Dana White Says Fighters Can Prevent Future UFC Cancellations
Posted by Joseph Lee on 09.14.2012
They just have to let them know they're hurt sooner...
At a press conference that included MMA Junkie, Dana White said that the UFC fighters can prevent another cancellation like UFC 151, which was stopped when Dan Henderson went down with an injury leaving Jon Jones without an opponent. UFC 153 had major changes when both Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Jose Aldo were both injured.
White, Michael Bisping and his new boxing trainer, coach Jason Parillo were at Zuffa headquaters answering questions. Here are highlights:
On the lessons from the cancellation of UFC 151: "Yeah, the fighters need to let us know ahead of time they're hurt. Don't try to ride it out and say, 'We'll see if I feel better.' We've always had this weird relationship with Henderson. When Lorenzo and I went to dinner with him when he came to get his knee checked, he was like, 'I thought for sure you guys were going to tell me I have to fight.' Dude, we don't do that to anybody. We've never in the history of this company told somebody that they have to fight. We don't make people fight. He said PRIDE used to do some real dirty [expletive]. I said, 'Well, we don't, contrary to popular [expletive] belief. We don't.' If you're hurt, you're hurt. We never send somebody out there hurt. What you do is you go to the doctor. The doctor checks you out. All these guys have some nagging injuries when they go in there and fight. Nobody is ever 100 percent, like, 'I feel fantastic.' So you go in and see the doctor, and the doctor is like, 'Yeah, you've got this problem here, but you can absolutely fight on that.' Or, 'Eh, if you move laterally, you might have a little weakness in the knee.' Or, 'I wouldn't fight if I were you. I would get surgery first.' Those are the options you get from doctors, and at the end of the day, it's up to the fighter. We don't sit there and go, 'Hey, he said lateral movement might go out sometimes – not all of the fight, just some of the fight. Don't move laterally.' We don't do that. If guys want to fight, they can fight. If they don't, we would never force a guy to fight."
On how much training is to blame for injures: "That's the different mentality in mixed martial arts. In boxing, when you built a camp and you brought guys in as sparring partners, they were there to work for you. They're not in there to [expletive] knock you out. They're in there for you to beat the [expletive] out of. They're in there to get you work so you can get in the best shape you can possibly be in, emulate the style of your opponent, and the list goes on an on.
In MMA, and I'll use Greg Jackson as an example because I'd like to kick him in the balls as much as possible over the next couple of weeks, there was a situation with Greg Jackson where he had so many guys training together in his gym, and they were doing drills, and Rashad Evans rolled over doing a move on to Diego Sanchez's leg and popped his knee out. So Diego Sanchez was out, has to have knee surgery and everything else because he was training too close to these guys. I've heard other fighters tell me that there's a lot of other [expletive] at Jackson's where guys can get injured.
I'm singling him out because I'm a [expletive], but it goes on in everyone else's camp, too. Dan Henderson – Dan Henderson is in the last 30 seconds of the last round on the last day of sparring, and Sokoudjou goes to throw him with a judo throw. Pops his knee out. It was almost over. There were 30 seconds left. In the last 30 seconds? What are you getting out of the last 30 seconds? He goes to throw him in some crazy judo throw and pops Dan's knee out. It's just one of those things.
And when you talk about injuries, Aldo got hit by a [expletive] car. It's just – we're going through a string of bad luck right now."
On the thought that less cards would mean deeper shows: "But it wouldn't be deeper. I'd have less guys under contract. I'd be cultivating less talent around the world in every weight division. For the thing to grow, you've got to have more fights. You've got to have more weight classes. You have to have more fighters training and coming up through the ranks and more ability to make money. More people are going to gravitate toward the sport the more money that gets involved. I'm a tremendous athlete. Am I going to play baseball or become a mixed-martial-artist? Am I going to play football or become a mixed-martial-artist? The more money, the more weight classes, the more fights, it's what needs to be done for the sport to grow. And there's demand for it. It's not like we're putting on all these fights and three people are showing up. We're still breaking records."