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July 31, 2015

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j. patrick coolican:

Odds on UFC President Dana White running his mouth? Very good

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Sam Morris

UFC President Dana White answers questions during a news conference Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican

Imagine NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tweeting that the Saints are 10-1 to win the Super Bowl next year.

Yeah, probably not.

But here’s Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, on Twitter earlier today: “TUF Live tonight on FX the MGM has Sicilia -350 vs Saunders +290.”

In English, this means, you can bet $350 on Sam Sicilia to win $100, or $100 on Chris Saunders to win $290.

They fight live tonight as part of a UFC reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter Live,” on FX. Because the show is live for the first time this season, sports books, such as at the MGM Grand, can take bets.

I suppose we can appreciate White’s honesty compared with other sports’ commissioners, whose leagues benefit greatly from the enthusiasm generated by Vegas betting but keep their distance from our gambling dens.

But White’s loose talk seems inappropriate, especially as UFC tries to earn legitimacy. White has whined repeatedly about New York refusing to license the sport. He blames the Culinary Union, which is in a vicious fight with UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta over whether workers at Station Casinos will be unionized. (Station does not take UFC bets.)

The union, White charges, has used its political influence to prevent UFC’s entrance into New York. By haphazardly associating his sport with Vegas sports betting, White is giving New York authorities an excuse not to welcome UFC.

White has a history of ill-considered remarks. Once again, it seems he’s thrown extra hot sauce on his well-heeled foot.

Uh-oh, there goes my UFC credential.

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