With UFC 123 on the horizon MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani grabbed a hold of Dana White after the pre-fight press conference to get the UFC president’s thoughts on some of the key talking points leading into the event.
On Rampage Jackson: “[It’s] always hard to gauge what he’s thinking, no matter what. He seems ready and focused and in shape to me.”
“He looks lean right now, he looks good. Who knows, you can’t tell until the night of the fight, but he looks good to me.”
On Matt Hughes: White admits he was initially reluctant to fight until he heard who he’d be fighting. “He said, ‘Who you thinking about?” I said, “BJ Penn.” He said – swear to god – this is exactly what he said, “I’ll call you back, I’m going to clear my schedule.”
On BJ Penn: “I think before BJ Penn got cut [from the UFC] or something like that, I think BJ would probably retire.”
On Karo Parisyan: “I caved on this one. He kept texting me and I respect the kid so I’m hoping he can come back and make something happen. So, I gave him a shot.” White says he wouldn’t give Paul Daley a second shot though.
On Roy Nelson’s Contract Issues: “As far as we knew he was not under contract. Dude, in ten years have you ever heard us grab a guy who was under contract. This is sneaky boxing sh*t. Everybody want’s to point the finger at us like we’re the bad guys. Trust me when I tell you, we’re the F’ing good guys. Fighters have to be careful when they sign these rinky-dink contracts.”
“I wouldn’t say [Nelson’s] done in the UFC. This is something that has to be figured out.”
On Dana White’s Visit To New York Later Today: “I’m there for business. I told you, we’ve got a lot of exciting things going on right now. We’re doing some cool stuff, and every year we keep taking this thing to another level and keep raising the bar, and we’re going to do it next year too.”
On Lesnar Vs Mir 3: “There was an overwhelming amount of people who said they didn’t want to see that fight. I feel like my job is to bring the fans the fights they want to see, so I’m going to try to figure this thing out.”