Special UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz II Conference Call with Dana White (Highlights)Posted on July 14, 2011, 12:52 PM by Joey Santosus
After 24-hours of shuffling the UFC 133 fight card from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is now once again complete. Stepping in for the injured Phil Davis will be "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz, who will go head to head with fellow former Champion "Suga" Rashad Evans in the headlining bout. Also featured will be Rich Franklin and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira going head to head in the co-main event and Vitor Belfort taking on Yoshihiro Akiyama.
In light of the recent changes, UFC President Dana White held a special UFC 133 Conference Call today and LowKick.com was online to deliver the scoop. Below is the rundown of all the highlights from today's call:
• Phil Davis found out his knee was hurt last week. Tito Ortiz had some personal stuff going on, didn't want to jump back into training camp. So I called Lyoto Machida, who has been terrorizing me to fight, he took the fight. Then we called Machida back and he said pay him Anderson Silva money and I told him if he wants Anderson Silva money, achieve what Anderson has.
• Tito called back, asked us if we had someone to take the fight. I told him we hadn't found anyone and he called back the next day and took the fight.
• Lots of crazy things happen in this business and usually when stuff like that happens, you know the guys who it's going to happen with. I did not expect that from Machida. Its a slap in the face, very weird and very unlike Lyoto Machida.
• No Tito didn't ask for more money. Tito has a contract already and he accepted the deal on his contract. Tito stepped up man. This was a hot topic, people were asking, but Tito didn't get anymore money.
• We signed that deal with Tito a while ago. Tito has been around for a long time and going into this last fight with Ryan Bader we talked about him not being cut and he wanted another chance. We didn't go in and re-negotiate. I will be honest, I thought that was his last fight.
• No, we didn't talk about whether or not he will be cut if he loses, but obviously Tito is stepping up and taking a big fight on short notice so, I respect that.
• Well there is no doubt that Rasahd is the next in line for a title shot. This guy turned down a fight that he should have taken a year and a half ago and he has had nothing but bad luck since. He's been training for this fight and it would have been horrible if we would have had to pull him out of this fight too. If Tito wins this fight after knocking off Bader, I wouldn't say he is number one contender, but he is definitely in the mix.
• Trust me I haven't gotten Tito wrong, I've been dealing with him 14 years. It's a very interesting, cool story how he has been turning this thing around. When everything is on the line is when he fights best. Tito has been a one dimensional fighter for so long, but people don't realize he has really great jiu-itsu. He almost submitted Machida and then he submitted Bader in that last fight. I respect Tito for stepping up and taking this fight, I like dealing with this new Tito Ortiz.
• The whole thing about me asking Chuck Liddell to retire and saying I would like to see Wanderlei retire too - the difference between Tito and these other guys - yea Tito was on this losing streak, but Tito has not been getting knocked out. Tito barely lost those fights.
• What we would have done, our next plan was Matyushenko is on the card. Out of his last six fights, his only loss is to Jon Jones. Evans has been out so long, he needs to get in there, and Vladimir would have been glad to have this fight as well.
• The thing with Tito right now is that there is a lot of buzz on him after that last fight. It was a great card and part of the reason why was Tito Ortiz. Everyone knew his back was against the wall and he went out and claimed that he had begged for his job. I think people are going to be interested in seeing if Tito can beat Rashad and get himself back in the mix.
• When I was bouncing around names, Tito, Machida, etc. Rashad's answer was "I don't care who you get, you don't have to call and approve the opponent with me - I'm in." So Rashad is ready to fight.
• Tito has that thing, its called the it factor. He's just got that personality, people are just drawn to him.. Whether its to hate him or love him. You don't want to be that guy where nobody cares. Tito has always been a guy that has had that aura about him.
• Its an interesting fight. What you would think is that Rashad is younger, faster, has more explosive hands, better wrestling - all of the same sh-- you would have said about Bader. And Tito knocks him down and submits him! So who the hell knows.
• Its one of those things. Phil Davis could have continued training, but he is a young guy, he's undefeated, he cant kickbox. Why would I want to do that to a young up and comer. I found out because he had to get an MRI done. Davis 100% still wanted this fight, but I said no way.
• Yea, I think because of their history and the storyline for this fight, it is exciting. Rashad has had a string of bad luck and Tito is coming of this incredible win over a young up and comer. Then you got Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Its a great card, im excited.
• When you are going to make these phone calls, you know the guys that are going to be tough. Never do I expect to have a guy accept the fight and then say pay me Anderson Silva money. They came straight out and said, "We want Anderson Silva money." Anderson Silva has gone undefeated since 2006, broke every record in the UFC, moved up to 205 and beat two guys easily and cleaned out his entire division and you want HIS money?
• I've been in this business a long time, people lose their mind sometimes. Maybe Machida's camp did that and he didn't know, but I guarantee he knows now.
• Tito was never my ultimate kicking guy. He was a guy that went the other way, never went with us.. He'd step over dollars to pick up dimes. Now all of the sudden he is this guy that's easy to deal with and wants to fight. I wish I had this Tito years ago. Tito said it, he thinks he made some bad decisions early on in his career and he's trying to turn that around now.
• Rashad is hungry. I've had my moments with Rasahd too. I don't know if you remember when he was turning down fights, waiting for Rua's knee to heal. How does that make sense? And then he never fights Shogun anyway because he gets injured. And then every opponent he's had since has gotten injured. I think he realizes now that when you get the chance to fight you take it.
• Bringing someone over from Strikeforce never even crossed my mind. The Light Heavyweight division in Strikeforce? Who would I get from there to fight Rashad Evans? Tito just fought and he took no damage what so ever, so it really did make sense.
• Rehab and rest. Davis is going to go through some rehab on it, but he shouldn't be out long. He was in a bad situation, he was sucking it up and saying he was going to take the fight anyways. But what happens in a couple weeks if you still can't kickbox? Then we're a week away from the fight and we have to pull the main event.
• I'm a huge believer in ring rust. Its 100 percent true. I don't care how much you train and spar, its not a fight. I like guys to fight 3 times a year. That was my big beef with Rashad. Wait a minute - your at the top of the game and you are going to take this time off? Rua had to take the time off. I am a big believer in ring rust and I think that's what makes this such an interesting fight for Tito Ortiz. The first time they fought it went to a draw, its an absolute perfect fight for Tito Ortiz.
• Nope, not a word. Still haven't heard from Machida's camp. And like I said, I guarantee they've heard about it now and still not a word. It goes to show that Machida did know and Machida probably told them, "Yea, tell them I want Anderson Silva money."
• Tito didn't say why he changed his mind. I didn't ask him, I was just glad he was taking it. I just wanted to get off the phone as quick as I could before he changed his mind again (laughs).
• You go through all of these different things in the business and we're just going through this cycle where guys are getting injured. These guys train so hard, you're going to get injured. We are not looking at this like "Oh God." It's just a thing that happens.
• They did, That is true. Both those nuts (Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen) text me and said they wanted to fight. I told them both they weight 185-pounds, but thanks for texting. No one else, those were the only two.
• Finally Rashad will get in there, he gets this fight and then we got that fight in Denver with Jon Jones and Rampage, so we can get rid of this logjam at Light Heavyweight. Yes (Rashad will get the next title shot if he wins).
• Tito did not get his old contract back by beating Bader. That was never the deal. Tito is under the same deal he was under when he came back to the UFC. I will tell you what, if Tito beats Rashad, then we'll talk.
• Tito called and took the fight. Everybody keeps calling me asking me this, but no Tito took the fight. He didn't call and say I will take the fight "if this," Tito just took the fight. And I will tell you what, if Tito beats Rashad, he's back.
Photo: UFC President Dana White at a post-fight press conference at UFC 100 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Francis Specker