It is unlikely that UFC president Dana White and UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson exchange Xmas cards. However, like other fighters that White has engaged in feuds with, Nelson has earned high-profile fights in the world's dominant MMA league.
Saturday night live on PPV, Nelson fights Daniel Cormier in the co-main event of UFC 166.
At a media event on Thursday, White took Nelson to task for his latest contract negotiation. It is usual for the UFC to sign a fighter to a new contract before the existing contract expires. Nelson, then on a three fight win streak, opted not to sign a new contract in advance of his fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 in June.
Nelson thinking was undoubtedly that a heavyweight on a four fight win streak would be in excellent position to negotiate a contract. The nature of a gamble is that one can lose, and Nelson did, taking the fight with Miocic on short notice, and losing.
Although White doubtless came out ahead in the negotiation, he never the less expressed frustration with "Big Country" at a media event on Thursday.
“There’s definitely some different money with some guys, if you’re on a big win streak and you lost a couple in a row, you gotta adjust guys’ pay,” said White as transcribed by 5thround.com. “Sometimes, what we’ll do is we’ll do a deal with a guy, ‘If you’re here, you get paid this. If you lose, you go here.’ We usually work that stuff out ahead of time.
“It’s just weird we get in those situations, like Roy rolling the dice. Roy waited until the end of his contract – we owed him a fight, we offered him a fight, and if he didn’t take it we’d have to extend his contract. So, he took the fight instead. I just feel like he played the whole thing the wrong way when he didn’t need to play it that way.
“Roy’s no f---ing genius. Roy didn’t know he didn’t even have to take the fight. Roy didn’t even know that. There’s a lot of things Roy doesn’t know."
“You realize Roy came onto ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and had a f---ing contract with another promoter and didn’t know it. Did you know that? Yeah, I had to buy that other promoter out, during the f---ing Ultimate Fighter. That’s how smart Roy Nelson is. And I could go on for days. Roy Nelson cost me a lot of money.”
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