UFC president Dana White provided updates on a number of subjects during his post-fight media scrum this past weekend following UFC on FOX 11 from Orlando.
White discussed the possible return of Dominick Cruz, and who the ex-UFC bantamweight champion could fight, the prospect of Rich Franklin working for ONE FC and why it’s taken so long to bring a card to Mexico.
Cruz, who was stripped of the title after suffering a groin injury earlier this year, has not fought since a 2011 decision victory over Demetrious Johnson. “The Dominator” has undergone two knee surgeries in the past three years, along with taking time off to coach The Ultimate Fighter against rival Urijah Faber.
“I have heard nothing from Dominick Cruz,” White said. “I don’t think after this much of a layoff, that throwing him in there for (a title) fight (would be good).”
White, though, quickly added that he would respect the wishes of Cruz if that’s what he desired, adding, “if he wants to come right back and fight (Renan Barao), we would do it. I just think Barao is nasty.”
Barao was declared the undisputed champion prior to successfully defeating Faber earlier this year. He won the interim title over Faber after Cruz went down with his knee injury.
Franklin, a former UFC middleweight champion, is headed to Asia to meet with ONE FC and discuss an executive role. He stated previously that White and Lorenzo Fertitta gave their blessing, and White confirmed that.
“He’s still under contract to fight with us if he ever wanted to fight, but he got offered a really good opportunity to go work with those guys,” he said. “I’m happy for him.”
White made sure to take a few shots at other past UFC fighters in the process, saying, “There is nothing wrong (with taking another job) if you come and ask. It’s the sneaky guys who lie to your face…..”
He also said that they would find a fight for “Ace” if he decided to compete one final time. Franklin still has a bout left on his deal, but has not fought since a 2012 loss to Cung Le.
The current plans have UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez returning to action this fall and meeting No. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum in Mexico. White stated over the weekend that details for The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America remain unset, but Velasquez and Werdum seem like strong choices for coaching spots.
Getting the UFC into Mexico has been more of a headache for White than he ever imagined, saying, “I used to talk about where we wanted to go, but I didn’t know what I know no. It’s a lot tougher than I thought.”
He said television deals have been worked out and he’s “really excited about (the Mexico card). “It’s going to be a home run.”
UFC president Dana White has known Chuck Liddell for many years, managing him, directing him and now working alongside him.
So when White looks at Ronda Rousey and sees her willingness to do whatever the UFC needs, he can make an easy comparison.
“Ronda called me and said, ‘I want to fight,’” said White, during an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “She wants to stay busy, she wants to keep fighting. If oyu tell her she can’t fight, she’ll tell you to, ‘(Expletive) you, I want to fight.’
“Ronda is my new Chuck Liddell. Seriously. She’s my new Chuck Liddell. She will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime.”
Rousey (9-0) will return to the Octagon this July and meet Alexis Davis for her UFC female bantamweight title. The bout is scheduled to be the co-main event of UFC 175, which takes place during International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
For the former Olympian, it’s been an incredibly busy stretch. She completed filming The Ultimate Fighter last year and moved directly into training to meet Miesha Tate in December and film her roles for “The Expendables 3″ overseas at the same time.
After that, she jumped right back into camp to meet Sara McMann in February before returning home and filming more movie roles for “The Entourage” project. Now, after taking just a few weeks off, she will fight again in a few months.
“She wants to fight,” White said. “She’ll fight back-to-back. She’ll fight on 24 hours’ notice. She’s the new Chuck Liddell.”
Liddell (21-8) retired in 2010 after a loss to Rich Franklin. He competed just once in 2008, ’09 and ’10, but before that, was fighting almost three times a year for the UFC from his debut in 1998 to 2007.
UFC president Dana White wants to get both Nick and Nate Diaz back inside the Octagon and fighting as soon as possible – and as many times as possible.
White’s stated numerous times that he is a fan of both fighters, but the trouble they bring with them when it comes to negotiating deals appears to be getting to the boss.
Nick Diaz announced his retirement for a second time after a loss to Georges St-Pierre, and recently stated he needs $500,000 to fight again. Nate Diaz is trying to get his recently-signed contract changed after besting Gray Maynard.
“This is one of those situations that is going to be a sad story in a few years,” said White, during his media scrum following the TUF Nations Finale. “What people don’t realize when you’re in the moment and your time is now, guys don’t realize until it’s over. You will never make that kind of money again for the rest of your life.
“You should fight as much as you can, get as popular as you can and get as much money as you can.”
White added that he would like to talk with both brothers about their issues, but “You can’t pick up the phone and call these guys.
“I talked to Nick. I offered him the (Hector) Lombard fight. He said he was interested, then he disappears,” White said. “You can’t contact him again. Life goes on. The world moves on without you.”
According to UFC president Dana White, the reason behind moving the Wanderlei Silva-Chael Sonnen fight had nothing to do with Silva wanting more time and everything to do with the “brawl” the two coaches had on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.
The two are scheduled to meet at UFC 175 in July after being originally set for May.
“What happened was Wanderlei got hurt in that fight,” White said, during his media scrum following The Ultimate Fighter Nations Wednesday. “He got double legged on the concrete and he hurt his back. He hurt his hand punching Chael in the head and he got injured. He couldn’t fight on time because he got hurt in the fight coaching a show.
“I’m done being angry now. I was angry when it happened. It’s just disgusting.”
Sonnen (28-14-1) called out Silva (35-12-1) for weeks to sign the fight contract after he found out it was not yet made official.
White also made sure everyone knows the fight on the reality show was all real and not staged, saying, “It was far from contrived. That thing was a disgusting display of what shouldn’t happen and if I was there, it would have never happened.”