Dominick Cruz's unlikely call out of Monster Energy employee Hans Molenkamp had UFC President Dana White scratching his head.
Cruz had Joe Rogan flustered after calling out Molenkamp at UFC 259. Cruz, who was coming off a split decision win over Casey Kenney, threw down the gauntlet for a charity fight with Molenkamp. For the uninitiated, Molenkamp deals with sponsorship deals between combat sports athletes and Monster Energy.
“He’ll probably love that he’s getting plugged like this, to be honest, so it’s actually a benefit for him, so he should thank me,” Cruz told the press on Saturday (h/t MMA Fighting). “It was just that we’re in a day and age where you can—If I take a picture with Conor McGregor like this, now I’m Conor McGregor’s friend, right? If I take a picture with Dominick Cruz and have him commenting on my page, we’re in a day and age where that looks like we’re friends. Well, I may be your friend, but you can’t use me in order to get clout as they put it. I’m not here to be used."
“Look at my face, look at my body, I get beat to death for a living. So when you try to force me and you text me if I don’t comment on your page, if I don’t give you an interview, that you’re going to take what pays my bills? What are we doing?" Cruz asked. "Monster sponsors me, not you. This was a callout because he calls himself a pro fighter. He’s got a hundred pounds weight on me and I’m like, we can make this a win-win situation. Let’s do a charity event, Monster picks the charity, and then we scrap it out. He says he’s got three pro fights, let’s prove it, put your money where your mouth is. You’ve got a little, tiny guy calling you out for charity, not for anything else. Why not?”
“It’s not trapped in a contract, it’s forced to give him clout, forced to hype him up if I want to make money,” he added. “Monster pays me, so the equivalent would be does the UFC pay me? Yes. Does Dana White own the UFC? Yes. So if Dana White says, ‘Hey, go on my page, and like my page’—Dana White has gone on this man’s page and said something. They ignored it like it didn’t happen. So I’m not the first one to say something, Dana’s also said something, maybe ask him about it.”
Cruz called on White to get involved.
“Dana, maybe you’ll do it,” Cruz said. “Maybe you can set up this charity event. He calls himself a pro fighter, Hans, let’s go.”
White admitted he was caught off guard by Cruz's callout.
“It’s all weird,” White said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference. “Is Hans a goofy dude? Yeah, he’s a very goofy dude. But they’re a sponsor. These guys are a sponsor, they’re great sponsors, they pay these guys a lot of money. Monster is one of these companies that really, really takes care of people and it’s their company. They can sponsor whoever they want, they can run their business however they want. This isn’t like a work situation where you’re working for somebody and you’re not happy about the way you’re being treated. This is a sponsorship deal. These guys can spend their money and run their company however they want to and nobody’s guaranteed money from a sponsor. It’s a privilege to get money from a sponsor. So if you don’t like the way they do business, don’t do business with them."
“They’ve been good to us. They’ve been good to the sport and they’ve definitely been good to the fighters. I get it, he doesn’t like him and some guys have a problem with him," White concluded. "It's easy to figure that one out, but Monster as a company, they’ve been solid, they couldn’t be any better.”