The Proper Response to Public Debate

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Marketing, PR, UFC

Earlier this year I provided a general tip sheet for media interviews.  The idea behind it was to provide young fighters with some basic do’s and don’ts to make sure they get the message across they hope to.  Let’s be honest, you’re nervous, the adrenaline is pumping who knows if you’ll say what you really mean if you don’t take a moment and reflect on it first.

The recent war of words in the MMA world made me take another look back at basic public communication etiquette.  There are enough articles and blog posts circling the Dana White/Greg Jackson debacle for blood hoping there is some sort of larger story.  Me? I’m not looking for that story.  I’m just looking at how they communicate publicly. (For those not in the know, White recently criticized Jackson MMA for ‘safety first’ game plans.)

My best advice when being called out is to not respond emotionally.  Remember: this is business, not personal. The last thing you want to be in is a public pissing contest.  Instead, you want to be sure you only discuss the facts and back up what you say with proof – not just pride.  I said yesterday that I hate numbers, but ladies & gents I love the story they can help you tell. The following is from a recent interview by Greg Jackson responding to White’s criticism (as chronicled in a recent post by The MMA Torch):

In the UFC alone, so far this year (2010) there have been 22 events, and our team has been honored with 12 bonuses. That means for one out of every two UFC’s you watch, our team is taking home either Knockout, Submission, or Fight of the Night honors.”

Jackson’s camp gathered some statistics on their fighters and what they have done since becoming a part of the camp, as well as what a lot of them have done in their recent fights.

Here’s what the camp laid out:

Nate Marquardt:
All stoppages in last four wins
Fight of the Night bonus at UFC 109 on Feb. 6, 2010

Joe Stevenson (last three fights with Jackson’s):
Submission of the Night
Fight of the Night
Fight of the Night (most recent at UFC 110 on Feb. 21, 2010)

Georges St. Pierre:
Retains his welterweight world title

Kyle Noke:
2-0 with 2 finishes

Jon Jones:
Finished two of the last of three opponents in the first round
Knockout of the Night at UFC LIVE on March 21, 2010

Melvin Guillard:
Undefeated since joining the team; 3-0 with 1 KO

Clay Guida:
Two submission finishes in his last three fights
Submission of the Night at UFC LIVE on March 21, 2010

Shane Carwin:
Finished four of five opponents in the first round
Knockout of the Night at UFC 111 on March 27, 2010

Ryan Jensen:
Submission of the Night at UFC 114

Rashad Evans:
Regains No. 1 contender spot for light heavyweight title

Carlos Condit (in his two fights since joining the team):
Fight of the Night at UFC 115 on June 12, 2010
Knockout of the Night at UFC 120 on Oct. 16, 2010

Keith Jardine:
Fight of the Night at The Ultimate Fighter Finale on June 19, 2010

Brian Stann (since making the transition to 185 lbs.):
Fight of the Night at UFC LIVE on Aug. 1, 2010

Yoshihiro Akiyama:
Fight of the Night at UFC 120 on Oct. 16, 2010

Diego Sanchez:
Rejoined Jackson team and snapped losing streak
Fight of the Night at UFC 121 on Oct. 23, 2010

Leonard Garcia:
Fight of the Night at WEC 47 on March 6, 2010
Fight of the Night at WEC 48 on April 24, 2010 *Candidate for Fight of the Year*

Damacio Page:
Two of last three fights in the WEC were first-round finishes

Cub Swanson:
Fight of the Night at WEC 52 on Nov. 11, 2010
-Had another Fight of the Night bonus in November 2009

Donald Cerrone:
Six of his last seven fights have been awarded Fight or Submission of the Night

Brendan Schaub:
Won two of last three fights by first-round knockout

My Take: **This is how you respond to public criticism.  With cold, hard facts.**

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Comments
  1. […] of MMA topics, I’ve also written about how to give sound bites and how to respond to public debate.  Why? Because it is clear that not everyone knows how to do these things properly. This past […]

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