White on Mayweather: “We’ll see what happens”
UFC President Dana White was on UFC Tonight on Wednesday night and spoke a number of different topics.
White announced UFC 222 would still be headlined with the featherweight title on the line, but switching from the men’s to the woman’s. Champion Max Halloway was forced to pull out due to injury and the UFC was able to quickly get a fight for Cris Cyborg to defend her title instead.
Cyborg will square off with Yana Kunitskaya (10-3), who will be making her UFC debut. Cyborg (19-1-1) defended her belt for the first time against Holly Holm (11-4) at UFC 219 via unanimous decision.
Frankie Edgar was supposed to challenge Halloway for the belt, but with the champ getting injured, Edgar (22-5) was searching for an opponent. He will now fight in the co-main event against #3 Brian Ortega (13-0).
“He (Edgar) wanted to fight Brian Ortega,” White said explaining how the fight got done. “Ortega accepted the fight. I love that fight. It’s such a great fight. Sick fight. Love that fight. (Joe) Rogan and I always geek out over fights. When he found out that was going to be the co-main event, he was pretty pumped about that one himself.”
UFC 222 in on March 3rd, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
White was quick to dismiss a fight between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and former number-one contender Nate Diaz. Both fighters came out expressing their desire to fight one another, with Woodley (18-3-1) even going as far as saying he would bet his house Diaz would be his next fight.
“He’s homeless,” White said in regards to Woodley’s bet. “He’s full of s***. That fight was never made. You couldn’t be more wrong. He couldn’t be more full of s***. It’s absolutely not true. It’s so not true that our lawyer hit him up today, hit his manager up and said, ‘He needs to stop saying these kind of things ’cause it’s absoluely not true.’
White said the fight the UFC is looking to make against Woodley is against #2 Rafael dos Anjos (28-9).
As for Diaz (20-11), White is unsure on his future.
“We’ve offered Nate Diaz five or six fights over the last several months and he’s turned them all down,” White said. “I’ve said many times that I don’t see Nate Diaz fighting. Will he fight this year? Maybe he’ll come out and say he wants to fight eventually. But he’s turned down every fight we’ve offered him.”
Dana was then asked about putting together the superfight between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (18-2) and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (20-1-0-1).
“Right after the fight (UFC 220) had happened, I had talked to D.C., the reason he wasn’t interested in fighting at heavyweight was because of (his teammate at AKA) Cain Velasquez,” White said. “Well, Cain hasn’t fought in a long time (since July 2016) and if he (Cormier) comes in and fights for the title and wins it, he and Cain can figure that out on their own. Why not take that opportunity? He agreed. His camp agreed. And we got the fight done.”
Micoic and Cormier are currently coaching against each other in The Ultimate Fighter which premieres April 18th on Fox Sports 1.
As for another superfight fans are wanting to see is between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) and bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw (15-3), White is unclear if that fight will happen.
“These two are all over the place,” White says with a smile. “Obviously, I know T.J. wants that fight. I’m not positive that D.J. wants that fight. We’ll see how this thing plays out. If that fight doesn’t happen, people would love to see Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw do it again. Either way, we have an amazing fight.”
As for Floyd Mayweather (50-0 Boxing, 0-0 MMA) posting a video of him walking into an cage, White didn’t rule out the possibility of the boxing legend fighting in the UFC.
“Floyd said leading up to the fight with Conor, that he would do both,” White said. “We’ll see what happens. The only way making that fight again makes any sense is if he comes into the octagon. We went over and boxed him. Now it’s time for him to reciprocate and come fight in the octagon.”
White was also asked if Brock Lesnar (5-3-0-1) could fight make a return to the UFC in 2018 and White said “Anything is possible.”
Lastly, White was asked if another WWE superstar, CM Punk (0-1), would be fighting in the octagon again.
“He is healthy now and he is interested in fighting,” White said. “We’ll see what happens. There is no deal for CM Punk to fight anywhere. We’ll see how that thing plays out.”
The interview in it’s entirety can be seen below via the official YouTube of UFC on Fox.