Dana White reached out to President Trump in an effort to save Navid Afkari: ‘It’s a sad thing, I tried to help’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Iranian champion wrestler Navid Afkari was executed on Saturday in Iran despite pleas from across the globe to save his life. Among those who tried to stay his execution was UFC President Dana White, who released a video on social media asking to Afkari’s life to be spared after he was sentenced to death by the Iranian government. According to White, he heard the story about Afkari’s planned execution and he personally reached out to President Donald Trump in an effort to save his life. White counts Trump as a longtime friend and recently spoke for him during the Republican National Convention. “I called the president and I told him about it, and the first thing he said to me was, ‘There’s already sanctions against them, and there’s just no recourse,’” White revealed during the UFC Vegas 10 post-fight press conference. “He said, ‘Let me see what I can do,’ and he started talking to his people. “Obviously, everybody saw the tweet that he put out, and I know he did some stuff behind the scenes to try and help. I know there was a lot of publicity. I know the New York Times, FOX, tons of people in the Middle East and throughout Europe wrote stories about it, and I know some other people, powerful people, that tried to help. At no point during this process did it look good.” Trump put out a message on social media asking the Iranian government to spare Afkari after he was sentenced to death for fatally stabbing a security guard during anti-government protests in the Iranian city of Shiraz in August 2018. There was skepticism worldwide about the charges against Afkari; many believe his sentence was designed to quell dissent after numerous protests against the Iranian regime. A tape was also smuggled out of prison where Afkari said he had been tortured until confessing to the murder. “He knew he wasn’t allowed to protest, but he did anyway,” White said. “Much like people anywhere, the people that are protesting now, when you strongly believe in something, you stand up for yourself. You try to stand up. This guy did even knowing that the penalty could be death. “I think as human beings and especially this guy, this guy was a stud athlete, world champion wrestler, very strong guy. I’m sure he was strong physically and mentally and he was fighting for what he believed in and it cost him his life.” The UFC paid tribute to Afkari with a message at the start of the UFC Vegas 10 card this past Saturday night in Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/OimNkFBI4u— UFC (@ufc) September 13, 2020 There was an outcry of support for Afkari in the days and weeks leading up to his execution with prominent political figures and even the International Olympic Committee asking the Iranian government for mercy. Tragically, in the end, Afkari was still executed and was not allowed a final visit with his family before the sentence was carried out. “It’s a sad thing – I tried to help,” White said. “When you look at something like that, first of all there’s only one way to try and help somebody like that, and that’s the President of the United States and the government, and I tried.”

Dana White reached out to President Trump in an effort to save Navid Afkari: ‘It’s a sad thing, I tried to help’
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Iranian champion wrestler Navid Afkari was executed on Saturday in Iran despite pleas from across the globe to save his life.

Among those who tried to stay his execution was UFC President Dana White, who released a video on social media asking to Afkari’s life to be spared after he was sentenced to death by the Iranian government.

According to White, he heard the story about Afkari’s planned execution and he personally reached out to President Donald Trump in an effort to save his life. White counts Trump as a longtime friend and recently spoke for him during the Republican National Convention.

“I called the president and I told him about it, and the first thing he said to me was, ‘There’s already sanctions against them, and there’s just no recourse,’” White revealed during the UFC Vegas 10 post-fight press conference. “He said, ‘Let me see what I can do,’ and he started talking to his people.

“Obviously, everybody saw the tweet that he put out, and I know he did some stuff behind the scenes to try and help. I know there was a lot of publicity. I know the New York Times, FOX, tons of people in the Middle East and throughout Europe wrote stories about it, and I know some other people, powerful people, that tried to help. At no point during this process did it look good.”

Trump put out a message on social media asking the Iranian government to spare Afkari after he was sentenced to death for fatally stabbing a security guard during anti-government protests in the Iranian city of Shiraz in August 2018. There was skepticism worldwide about the charges against Afkari; many believe his sentence was designed to quell dissent after numerous protests against the Iranian regime.

A tape was also smuggled out of prison where Afkari said he had been tortured until confessing to the murder.

“He knew he wasn’t allowed to protest, but he did anyway,” White said. “Much like people anywhere, the people that are protesting now, when you strongly believe in something, you stand up for yourself. You try to stand up. This guy did even knowing that the penalty could be death.

“I think as human beings and especially this guy, this guy was a stud athlete, world champion wrestler, very strong guy. I’m sure he was strong physically and mentally and he was fighting for what he believed in and it cost him his life.”

The UFC paid tribute to Afkari with a message at the start of the UFC Vegas 10 card this past Saturday night in Las Vegas.

There was an outcry of support for Afkari in the days and weeks leading up to his execution with prominent political figures and even the International Olympic Committee asking the Iranian government for mercy.

Tragically, in the end, Afkari was still executed and was not allowed a final visit with his family before the sentence was carried out.

“It’s a sad thing – I tried to help,” White said. “When you look at something like that, first of all there’s only one way to try and help somebody like that, and that’s the President of the United States and the government, and I tried.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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Tony Ferguson wants UFC to ‘pay’ Dustin Poirier to make the fight happen, Poirier responds

Tony Ferguson | Esther Lin/MMAFIGHTING Tony Ferguson still wants his showdown with Dustin Poirier, and he wants the UFC to open up its checkbook to make it happen. The highly anticipated fight between two former interim champions was in the works for UFC 254 in October with Ferguson and Poirier sharing space on the same card as the lightweight title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. Last week, Poirier revealed that he was no longer planning on fighting Ferguson after he was unable to come to terms with the UFC on a deal. UFC president Dana White then said following the event this past weekend that the promotion was moving on from that matchup with plans to find Ferguson a new opponent. That’s when Ferguson took to Twitter to push for the UFC to strike a deal with Poirier so their fight could move ahead as scheduled. “Pay the man, Dana White,” Ferguson said on Twitter while also tagging the UFC’s account. “Love ya’ll but let’s give the hardcore and casual fans what they deserve, a good fight sir.” “Here’s Lookin’ At You Kid” Pay the man @danawhite @ufc Love ya’ll but let’s give the Hardcore & Casual fans what they deserve, a good fight Sir ⚔️ -CSO- @DustinPoirier #ufc254 pic.twitter.com/uVwwZIUtSd— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) September 14, 2020 Ferguson closed out the message by tagging Poirier’s Twitter account as well. It didn’t take long for Poirier to respond to Ferguson after negotiations with the UFC broke down just days ago. “Tony’s the type of guy who would manage his opponent and get him a new contract for the fight to happen,” Poirier wrote. Tony's the type of guy who would manage his opponent and get him a new contract for the fight to happen.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 14, 2020 As much as White seemed to kill the idea that Ferguson would face Poirier next, the outpouring of support for the fight might bring everybody back to the table again. Poirier is coming off a unanimous decision win over Dan Hooker in his last outing in June while Ferguson suffered a loss to Justin Gaethje in a short-notice fight in May. Both fighters could also potentially fill a role as a replacement for the main event between Nurmagomedov and Gaethje. It remains to be seen if a deal will get done but obviously Ferguson and Poirier are doing everything in their power to make it happen.

Tony Ferguson wants UFC to ‘pay’ Dustin Poirier to make the fight happen, Poirier responds
Tony Ferguson | Esther Lin/MMAFIGHTING

Tony Ferguson still wants his showdown with Dustin Poirier, and he wants the UFC to open up its checkbook to make it happen.

The highly anticipated fight between two former interim champions was in the works for UFC 254 in October with Ferguson and Poirier sharing space on the same card as the lightweight title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

Last week, Poirier revealed that he was no longer planning on fighting Ferguson after he was unable to come to terms with the UFC on a deal. UFC president Dana White then said following the event this past weekend that the promotion was moving on from that matchup with plans to find Ferguson a new opponent.

That’s when Ferguson took to Twitter to push for the UFC to strike a deal with Poirier so their fight could move ahead as scheduled.

“Pay the man, Dana White,” Ferguson said on Twitter while also tagging the UFC’s account. “Love ya’ll but let’s give the hardcore and casual fans what they deserve, a good fight sir.”

Ferguson closed out the message by tagging Poirier’s Twitter account as well.

It didn’t take long for Poirier to respond to Ferguson after negotiations with the UFC broke down just days ago.

“Tony’s the type of guy who would manage his opponent and get him a new contract for the fight to happen,” Poirier wrote.

As much as White seemed to kill the idea that Ferguson would face Poirier next, the outpouring of support for the fight might bring everybody back to the table again.

Poirier is coming off a unanimous decision win over Dan Hooker in his last outing in June while Ferguson suffered a loss to Justin Gaethje in a short-notice fight in May. Both fighters could also potentially fill a role as a replacement for the main event between Nurmagomedov and Gaethje.

It remains to be seen if a deal will get done but obviously Ferguson and Poirier are doing everything in their power to make it happen.

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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