When promotion stars Conor McGregor and Holly Holm were both upset at UFC 196, many considered it would cancel potential money-making super fights for each fighter, upsetting UFC President Dana White. However, when White joined The Jim Rome Show on Monday morning, he was anything but disappointed.
“People are nuts, are you kidding me?,” White said about people thinking he’d be upset. “Think about what Mayweather-Pacquiao was advertised to be, and then look at what it was. There’s nobody walking away from Saturday night, whether you went to a bar, you stayed home and bought it on pay-per-view, or you bought a ticket to this fight, nobody left that arena unhappy. That’s what matters to me man.”
White also laughed off the notion of McGregor’s loss hurting his marketability. He said the featherweight champion deserves respect after fighting on such short notice after lightweight Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of their super fight.
“If you look at Conor McGregor, he’s the 145-pound champion. His opponent pulled out, and he scrapped all weight classes and said me and Nate Diaz want to fight each other, let’s do it. What bad comes out of that?” White said. “I think the way [McGregor] carried himself after the fight, he was an absolute professional, the guy’s a student of the game. And the thing is, he makes fighting fun. Man, this guy will fight anybody, anytime. It’s amazing, nothing bad.”
White then broke down what he saw in the short two-round McGregor – Diaz fight.
“I look at Anthony Kiedis and say this might be the greatest guy to ever do this, ever,” White said after a first round barrage from the Irishman. “And then you see in the second, you see he’s starting to gas out, and he’s starting to get tired. Nate is busted up, he’s been hit with everything but the kitchen sink, and then he starts to come back. If you’re a fan of fighting, these are the moments in fighting you live for. I mean, Saturday, both the co-main and main events, the things that happened in those fights, if you’re a combat sports fan, or just somebody it spilled over to you and you tuned in that night, these are the moments you live for.”
After Diaz’s upset victory, there were rumors that he’d possibly fight welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. White admitted he has no idea what’s next for Diaz, as of right now.
“Nate Diaz made a lot of money, a lot of money on Saturday night. If you know anything about Nate’s career and what he’s wanted, the kid was looking for a big payday. He got his massive monster payday,” White said. “Hopefully, we see him fight again, but who knows. For me to try to predict what either of one of the Diaz brothers are going to do, that’s impossible.”
When asked if it was possible Diaz might not ever step back into the octagon, White was honest with his answer.
“I think it’s very possible,” White answered. “I can tell you this, you know I don’t ever talk money or anything like that. He made life changing money that could definitely last him the rest of his life.”
As for the co-main event, that ended with Miesha Tate submitting Holly Holm, White confirmed Tate’s first bantamweight title defense will come against Ronda Rousey, an opponent she’s already lost to twice before.
“We’ve been saying the whole time leading up to this fight, whoever wins this fight will fight Ronda in October or November,” White said.
Rousey didn’t watch the Holm vs. Tate fight, but White said he did speak with her Saturday night after texting her the results.
“I called her when I left the arena, and she was like ‘Alright man, listen. I knew I was going to have to fight both of these women again, so it looks like it’s going to be Miesha first,’” White said.
Holm’s loss came in her first fight since shocking the world by upsetting Rousey in November. White acknowledged that Holm vs. Rousey II, a fight projected to be the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view ever, isn’t a sure thing.
“You never know how these things play out, because obviously Holly will fight again,” White said. “So we will see what happens with Holly and her career from here on out, but Miesha is definitely fighting [Rousey].”
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.