MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani caught up with UFC president Dana White following today’s UFC 123 pre-fight press conference.
One of the topics discussed included Roy Nelson’s contract situation. Ariel asked Dana the question we’ve all been asking, how was Roy Nelson allowed to fight if he was under contract to someone else? It’s a good question because Nelson did fight at UFC 117 and was initially signed to fight at UFC 125, yet Square Ring, Inc. filed suit against Zuffa and Roy Nelson before both of those events. Dana said they didn’t know Nelson was under contract, and they probably didn’t when they first signed him, but they must of known when he fought JDS at UFC 117 and booked him to fight Shane Carwin at UFC 125 considering a lawsuit had been filed against him at those points. Clearly, there’s a part of this story we’re not hearing. Justin Klein, who runs The Fight Lawyer blog, has a theory that digs into some of the legal aspects of the situation that’s worth checking out, but notes that it’s only speculation on his part.
Dana was also asked about Tito by members of the media, and confirmed what most people suspected — Tito Ortiz will get one last chance in the UFC.
“I thought I was going to cut him, too,” White told the media after a press conference for Saturday night’s UFC 123. “I talked to Tito. Me and him had a conversation. Tito said, ‘I’m not done. I feel healthy, I feel good.’ And he asked me for one last chance. So I’m going to do it.”
“I’m not the evil bastard everyone thinks I am,” White said. “But it’s definitely his last chance. He knows that, too.”
Tito is expected to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 128 in March.