by Geno Mrosko
Make (martial) art(s), not war.
The UFC and Spike TV are in the midst of doing both, as each side jockeys for position in what is turning out to be a down and dirty negotiating period for the two scorned former partners in fights.
The world's largest MMA promotion became just that thanks to the network giving it a sweet time slot for the eventual breakthrough hit "The Ultimate Fighter" back in 2005.
The two have been joined at the hip ever since.
However, things change and partners grow apart, as has been the case here.
Recent reports showed that UFC was in talks to purchase its own channel, the G4 network, and would leave its contract on the table as soon as the current deal expires.
This has led to some posturing from the executives at Spike, who recently counter programmed an event, UFC on Versus 4, by airing a block of Octagon programming -- which ended up winning the ratings battle.
That was a kick to the sack ... and Dana White felt it.
"They might have. We'll see. It is what it is. So, I owe you one, Spike. Negotiating is never fun and even though you're negotiating and are in good faith and all this stuff, you know, you're still giving some kicks to the balls here and there. Plus, the 'Wall Street Journal' came out and said all the things that they said about our negotiations, so I see Spike's side. What the 'Wall Street Journal' put out and what everybody's saying - none of that's true. People are out there speculating on what's going on. We have no deal with anybody. We're out there talking to everybody. So I don't buy into that stuff. When deals are done, and everybody does what they're going to do, then we'll see what happens."
To be completely fair, White also repeatedly stated that he would have done the exact same thing if he were in their position.
These things happen in contract negotiations.
But that doesn't mean he has to like it, especially considering Spike's insistence in airing the UFC 132 "Countdown" show at 1:12 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
That's really sending a message.
But, while White heard it loud and clear and has put it in the old memory bank, he says no deal with any other network is imminent and continued with his stock narrative that "we'll see what happens."
Indeed, we will.