Dan Henderson’s striking coach, Gus Pugliese, made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t like his fighter playing second fiddle to the UFC 157 headliner, Ronda Rousey.
The Team Quest coach took to Facebook yesterday and aired his grievances about the first UFC women’s champ headlining a card over someone with a resume that he said is second to none.
Here is the post in its entirety:
The light heavyweight match-up between Henderson and Machida will be the February Pay-Per-View’s co-main event. Both fighters have headlined numerous Pay-Per-Views in the past, while Rousey’s largest audience was that of the premium cable channel, Showtime. UFC 157 will be Rousey’s UFC debut, and the first time the company features women inside the octagon.
UFC president Dana White has defended Rousey headlining the card, saying “she’s the real deal” on multiple occasions. She’ll get the opportunity to prove that on Feb. 23 at Anaheim, Calif.’s Honda Center.
Requests for further comment from Pugliese were not answered at the time of this publication.
(UPDATE, 11:21 a.m. PT)
Pugliese responded to GRACIEMAG.com and added that he’s a firm believer in working your way up to earn what you get.
“Where I come from, there’s a pecking order for anything in life,” he said. “I believe in paying dues. In this particular case, ‘Hendo’ and Machida paid their dues a long time ago. For someone new to come in and have a free ride just seems unfair to them and the whole sport they helped build.”