There used to be a time when media covering the UFC would get two weekly scrums with UFC President Dana White. The would take place before and after an event, but those days are long gone now. But that doesn’t mean the UFC Prez isn’t going to stay silent, and earlier this week, he gave us an impromptu state of the union address courtesy of the UFC Unfiltered Podcast.
Since the company was sold to WME-IMG, the new owners have done their fair share of job cuts. As discussed on the Fightful MMA Podcast, this is a pretty much a guarantee whenever a new company takes over, and thus, many former UFC Execs lost their jobs. White explained it as such, while also reiterating that many of the positions were considered duplicates, to those already being held down by existing WME-IMG employees.
Also released of their “duties” were UFC Hall of Famers Chuck LIddell and Matt Hughes. Dana simply remarked that while he did tell the two former champs that as long as he was alive, and in charge of the UFC, they would be taken care of. Well, with their roles being extinguished, we are now beginning to see that he isn’t in charge as much as he may like to be.
He also spoke about the newly formed Fighter’s association with Bjorn Rebney as an advisor. He reminded the fighters that there are three “unions” now trying to take money out of their pockets and that as grown men, they should choose wisely.
While he did go off on a broken record tirade of the man he refers to as “Bjork”, he said he wasn’t upset at the fighters, but was shocked Donald Cerrone didn’t call him. Then, he spilt the beans on a “Cowboy” story.
While on a boat, Cowboy got into an altercation with a person on another boat. He apparently got himself into some serious trouble and called Dana to help him out. White then stated he got Cerrone a really good lawyer and ponied up $100,000 of his own money to ensure Cerrone would be fine. Then “Cowboy” does this?
Yes - Dana did state he wasn’t upset with any of the fighters, but rest assured, he’s peed off BIG TIME.
While the Association’s goal is to help fighters secure a larger financial piece of the pie, he did take aim at Patrick Cummins, debunking the light-heavyweight’s claims that he is now broke and living in a tent. In summary, Dana questioned why he wasn’t homeless when they pulled him out of a Starbucks drive-thru job, yet after making $300,000 with the UFC, he’s now broke?
Staying the 205 lbs weight class, White did hear the story that Jon Jones mentioned he would get “blackout drunk” one week before every one of his fights, so he could use it as an excuse, should he lose a contest. As strange as it sounds, Dana said he did hear stories of Jones partying before his fights, found it strange, but did it just goes to show you how good “Bones” truly is. He also stated Jon would be back in the summer.
As for all the Conor McGregor stuff, he said he wasn’t surprised Conor got a boxing license as nothing Conor does surprises him any more. He did go on to praise him and that he did not strip him of the title, although he did inform Conor one of the two belts would have to be relinquished. Seeing as the Featherweight strap had not been defended in quite some time, that was the title that was selected.
He did make it clear Conor is a two-weight champion and that will never be taken away from him. He said McGregor did in fact give up the title, but nothing should ever diminish what the Irishmen accomplished in the octagon.
He continued by stating Conor and Floyd Mayweather will never fight, but if they did, especially in boxing, he wouldn’t be surprised if McGregor throws a spinning back kick.
White also spoke about Khabib Nurmagomedov, potentially Conor’s first lightweight title challenger, while laughing at how Khabib spent more time fighting him (Dana) than Michael Johnson. He tried to get Nurmagomedov to focus on Johnson, but said Khabib was so incensed that he did not get the title fight, he was livid with the UFC Prez. To wit, Dana hinted Conor would likely defeat Khabib if and when they fight.
As for Roy Nelson’s recent apology to Big John McCarthy … Dana isn’t buying it as a sincere one. He stated that Roy was simply looking for a not so harsh suspension.
Then there’s is the incredible peculiarity that is Cyborg Santos. Believe him or not, Dana stated Cyborg turned down not one, but two title fights at 145 lbs. Yes, the division she competes in.
The first was against Holly Holm, but Cyborg apparently said she could not make the weight in 8 weeks time. So then they offered her Germaine de Randamie for the upcoming Brooklyn show … and with no rhyme or reason, Santos apparently turned that bout down as well.
This, makes zero sense … I cannot figure out any reason why this would make sense. No doubt my Fightful Podcast Host Sean Ross Sapp is punching walls as he reads this.
White stated he basically had flashbacks during Saturday’s flyweight title bout between Demetrious Johnson and Tim Elliott. He recalled how now on gave Matt Serra a chance for Georges St-Pierre and when Tim dropped DJ in the first round, he thought MMA history was repeating itself, with a TUF winner defeating a UFC champ.
In closing, Dana informed everyone that Ronda Rousey is more than ready for upcoming bout vs. Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. Ronda is already on weight, literally, at 135 lbs, while working steadfastly on trying to put on weight, as opposed to losing it.