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Dana White discusses change to UFC 133 main event

One of the few constants in Mixed Martial Arts is the likelihood of change, especially when it comes to the lineup for any given card. That very concept played out this week in regards to UFC 133 after it was announced undefeated light heavyweight Phil Davis had withdrawn from the August 6 show due to an undisclosed injury and would be replaced in his headlining bout against Rashad Evans at the event.

Within hours rumors had already surfaced relating to who would slide into Davis’ vacancy with Lyoto Machida initially looking like the frontrunner to fill the spot. However, in the end, former long-standing divisional champ Tito Ortiz stepped up to the plate after already notching an impressive win over Ryan Bader earlier this month.

UFC President Dana White discussed the entire situation and offered his insight on the UFC 133 main event earlier today in a conference call with media and Five Ounces of Pain wwas be on hand to relay interesting nuggets of information and relevant soundbytes back to the public.

Read ahead and find out what White thinks about Ortiz’s willingness to take the fight, Machida’s change of heart after initially accepting the match-up, and the situation in general…

Dana White:

– Was informed last week about Davis’ knee who had a MRI on Monday to determine the damage where it was revealed he wouldn’t be able to fight, said Davis hadn’t been able to kickbox for the last 2 1/2 weeks
– Explained Machida originally accepted the fight and was excited about it but came back asking for “Anderson Silva money”
– White told Machida when he accomplishes what Silva has he can make Silva’s money
– Ortiz called him late Tuesday night and said he’d reconsidered after initially declining it
– Confirmed Ortiz did not ask for more money
– White honestly felt Ortiz’s last fight in the UFC, perhaps MMA, was going to come against Bader and didn’t renegotiate his salary as a result (hence Tito’s $450,000 payday at UFC 132)
– Said Ortiz won’t be top contender if he beats Evans but he’ll definitely be “in the top three”
– Referred to how close Ortiz’s fights have been while crediting his BJJ and said the difference between him and some of his “old school” peers is how well his chin has held up
– If Ortiz had refused the fight the UFC would have looked at Vlad Matyushenko who is already booked for the card
– Evans told him he didn’t care who the opponent was and he was down to fight at the event regardless
– Said Davis was still “100%” down to fight at UFC 133 even with his injury but the company wasn’t willing to risk his long-term health
– Still shocked by Machida agreeing to the fight, then coming back with a financial demand, but doesn’t envision it affecting future discussions between the two sides
– Using a Strikeforce light heavyweight was never an option and alluded to how thin their 205-pound division is
– Said Davis will only need to rehab his knee and surgery won’t be required, will offer a specific condition later this week
– Thinks Evans’ ring-rust could play a big factor in the fight
– Hasn’t spoken to Machida’s camp since the initial request for more money
– Joked that he wanted to get off the phone with Ortiz before be changed his mind about taking the fight
– Said Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen both texted him and asked for the Evans fight
– Confirmed Evans will still receive a title-shot if he beats Ortiz
– Ortiz was the first person White called based on how recently he’d competed
– Closed the call commenting on the Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle fight where he expressed a lot of excitement about the match-up based on both being on the cusp of breaking into the next plateau of opponents

  • Dufresne says:

    Can’t believe Machida accepted and then came back asking for more money, but I agree with Dana’s response. Machida is a hell of a fighter, but Silva has set a ton of UFC records and has dominated his division since 2006. If Lyoto had asked for Silva money after his title defense against Shogun, he might have gotten it, but there’s no way Dana’s gonna give a guy who’s gone 1-2 in his last three that kinda money.

    Said Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen both texted him and asked for the Evans fight

    Just another reason why I love Leben. He wins a fight and immediately gets back on the phone asking for another match up. Hell, he’s even willing to go up in weight class to do it. It’d be a terrible match up for Leben, but I gotta love a guy who’s that willing to fight.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I read somewhere Machida’s wife is one of his managers? Perhaps he should reconsider whose calling the shots for his career… I wouldn’t blame the guy for asking for a couple extra bucks considering he’s taking a risk BUT to take the fight then call back demanding for a A.Silva pay day? Yeah that sounds very professional.

    “Still shocked by Machida agreeing to the fight, then coming back with a financial demand, but doesn’t envision it affecting future discussions between the two sides”

    HaHa Yeaaah Riggghhht!! We’ll see…

  • MCM says:

    I read that Dana originally spoke with Machida and he agreed then it was his management that called back asking for more dough. If Dana had dealt with Machida’s management first, there might not have been any confusion. i.e. Management would have agreed for hover board money, Dana would have said no, and there would have been no rumor that Machida was fighting.

    Glad to hear Vlady was getting the once over. I think he could actually take Rashad.

  • Angry Mike says:

    If Machida’s wife is also his manager, she owns him personally and professionally. Poor bastard has no say whatsoever about anything in his life.

  • silkshot61 says:

    I’m with you Angry Mike, poor bastard… haha
    Got his balls in a vice grip personally and professionally

    Seems like a shady deal by the Machida group he just fast tracked himself to Jon Fitch treatment.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I agree Machida should get some extra cash for the fight had he gone through with it, he would be taking on a top 3 fighter on 3 weeks notice and that deserves a little extra for sure, and DW saying it was Silva type money really tells us very little other that Dana didnt want to pay what they were asking and refused to negotiate down which is a normal thing. Machida asks for 1 million Dana says no Ill give you 300,00 and so on until a price is agreed on. I dont fault his camp a bit.’Huge props to Tito, and Leben for taking and asking to take such a tough fight. Screw Sonnen he just wants people to think he is tough.

  • king mah mah says:

    Yeah I’ll take Tito in this one. Should be a close fight, but I think Tito has some momentum on his side. Rashad on the other hand has some ring rust on his side. Either way the fight goes, tito will have at least one more fight if he loses. I hope they make the Forrest/Tito 3 happen after this.

    Yeah Machida needs to take his balls out of his wifes purse and just do his job! He just went 1-2 in his last three. His win was against a “should have retired years ago Couture” so that doesn’t really say a whole lot. (even though that kick was pretty goddamn sweet!) No he doesn’t deserve Anderson Silva money.

    On the other hand. Did Tito deserve $500,000 for is fight against Bader? Maybe Machida does have a little bit of a point! LOL. I mean I like Tito, but thats a shit load of money for a guy who hadn’t won a fight in 5 years!


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