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Dana White Says Rampage is Next in Line for the Winner of Shogun-Evans and That Nick Diaz is Welcome Back if he Plays the Game

("I trust this dude so much, I’d let him be my chauffeur if he needed a job. We could make it into a reality show and call it ‘Driving Mr. Dana.’")

Dana White helmed a Q&A session at Fort Hood last week ahead of the Fight for the Troops II show Saturday night and the UFC president dropped a handful of interesting tidbits during the hour-long forum.

Perhaps most noteworthy was White’s proclamation that former UFC light heavyweight kingpin Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will likely get the next crack at the winner of the UFC 128 championship bout between current champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Rashad Evans. White pointed to Jackson’s win over Lyoto Machida at UFC 123 — a fight many thought should have gone to "The Dragon" — as being the main factor in his title consideration. He also hinted that the winner of next month’s UFC 127 tilt between Ryan Bader and Jon Jones will likely get dibs on the winner of Jackson versus Evans or Rua.

"There are so many guys at 205. Rampage is probably next in line. Rampage is still in the mix. We’ve got Jon Jones and Ryan Bader fighting on the fifth [of February], which is going to be a great fight and catapults one of those guys to the top five.There’s so many great guys in the 205-pound division," White said. "The big problem has been ‘Shogun’s’ injury has been clogging up the division. Now he’s healthy and going to fight, and we’ll get everything rolling. [Shogun's] recovered now and back in training."

Surprisingly, White said that Machida, who just as easily could be sitting in Rampage’s place in line had the judges given him the split decision nod over Jackson, needs to win his upcoming UFC 129 bout in Toronto with Randy Couture, stopping short of saying that he could be on the chopping block if he loses.

"I didn’t think [Lyoto] was ever going to lose," White admitted. "Shogun beat him, and then he just lost to Rampage, too," he explained. "Now he’s fighting Randy Couture. It’s a must-win for him."

White also touched on several other topics, rumors and bout signings. Check the most pertinent ones out after the jump.

Here’s what Dana had to say:

On Nate Diaz, (who White confirmed will take on Rory MacDonald in Toronto) and his brother, Nick:
"Nate Diaz is on the Toronto card, too. I’m a big Nate Diaz fan. I like him a lot – him and his brother. The problem with Nick Diaz is Nick won’t play the game even [a little]. You can’t [flip off] the athletic commission. You can’t tell people – you have to play the game a little bit. When Nick Diaz wants to play just a little bit – and nobody’s telling him not to be who he is and not to act the way he wants, but you’ve got to play a little – when he does, we’d love to have him back in the UFC."

On Wanderlei Silva‘s next opponent:
"We were actually trying to hook [Silva] up with Brian Stann. He doesn’t want to fight Brian Stann. He’s like, ‘Fuck that; everybody is going to hate me if I fight Brian Stann. Everybody loves Brian Stann.’ But that’s the fight we’re trying to make right now."

On The Huntington Beach Badboy’s future in the Octagon:
"Tito’s got to win this fight to stay in the UFC. If he loses this fight, he’ll probably retire."

On TUF moving down to the smaller weight classes in the near future:
"It’s going to happen. We do two of these things a year. We’ll end up having those guys in one of these seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. We just added the weightclasses from the WEC. [Flyweight] will be the next one. The reason we didn’t have it before was that we didn’t have enough fights. We weren’t putting on enough fights to get all these fights on in these different weightclasses. Now that we’re going all over the world, it’s going to happen – next year."

On the likelihood that the UFC will do an outdoor show down the road:
"We’ve talked about it a few times. To be honest, it scares me to death, doing it outdoors. Look how beautiful it is today. Yesterday was freezing cold with wind. You never know. This is a tough sport to do outside. You can play a football game in this kind of weather, but fighting is a whole different ballgame. I guess if we really decided to do it, Hawaii would probably be the best place to do it. We’d do it in the Aloha Bowl."

On the possibility that we might see Royce Gracie compete at UFC Rio:
"We went down there to [Rio de Janeiro] to do a big press conference. [Royce] came with us and was part of the press conference. He’s still very close to the UFC, and we talk to him all the time. He still wants to fight one more time. He’s retired right now. He’s a good guy, though. We look at him as the father of this whole thing. We’ve got nothing but respect for him, and he’s still very much involved with us.

On Roy Nelson‘s next opponent:
"We’ve also got [Roy] ‘Big Country’ [Nelson] fighting Frank Mir. That fight’s going to happen, too. That’s a fun one."

Cagepotato Comments

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DangadaDang- January 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm
@ hoey

That would make sense, and for all the shit talkin DW does you'd think he'd see his hypocrisy. Now I'm not normally one to bash Baldfather but Lyoto on the chopping board? I get it 3 in a row is bad. But Tito Ortiz, the man he hates more than anyone, and has gone 0-4-1 in his last five gets yet another shot because he is a PPV draw and Lyoto isn't. Where the fuck is Dana's loyalty to the sport he is so desperately trying to prove he loves more than any one else?
ccman- January 25, 2011 at 6:19 am
@ turd.

Nope, no wrath. Even page has said he fought differently at pride. I too miss the explosive slams. Unfortunately page is convinced his right hook is money and does nothing but look. To throw that. Sadly pride was weaker in wrestling and pag does not have the pedigree to use his as much in the ufc.

Otherwise, I thought lyoto won also. Nothing is worse than percieved aggression getting the call. Liddell was a counter striker, that's the whole idea in kempo, he just was quicker to go for the kill when he saw anyone hurt than lyoto.

Nick diaz will never fight in the ufc again.... heard it here first. He wants to do triathalons and be high and be a thug millionaire.... which seems tough at sf but noone accuses him of being smart.
Gooner- January 25, 2011 at 2:56 am
Wouldn't it make more sense to give the WINNER of Jones Vs Bader the LOSER of Evans Vs Rua. I don't see how a matchup between two prospects on brink of top 5 can yield a fighter worthy of a championship fight. I don't see how they could push that fight.

PERPATRAITOR- January 25, 2011 at 1:19 am
Rampage deservesthe title shot and anyone from 209 is cool with me, war Diaz!!!
myklhoey- January 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm
good argument
but am i missin somethin here, isnt rampage fightin thiago at ufc 130, or is he bypassin that and gettin the winner of evans shi-gun, anyone know facts on this
DangadaDang- January 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm
@ hoey

I'm saying Rampage doesn't deserve a shot because he eeked out a decision in unimpressive fashion, has gone 1-1 in his PAST 2 FIGHTS, and edged KEITH FUCKING JARDINE in a decison before that. He should definetley have to fight Thiago Silva or Bader/Jones winner before he gets another shot, or just give the winner of Bader/Jones the shot. They deserve it more than him.
myklhoey- January 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm
well if anyone should get a shot at LHW before quinton its silva,
i mean he went up to LHW against a at the time dangerous striker, irvin was comin of a 8 second ko against i thoght to be LHW prospect, and irvin was roided out,
then he humilated a former champ in griffin, forget the fact hes gone 16 -0 in well with the exceptionm of a dq,
if gsp is goin to get a shot at MW right off the ripp, then so should silva the next time he moves up
skeletor- January 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm
I agree with you 100%. Rashad got a title shot because of not one but two lackluster wins. Although I would still like see Rampage vs Silva, but will settle for Shogun when he beats Rashad.
myklhoey- January 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm
why do you not think rampage should get a shot, who other then him do you think, should, he just beat the former champ, weatha you think he did or not he has the win on his record,
hes 8 ans 2 in the ufc, im not sayin hes the monster he was back in pr-de,"does that save me" but i cant think of anther ufcLHW that has beaten the dudes he has.
im hopin this will motivate him to start smashin dudes agian,
id like to know who you think should be next in line
ghostboner- January 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm
@get off me - Good point, but I was just thinking of matches people want to see.
Incrediblydrunk- January 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm
Ok Dana let the Diaz bros act however they want and all that but Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! keep them at least 50ft away from a working microphone.... yes the boys can fight. but damn it's painful every time they speak. i swear you could Burp the alphabet and be more articulate. .. now speaking of Burping where the hell did I leave my beer?..
Get Off Me- January 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Unfortunately Dana very much like Coker cannot make matches happen when fighters don't want to or cannot come to terms on fighting one another i.e. Fitch/Koscheck and soon enough Rashad/Jones coming to a town near you.

DangadaDang- January 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm
and by NATE I mean NICK.
DangadaDang- January 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm
And I say that as a NATE Diaz fan. Also, Rampage getting a title shot is fucking ridiculous.
DangadaDang- January 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm
If Diaz does fight in the UFC it won't matter. He'll put on a couple good fights and then run into a couple top tier wrestlers and lose. The Diaz gameplan is pretty easy to thwart, as evident by Nate. I'm not saying their the same fighter cause that's obviously not true, but they fight VERY similar. The only reason Nate is on such a hot streak is cause he hasn't fought a good wrestler and the last one he fought (Sherk) he lost to.
war Sonnen- January 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm
that would be one PPV for the ages! :P
skeletor- January 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm
that's a hell of a safe bet. But then I hope Rashad is the winner and instead of six months it's the rest of his life.
noizy- January 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm
I predict that the winner of Rua vs. Evans is whichever of the two who gets injured in the fight and needs a 6 months layoff.
El Guapo- January 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm
Dana, I know you've been keeping it on the hush-hush, but what about the rumor you're gonna book Fat Fuck and Titties to headline UFC 187: King of the 'Burbs/Say Goodnight??

DW: "I like that rematch, I really do. They have have unfinished business and the people want to see it. I will say this, though, Titties needs to resolve some things in his personal life. You can't be stealing people's bongs, this isn't Strikeforce. We don't play those games. We play THE game, just a little, but not those games."

Jubbie- January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm
Yes for realism, we can have snow in the cage, some trees, a river, and maybe a mama bear and her cubs.

I hope Nick plays the game.
Turd Furgeson- January 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Holy hell! Did you just say Pride? Prepare yourself for the wrath of ccman.
Lysol- January 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm
Hate Wanderlei Silva? Is he serious? I now like him even more for being so humble.
skeletor- January 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm
1. It's weird that Rampage isn't more athletic and explosive because he certainly looks the part.

2. Rampage V Shogun rematch needs to happen. Even if Rashad wins the title (FUCK!) we should all just pretend he isn't the champ and let Rampage and Shogun fight anyway.

3. Nick needs to be in the UFC he has a ton of interesting match up's there.

4. I love Wand and wish that him fighting Stan was a forgone conclusion like he seems to think. He should fight him and destroy him, I would be completely cool with that.

5. Fuck an outdoor show come to St. Louis first. If you will do a show in Detroit you owe it to us. SF sells out here every fucking time.
Waxedpants- January 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm
I think Wandy is underestimating how much his fan base has grown and how much we love him ..... Wandy vs Stann -- I root for Wandy 100% and I like Stann.
myklhoey- January 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm
i always thoght that quinton would regain the LHW title again, i would love nothin more than to see him go old school and just be savage like he was in pride.
diaz is out of his mind sayin that the stand out ww in ufc were handed wins by bein paired up with chumps,