MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani caught up with Dana White in NYC to talk about a variety of topics including UFC 133, Alistair Overeem, HBO and Dana’s visit with WWE bossman Vince McMahon. Notes:
- Rich Franklin turned down a fight against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133 because he only wants to fight top names. Dana White doesn’t blame him.
- Disappointed how Lyoto Machida and his camp handled negotiations when he was asked to replace Phil Davis against Rashad Evans, but isn’t mad at him.
- “Totally impressed” that Tito Ortiz beat Ryan Bader and took the Rashad Evans fight on short notice. Tito did not negotiate a new deal to take the Evans fight.
- Showtime wanted the Sept. 10 date for tournament. Maintains that Alistair Overeem pulled out of the tournament with a toe injury, despite Ariel Helwani telling Dana twice that Overeem told him it was the date change. Dana makes it a point to say they did not remove him from the grand prix. Alistair Overeem was never “strong-armed, bullied or disrespected in anyway, shape or form.”
- Golden Glory personally called Dana White to negotiate a deal with him for Overeem, but Dana says just because Nick Diaz made the jump doesn’t mean everyone else can.
- “Really, really bad idea” for Alistair Overeem to box Vitali Klitschko. Overeem’s hands didn’t look good against Werdum, so how is he going to box the Klitschko’s?
- Dana doesn’t see Ross Greenburg’s exit from HBO opening up new doors for the UFC there. Boxing is HBO’s sport, so he doubts it.
- Visited Vince McMahon at WWE headquarters to “bounce some stuff off him.” They “shot the shit” but wouldn’t say what they talked about.