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Dana White talks Mayweather-Pacquiao, says Brock Lesnar still sick

Dana White holds court to answer any and all questions regarding UFC


Justin M. Bowen

UFC President Dana White responds to questions during a meeting with photographers at a pre-fight press conference. White traditionally meets with reporters to answer all questions regarding the UFC before pay-per-view events.

Fireside Chat with Dana White: UFC 107

UFC President Dana White is known for sitting down with media members at every pre-fight press conference to answer any and all questions about his organization. In our third installment of Fireside Chat, White discusses everything from the potential mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to the health of heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There was much to talk about when UFC President Dana White met with media members Thursday following the pre-fight press conference to UFC 107.

White is known for sitting down with the media and shooting straight answers to any questions they may have leading up to a pay-per-view-event. Here are some highlights from today's chat.

Brock Lesnar is still very sick

The UFC heavyweight champion still is recovering from an intestinal problem that required him to have surgery earlier this year. Lesnar may require major surgery to fully take care of the problem.

According to White, Lesnar collapsed during a family vacation to Canada before having surgery. Doctors have also informed White that Lesnar was fighting at about 60 percent last year.

At this point, it's unclear whether Lesnar will be able to return to the sport at all because of the health concerns, although White says the heavyweight is optimistic he'll fight again.

"He talks about both (getting well and fighting)," White said. "He believes he's going to come back. He's confident and positive. He's in a much better place than he was when he was in the hospital."

Mayweather, Pacquiao super-fight will be good for business

White believes that the huge amount of pay-per-view buys expected for the future boxing fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will be good for all combat sports.

He also says he can't wait to watch the fight.

"I think it's going to be great for the business," White said. "In these hard economic times, (the UFC) and boxing are proving that combat sports have never been bigger than they are right now. That's going to be a great fight and I'm excited for that fight."

Rampage is back, despite unpleasantries

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was supposed to fight this weekend in Memphis, but bailed on the card to pursue an acting role in the new "A-Team" movie.

After White was very critical of that decision, Jackson announced his retirement from the UFC.

Since then, Jackson has gone back on that decision and is expected to still fight his heated rival Rashad Evans sometime next year. However, White says his relationship with Jackson is still a bit on the rocks.

"I had a very unpleasant 45-minute phone call with Rampage before the TUF finale (on Dec. 5)," White said. "We started fighting on texts that day. He sent me a really bad text so I sent him a really bad text back. He wrote back, 'Call me, I can't spell good enough to fight on texts.'"

Kimbo Slice impressive, Houston Alexander out of the UFC

White made sure to go on record that he has been impressed with Kimbo Slice ever since the street brawler agreed to compete on "The Ultimate Fighter".

He was not impressed, however, with Houston Alexander, who basically refused to fight Slice during their catchweight bout at the TUF 10 Finale.

"I was going to get up and leave, that's how disappointed I was in that fight," White said. "Kimbo did prove me wrong. As disgusted as I was with Alexander's performance, Kimbo beat a real guy."

It's still unclear whether Slice will compete in the heavyweight or light heavyweight division.

Against White's wishes, Chuck Liddell will fight again

White has continually said he wished his longtime friend Chuck Liddell would hang up his gloves for good from the UFC.

Liddell, who hasn't fought since April, continued to express his desire to get back in the octagon and will receive that chance as he's been named to coach against Tito Ortiz in the 11th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."

Liddell has lost four of his last five UFC fights, and White said he hopes that the fighter will be satisfied after the Ortiz fight.

"I wanted him to retire, we went back and forth on that for a long time," White said. "That's my plan, he'll do that one fight and win, lose or draw, he'll retire. We'll see what happens when it happens."

Don't look for Dan Henderson to ever return to the UFC

The announcement this week of Dan Henderson signing with Strikeforce didn't come as a surprise to White, who added that Henderson likely would finish his fighting career away from the UFC.

The two have had a friendly relationship in the past, although it seems that has changed with the recent circumstances.

"Me and Dan Henderson were cool, we were," White said. "Dan probably won't be back in the UFC. He knows where we stand. I talked to him on the phone and I told him exactly how it is."

Being friends is no excuse not to compete

There have been instances lately of fighters saying they won't get in the octagon with each other because of friendships.

Most notably, UFC champions Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida have said they'll never do it, as well as welterweight contenders Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.

According to White, friendships shouldn't stand in the way of these fighters trying to become the best in the world.

"It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in the world," White said.

"It's like Shaq not wanting to compete against his friends. It's a sport; you're out there to compete and see who the best is. Not, 'You're my friend and I don't like you if we fight.' Give me a break."

Still planning on base jumping off Mandalay Bay

It's now been five months since White promised to base jump off Mandalay Bay after UFC 100's success in pay-per-view buys.

Although the resort has yet to agree to allow White to jump from the roof, the UFC president says that he's began training for the jump and still plans on staying true to his word.

"I've actually been working on it, I'm going to do it," White said. "They don't want me to do it but I've been training with one of the best base jumpers in the United States. You guys keep pushing me, that's what I get for opening my big mouth."

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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