(Video courtesy AOL)
MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani caught up with Dana White following today’s UFC 123 pre-fight press conference in Auburn Hills, Michigan and the UFC president shared his thoughts on a number of topics, including whether or not he thinks Quinton Jackson is motivated for his fight with Lyoto Machida, why he had a change of heart about letting Karo Parisyan fight for his organization again, what will happen to BJ Penn if he loses his third straight fight and Roy Nelson‘s contract status.
Here’s what White had to say about:
Matt Hughes‘ decision to postpone hunting season to rubbermatch BJ Penn:
I didn’t have to convince him of anything. I called him up and asked him, ‘How’d you like to fight in Detroit?’ and he was like, Ah, I’ve got so much stuff goin’ on right now. Who did you have in mind [for me to fight]?’ When I said, ‘BJ,’ he said, ‘I’ll call you back. I’m going to clear my schedule.’
Whether BJ will be cut if he loses against Hughes:
"I think before BJ got cut or something like that, he would probably retire."
Whether or not he thinks Rampage is mentally prepared for Machida:
"He’s always hard to gauge what he’s thinking no matter what. He seems ready and focused and in shape to me. I was actually looking at him [at the press conference]. Tomorrow’s the weigh-in and he looks lean. He looks good. Who knows? You can’t tell until the night of the fight, but he looks good to me."
Whether or not Roy Nelson will ever fight for the UFC again:
"It’s crazy man. We had no idea he was under contract. In 10 years when have you ever heard of us grabbing someone else who was under contract?This is sneaky boxing shit. This is the stuff that I’m saying. Everybody wants to point the finger at us like we’re the bad guys. Trust me when I say this, but we’re the good guys. Fighters have to be careful when they sign these rinky-dink contracts with these other promoters. The funniest part is, this is Roy Jones Jr’s company. Roy Jones Jr. is a former fighter and you’ll hear these fighters crying about this and that with the promoter while he’s out there screwing with guy’s livelihood. When these guys go out and sign these contracts, you have to go out and hire a good attorney to look at these. I know right now there’s a promotion that’s out there that is signing guys to old school boxing contracts. They have options on top of options on top of options and you’re never out of contract with these guys. I wouldn’t say he’s done in the UFC. This is something that needs to be figured out."
Why he relented on his vow that Karo would never fight again in the UFC:
"Here’s the thing about a guy like Karo Prisyan: This is a guy who has gone to war for us many times and has had some great fights in the UFC. He did some bad stuff to me, etc…etc… and iI just have a hard time…I caved on this one. He kept texting me and I respect the kids so I’m hoping he can come back and make something happen."