Following yesterday’s UFC 158 pre-fight press conference in Montreal, Dana White sat down with the media to discuss the big talking points leading up to the event for a full hour.
Read our keynotes from the conversation below and scroll down to watch the whole hour long video for yourselves.
– White thinks it doesn’t make sense that Nick Diaz is complaining about not being given the same treatment by the UFC as someone like GSP. He notes that Diaz doesn’t show up to video shoots which makes doing a Primetime series impossible, or photo shoots and other things of that nature which would help raise his profile.
– Despite it all White doesn’t think Diaz is a bad guy and doesn’t get into trouble in his personal life outside of the Octagon, but says he has a “unique” personality that’s difficult to deal with. He’s never met anyone like him.
– White says he’s going to start lobbying the athletic commissions to get TRT use made illegal as he’s convinced some people are using it to cheat. He thinks if you really do have to use TRT then it’s more than likely that you are just too old to be fighting.
– Johny Hendricks should get a title shot if he wins on Saturday night, but Carlos Condit is unlikely to get another chance to fight for the title if he gets the victory.
– Dana confirms that he did agree to let Diaz miss the open workouts earlier in the week – but only when his manager called him up to ask about it 20 minutes after the workouts had already started.
– If he hadn’t shown up for the presser it would “not have been good” and he’d have been fined.
– White has noted that GSP doesn’t seem himself this week – he seems angry and is being short with people. He thinks it’s a combination of factors that are contributing to this, including Diaz, the fact that some people are doubting him after a long injury layoff and tough fight against Condit, the constant media questions, plus the fact he’s got the pressure of fighting in his own home town.
– He thinks it’s possible that Diaz is playing some mind games – particularly in the way that he’s being critical of GSP’s potential wrestling-heavy gameplan – perhaps trying to goad him into a stand-up battle.
– He says he can only do so much to stop Diaz from taking marijuana, in the end it’s down to him and he doesn’t think he’ll ever stop doing it.
– White calls Matt Riddle a moron and says that’s why he was cut. He points to the fact that Riddle said in his pre-fight interview that he smoked weed so he wouldn’t beat his kids, and the fact that he tested positive for marijuana for the second time in a year as reasons to back that up. He says they’ll never ask Riddle to come back to the UFC.
– Back to Diaz – White admits that in the grand scheme of things missing the open workouts isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not as big a deal as missing the presser and so he has to pick and choose his battles when it comes to punishing the fighter.
– White believes that Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie is a big part of the problem. He thinks he plays “bullsh*t games” and is “a d*ck”, but admits that he must be a good trainer given the caliber of fighters in his camp.
– He’s feeling pretty good about MMA being legalized in New York, but admits he’s felt that way before and it didn’t happen.
– White hints that Mark Hunt did initially turn down a fight with Junior Dos Santos. He says that fighters don’t like to admit it though, and there’s more than one way to turn down a fight.
He spoke with Hunt, realized there were a lot of different issues that the fighter was unhappy with regarding the way he was being treated, and after fixing a few of them Hunt is now “ecstatic” and took the fight.
The UFC head admits that at first they didn’t want Hunt in the UFC due to his poor record, but they honored a contract they had when they bought over PRIDE. Hunt felt like he didn’t belong in the promotion and was being disrespected, but it’s all been cleared up now.
He thinks Hunt’s rise back to prominence is one of the greatest stories in sports right now.
– If Hunt knocks out JDS then he thinks he would be given the next shot at the heavyweight title. He thinks that fight is probably a No.1 contender fight.
– White is not sure whether he’d let Herschel Walker have a fight in the UFC or not at the age of 51. He doesn’t rule out the possibility of it happening.
– Fighter bonuses (‘Fight Of The Night’, etc) will always be set at $50,000 from now on rather than varying per event.
– White claims that GSP told him just a few days ago that he wants to make sure that Diaz retires after Saturday’s fight.
– “If you ask for a TRT exemption you are going to be tested brutally,”, White says.
– Dana doesn’t like a question from Ariel Helwani about why the UFC don’t test this way for other potential PED’s that fighters might be using and tries to shut him down about it. The two go back and forth and other reporters including Kevin Iole pipe in to back up Helwani’s point.
White says if Helwani wants to provide him with a list of fighters who are using illegal substances and getting away with it then he’ll test them all too. Helwani says that wasn’t what he was saying.
In essence White is saying that there’s only so much he can do. He points to the fact that Diaz could be taking marijuana and test positive after the fight tomorrow – he can’t stop him if he did as much as he’d love to. It’s not possible to police fighters all the time.
He and Helwani come to an agreement about that, and it’s also acknowledged that doing testing like this is extremely expensive.
– Andrei Arlovski and Anthony Johnson would both like to return to the UFC, and they happen to be fighting each other in the WSOF organization this month. White doesn’t like that fight though – he feels Johnson shouldn’t be competing at heavyweight and so if Arlovski beats him that’s not going to be the win that gets him back in the UFC.
Having said that, White does like Arlovski and doesn’t seem to have any problem with the idea of him returning to the UFC one day if he can put together an impressive string of wins.
White also still has reservations about Johnson’s ability to make weight which could be a factor in him returning to the promotion.
– Regarding his battle with Meneires Disease, White says that given that his previous surgery wasn’t successful doctors now want him to have a second more serious operation which would cut a nerve in his ear and require him to learn to walk again, etc. White has decided he doesn’t want to go down that route and instead will just try to live with the condition.
– Dana White is going to speak with bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz to figure out a lot of stuff. He feels very bad about the fighters current injury woes, but from the sounds of things the continual setbacks may force them to consider taking the title off him.
– The UFC don’t plan on putting Ronda Rousey on FOX, White says she’s a genuine pay-per-view star for them as he knew she would be, though he didn’t expect her to be quite so successful so quickly.