As usual, Dana White sat down with reporters following today’s UFC 130 press conference to talk about all the hot topics in mixed martial arts. Above, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani chats with Dana about Rampage Jackson, Brock Lesnar, Chael Sonnen and Nick Diaz. Below, a quick rundown of those thoughts and other news and notes.
— Dana White made it crystal clear today that Georges St. Pierre will not headline UFC 140 in Montreal, nor will he and Nick Diaz coach TUF 14. Dana didn’t rule out the possibility of them fighting, but if they do, it won’t happen on Dec. 10. While all signs have pointed to fight being close to being a done deal, Dana says that’s not true at all. According to him, it hasn’t even been discussed.
“Georges St-Pierre is not fighting in December in Montreal… If I actually gave you a percentage, I’d be speaking out of turn. I honestly don’t know. Nothing has been worked out. Nothing has been talked about. … If I gave you an answer, I’d be lying just to make you stop asking me the question.”
Dana did however confirm that he recently met with Nick Diaz, but not to talk about Georges St. Pierre. His goal was to talk Diaz out of boxing, which he accomplished.
“Diaz came to Vegas because some boxing promoter was running around saying he was going to box Lacy. That’s why he came. Everybody was like, ‘What’s he going to do? Is he going to box? What do you think?’ (I said), ‘I think I’m going to sit down and talk him out of boxing. That’s what I think.’ And that’s what happened.”
As Dana mentioned the other day, there are still hurdles to overcome before a GSP-Diaz fight can be made. Word is those hurdles involve Diaz’s contractual obligations with Showtime.
As for TUF 14, Dana says the coaches haven’t been selected yet, but he is working on it.
— Brock Lesnar has a big doctor’s appointment tomorrow at The Mayo Clinic that could give him and everyone a better idea of when he’ll return to action.
“I talked to him a couple of days ago and his head is in a good place. He has an appointment (Thursday) at the Mayo Clnic and he’s gonna make some decisions on what he’s gonna do.”
In an interview with Mauro Ranallo, Brock went into more detail about the situation. He says even if he has to go under the knife, it won’t be career-threatening surgery. Transcription via Fight Opinion.
“No, it’s not over. I mean, I don’t, you know, even talking with the doctors about the possibility of surgery, there’s really, uh, it’s not a career-ending surgery by any means so I just got to weigh out all my options at this time and see if that is the right thing to do or is there’s any other medication that I can be on or any other thing, I don’t know how I can change my diet any more than I have but we’re looking down all avenues right now and I foresee, you know, in the near future that I’ll be able to step back in the Octagon.”
Dana says we could see him back as soon as the beginning of next year.
— Dana White confirmed what Jon Jones said earlier this week about him fighting Rampage Jackson or Lyoto Machida next. It sounds like he’s leaning towards Rampage, but that will depend on how his fight with Matt Hamill turns out.
“We’ll have to make a decision (on Jones’ next fight) before [Evans] fights,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “We probably will make a decision after this weekend.”
“I think that if ‘Rampage wins,’ you’ve got to be more interested in the ‘Rampage’ fight because ‘Rampage’ deserves it. He’s at the top. Machida is coming off of a win over Couture, but I think Machida needs another fight. But with the way my luck’s gone lately, who knows? We’ll see what happens.”
Dana also explained why Rashad Evans isn’t being considered and why they didn’t just wait to book Jones-Evans this fall.
“Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, Rashad Evans fights and he wins the fight against Phil Davis. Let’s say he wins that fight in 30 seconds and comes out without a scratch, feels like a million bucks and is ready to go and wants to fight Jon Jones in December. We will have already shot the commercials. That stuff is three months out. It would be impossible to do.”
“We talked about it. Could we have made that fight? Maybe. But with what’s going on with us lately, we’re not into maybes… They don’t know the exact timeframe (for Jones’ recovery), and maybe he would be ready to go. But maybe he wouldn’t. We don’t want to go on maybes. We knew Phil Davis could take the fight, so we made that fight. The other thing you don’t want to do is have [Jones] start training again prematurely without knowing 100 percent (that the hand is healthy).”
Dana also made it a point to say that Jon Jones is not “ducking” Rashad Evans.
— Mirko Cro Cop is not retiring. Dana confirmed today that Mirko still wants to fight and he’s going to give the fight he owes him on his contract even though he thinks he should hang it up.
“Do I think he should have retired? Yeah. But I don’t think he’s in one of these situations like Chuck Liddell, who needed to retire right then. He’s a man, a grown man, and if he wants to continue to fight, that’s his right. And he still has a fight with me.”
Dana didn’t mention who he might fight or when.
— Anthony Pettis will likely need to win two more fights before he gets a crack at Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard.
“That kid’s in a bad position. He’s supposed to be the next in line. All this craziness happens. [Edgar and Maynard] both get hurt, and it gets pushed back again. The first one is a draw, then they get hurt, and it gets pushed back again. But this is one of those things that happens in a sport like this.
“I respect [Pettis] for stepping up and taking on a tough guy like Guida, and he’ll probably have to fight again before he gets a shot at one of those guys. Sucks for him. It’s a [expletive] position for him to be in.”
— Dana White clarified why Chad Mendes is taking a fight at UFC 133 instead of waiting a month for Jose Aldo to return. In short, Aldo isn’t guaranteed to return in Sept. and Mendes can’t afford to wait around to find out.
— Following the UFC’s unprecedented move to provide accidental insurance for fighters during their training camps, Dana White told reporters that they would like to institute a pension program for fighters as well.
“If we can figure out something for a fighter pension, that’s something we’d love to do. But it goes right along with, ‘What do you think about a fighter’s union?’ That’s up to the fighters. That’s not up to me. I [couldn’t] care less. It doesn’t matter to us.”
“We’re trying to prevent a situation where guys retire and they retire with nothing.”
The problem is that would likely require fighters to give up part of their paychecks, which Dana says is a monumental hurdle to overcome.
“Let me tell you what – fighters don’t want to share with anybody, and fighters don’t want us taking a piece of their money. Taking some out and saying, ‘We’re going to put it over here and invest it for you.’ Guys are like, ‘I need all that money, and I want it now.’
“So it sounds like a great idea, and it sounds like something to do, but it’s a lot harder than people think.”
Below, video excerpts of today’s chat courtesy of MMA Weekly.