers and regulators, have proved to be a major pain for Zuffa and the UFC.

White, the figurehead for all things UFC, never shies away from a question, and quite often if it raises his ire, one can expect a passionate response along with a few expletives for good measure.

Such was the case Thursday at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live after a press conference for Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 at Staples Center.

While the Culinary Workers Union is largely blamed for the UFC’s inability to get MMA legalized and regulated in New York, White has also alleged it is behind legislation in Sacramento that he claims would force the UFC to stop holding events in California. AB2100 would abolish exclusive contracts and impose a 5% tax on broadcast fees. In April, the bill passed through the committee for Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media by a 5-3 vote and is headed to the Committee on Appropriations.

The latest salvo by the Culinary Workers Union that has White’s attention is a video piecing together comments by White and UFC fighters that could be viewed as profane, derogatory, misogynistic and homophobic.

But the real target of the video is actress Mandy Moore, who is known for her wholesome image as well as being a vocal UFC fan. The video goes so far as to question her being a positive role model because of her affinity for the UFC.

When White was asked Thursday whether AB2100 might hamper the UFC’s presence in California, even after he praised holding fights in Los Angeles and at Staples Center, he pulled no punches.

“The Las Vegas Culinary Union. They’re gangsters who continue to mess with us, you know? That’s what these guys are — they’re gangsters. They started this online attack of Mandy Moore because she’s a fan of the UFC. Let me tell you what. This is what scumbags the Las Vegas Culinary Union are. They’re scummy, scummy people. Mandy Moore is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. She’s sweet. She would never hurt a fly. These scumbags are out there attacking her online and going to people like Disney and all these people she does business with because she’s a UFC fan. You’re scuzzbags. Total scumbags, the Culinary Union. They’re just dirty people, man. I don’t give a shit about them. Say what you want about me, I don’t give a shit. I don’t care what you do or what you say about me. Start websites about me, run commercials about me. Go on YouTube, you can see everything I’ve ever said in my whole life anyway. It’s all right there on YouTube. You’re not saying anything that anybody doesn’t know. I couldn’t care less what you say about me, you scumbags. But when you start attacking a sweet person like Mandy Moore because you want another $11 million from Station Casinos, you’re a scumbag.”

When asked whether he stands by his stance that the UFC would not return to California should AB2100 become law, White stuck to his guns.

“No doubt about it. We’ll see what happens. This is my life, man. This is what we do. We started out, we weren’t sanctioned anywhere. We’re still trying to get into NY. We’re working on France and all these other places. It takes time. Things are always gonna pop up. Things are always gonna happen. And we gotta deal with them.”

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