As usual, Dana White sat down with the media following the UFC 132 pre-fight press conference earlier today to talk about all the hot topics in mixed martial arts. Above, Dana chats with Ariel Helwani and below, a rundown of all the news and notes.
— Dana White did not see Nate Marquardt’s hour-long interview on The MMA Hour where he came clean so to speak. However, the fact that Marquardt publicly revealed what the issue was does not change his mind about blacklisting him from the UFC. The way he sees it, this is Marquardt’s fourth chance.
“To me this is his 4th chance, this would be a 4th chance,” White told MMAWeekly.com on Thursday. “He tested positive before, then apparently he was on suspension with New Jersey because his levels were high, then he comes into (Pittsburgh) and he doesn’t pass his medicals. Now you tell me is that 4th chance or is that a 2nd chance? Sounds like a 4th chance to me.”
“Nate’s a nice guy, he’s a real sweet, nice, humble guy, but the facts are the facts,” said White. “It’s easier to go after a guy like Josh Barnett, you know what I mean? He’s just callous and rude and a dick, so you know so it’s easier when he does it to just go, you know what? (Expletive) Josh Barnett. The difference is Nate’s such a sweet, nice guy with the same results.”
Dana says that he didn’t know about the situation like others in the UFC did until Thursday, and if he had, he would have made sure the situation was handled differently.
“I literally didn’t know that till Thursday, but the people in my organization did. The people who handle the medicals and things like that. I was pretty upset about it when I found out about it on Thursday. If I would have known earlier, I would have made sure it was taken care of differently,” White stated.
Dana also explained why he feels Marquardt’s situation was ban-worthy while Chael Sonnen’s was not.
“The difference with Chael and Marquardt, is we can talk about everything in the Chael incident. We can’t with Marquardt. I’ve seen some of the stuff people are saying. You think I’m this crazy, emotional psycho. Give me a break. This isn’t the first time. Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, give him a second chance.’ This would be like the fourth time.”
I’m not sure I understand Dana’s reasoning here. This quote implies we don’t really know the whole story, however in the interview below with Heavy.com’s Megan Olivi, Dana says the whole story (minus all the exact details) is out there, so I’m not sure what he means here.
Regardless of what Dana’s reasoning is though, he made it very clear that Nate Marquardt is “done” in the UFC.
“Nate’s done,” said White, who wouldn’t say if Marquardt instead could fight in the UFC’s sister promotion, Strikeforce. “I’m done with Nate. Nate is a really nice, sweet, humble guy. But the facts are the facts.”
— We didn’t get into it here, but Spike TV counter-programmed the UFC on Versus 4 event with a Nate Marquardt marathon last Sunday. It worked too, because Spike TV’s replay of UFC Fight Night 22, which went head-to-head with UFC on Versus 4, actually beat the live Versus show in the ratings. It was an obvious shot across the bow of the UFC as they’re currently in negotiations with “everyone” for their next TV deal.
So how pissed was Dana White about it? Well, he wasn’t happy obviously, but he acknowledged that their longtime television partner only did the same thing he would have. He still “owes them one” though.
“It is what it is. So, I owe you one, Spike. Negotiating is never fun and even though you’re negotiating and are in good faith and all this stuff, you know, you’re still giving some kicks to the balls here and there. Plus, the ‘Wall Street Journal’ came out and said all the things that they said about our negotiations, so I see Spike’s side. What the ‘Wall Street Journal’ put out and what everybody’s saying – none of that’s true. People are out there speculating on what’s going on. We have no deal with anybody. We’re out there talking to everybody. So I don’t buy into that stuff. When deals are done, and everybody does what they’re going to do, then we’ll see what happens.”
— The tragic earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year isn’t going to keep the UFC away, apparently. Dana White said that the “rumors are true.” They are going to Japan “soon,” and by soon, he means by the end of “this year.”