Dana White Notebook: UFC Boss Talks Big Nog, Tito and Rough Injuries

Tito Ortiz

Recent news and notes from the UFC president

UFC president Dana White met Saturday with members of the media after the UFC 140 press conference at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as well as last week after the presser announcing the next UFC on Fox event at the United Center in Chicago. HeavyMMA.com was on hand at both events. Here are some of the highlights from the UFC boss.

White OK if Big Nog retires after broken arm
After one of the most legendary careers in MMA history, White would be OK if Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira hangs up his gloves after Saturday’s loss to Frank Mir at UFC 140. Nearly three years ago, Mir was the first fighter to knock “Big Nog” out. On Saturday, he became the first fighter to tap him out – snapping his arm in the process. Nogueira will require surgery to repair the arm – which was broken when he refused to tap until after it snapped.

“The last time I said, after he got knocked out, that Big Nog should look at (retiring), he got mad at me,” White said. “He got all bummed out and then he came out and pulled off that win with (Brendan) Schaub (at UFC 134). He looked great tonight until that submission. He made a big mistake – he had that top position and pulled guard. Look at a guy’s entire career, not just how it’s ending. I was at the Pride fight when he fought Mirko Cro Cop, and Cro Cop was just blasting him with kicks to the body and shots to the head. And then he ends up pulling off that submission and winning in the second round.

“He’s had a career where he’s been through wars and Big Nog is a nice guy, and he’s a guy who I respect. I know (fighters) get pissed off at me when I say this stuff, but it doesn’t matter. I’m the one who makes these decisions – I don’t want to see him get hurt, or anyone else.”

White says behind-the-scenes of feud with Ortiz may be seen some day
While unsure if Tito Ortiz will return after his Saturday loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – and unsure if he’d make one more fight for him, White said Ortiz’s value to the sport in its formative years can’t be denied.

“Tito went out swinging and he went after it in the beginning of first round, and he got caught to the body,” White said. “(But) Tito has a significant place in the history of this sport.”

White was Ortiz’s manager in the early part of his career. But a big falling out occurred between the two, as well as a battle between Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. Ortiz’s feud with White caused him to not re-sign with the company after his loss to Lyoto Machida in 2008. A little over a year later, White and Ortiz patched things up and the former light heavyweight champ returned with a new six-fight deal. But White said the behind-the-scenes was vicious – and fans may one day get to see it.

“The battle between he and I and the battle between Chuck and I and Tito really did help build this thing in the beginning,” White said. “It was a pretty big real story line that happened. Me and Tito at our absolute worst, when things were as nasty as nasty could be behind the scenes, was when he fought Lyoto Machida. That was probably one of the craziest times in my entire career. Some day you guys will see it all. The video blogs we shoot? Those are video blogs that never went out. To explain to you guys how angry that guy used to make me – it was crazy. It was literally crazy.”

White says there are three make-ya-sick injuries in UFC history
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s submission loss to Frank Mir in the co-main event Saturday, in which Mir snapped Nogueira’s arm in half when he refused to tap, will go down as one of the roughest in-cage injuries in UFC history. And while White is always quick to point out to MMA detractors that there “has never been a death or serious injury in the UFC,” he will also point out that once in a while, injuries can be pretty gruesome. But they’re few and far between.

“In the last almost 11 years, that’s the third time (we’ve had) something you’d get squeamish of in the UFC,” White said. “Two by Frank Mir, (and) the Corey (Hill) kick – still the nastiest by far.”

At UFC 48, Mir broke Tim Sylvia‘s arm to win the UFC heavyweight title. And at UFC 140, he became the first fighter to submit Nogueira – with another arm snap. And at the UFC’s first Fight for the Troops show, which coincidentally took place exactly three years to the day before the Mir-Nogueira fight, Corey Hill threw a kick that was checked by Dale Hartt, snapping Hill’s shin in half.

White: Tim Kennedy has no reason to be upset
When asked in Chicago last week for reaction to Tim Kennedy‘s surprise at Michael Bisping‘s recent payday for his win over Jason “Mayhem” Miller, White defended his TUF 3 champion.

“What’s he pissed off about?” White asked HeavyMMA.com. “More people know who Michael Bisping is than Tim Kennedy. The guy’s fought everybody out there. Bisping’s only real outstanding loss is to Dan Henderson. I think that Michael Bisping’s easy to hate, so people want to discredit him because they don’t like him. But Bisping’s the real deal. He’s a tough guy, he’s one of the best in the world, like it or not.”

Bisping made $425,000, including his win bonus, for his victory over Miller at the TUF 14 Finale earlier this month. He will next fight Demian Maia as part of UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis next month in Chicago.