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UFC 108:

Dana White says Mayweather, Pacquiao have to fight

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


Justin M. Bowen

UFC president Dana White laughs while answering questions from the media at the pre-fight press conference Wednesday for UFC 108.

Fireside Chat with Dana White: UFC 108

UFC President Dana White in a Fireside Chat.

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There was much to talk about when UFC President Dana White met with media members Wednesday following the pre-fight press conference for UFC 108.

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

Mayweather and Pacquiao need to fight already

For those living under a rock, there is a proposed mega-fight between top pound-for-pound boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on March 13 at the MGM Grand.

That fight has been placed in jeopardy, however, as Mayweather has called for his opponent to undergo Olympic-style drug testing, which includes drawing blood.

Pacquaio has refused to agree to Mayweather's terms and a stalemate has resulted.

White said Wednesday he hoped the fighters would give the fans the fight they want to see.

"At the end of the day, I want to see that fight," White said. "Come on; let's fight. My thing is, who is Floyd to ask (Pacquiao) to take a drug test? (Pacquiao) has never failed a drug test. Why would he agree to take the Olympic-style drug test? It's crazy."

About that Jake Rossen rant

White's latest video blog dedicated a decent chunk of time showing him on the phone ripping somebody over a recent column written by writer Jake Rossen.

Rossen had seen the piece in Las Vegas Sun in which White said the sport would be the biggest in the world by 2020. Rossen disagreed with White's opinion and basically said that the sport had lost momentum in its effort to expand globally.

White was furious with the editorial, which also ran on Wednesday he pointed to the UFC 108 card and said he couldn't wait for it to do well on pay-per-view and prove any critics of the event wrong.

"The media loves to write negative (expletive), that's what they love to do," White said. "I think you know some of the stuff that's been written has really pissed me off. It's so ridiculous. I can't wait for Saturday night, for these guys to shut everybody the (expletive) up."

Even the matchmaker is injured

The UFC 108 fight card has earned the reputation of being 'cursed', as so many of the fighters originally scheduled to compete Saturday have dropped out because of illness or injury.

It's gotten so bad, in fact, that White says UFC matchmaker Joe Silva somehow has fallen victim to the curse, recently tearing a knee ligament.

"This is so bad, Joe Silva blew out his MCL," White said. "It's so bad the matchmaker is down. I don't know how, but he blew it. He's got to have surgery."

Rashad needs to beat Silva to get to Rampage

One of the big story lines leading up to Saturday is that Rashad Evans would need a win over Thiago Silva in the main event to earn the right to face his heated rival, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson.

The two were supposed to meet in December until Rampage left the UFC to pursue an acting career.

It appears as though Rampage is back with the organization now, but the fight still won't happen if Evans falls to Silva.

If the fight were to happen, White said, it likely would go down in March.

"I was insane when that fight first fell apart, literally insane," White said. "I've kind of gotten over it now. Rashad has to win this fight and if he does we'll finally see it."

Expect news on Brock Lesnar soon

Word on whether UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will fight again should come in the next seven days, White said.

Lesnar was forced to pull out of a fight in November because of health concerns and has since received surgery on his intestines to fix the problem.

"We'll know this week," White said. "I think Brock is going to the doctor this week and we'll know whether it's over. It could be career-ending for him."

Hates Mazzagatti, loves Herb Dean

We all know that White doesn't approve of referee Steve Mazzagatti's presence on the Nevada State Athletic Commission's payroll, so we'll spare that rant.

One referee White is certainly a big fan of, however, is Herb Dean — although White says it took a valuable lesson for him to learn never to question Dean's decisions.

"One of the most embarrassing moments I've ever had was when Frank Mir broke Tim Sylvia's arm (at UFC 48 in 2004)," White said. "I didn't see it. Nobody saw it. Herb Dean saw it. I didn't see it until the replay, but by then I was already up running around, yelling at the commission and acting like a jackass.

"After I found out Sylvia's arm was broke, I was embarrassed. I don't say (expletive) now. When Herb Dean makes a call, 99 percent of the time he's dead on."

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Also follow him on twitter: LVSunFighting.

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